Major Lesley Deacon has been temporarily appointed to the position of Deputy Commandant (Cadets) until September of this year, when permanent positions will be decided. Her job will be to oversee and manage the training of all Cambridgeshire Army Cadets.
Major Deacon has more than 32 years’ experience in the ACF having joined Watford Detachment, Hertfordshire ACF, at the age of 13. She finished her cadet training 4 star complete with the rank of Company Sergeant Major, before joining as an adult instructor and serving with Hertfordshire, Wiltshire and LNR (Leicestershire Northamptonshire and Rutland) ACF, becoming a Detachment Commander and then Company Sergeant Major. She took on the role of Company Training Sergeant Major until she was commissioned in 2010, when she became the Company Training Officer. Later roles included Company Cadet Experience Officer and OC of D Company in 2016.
Lesley as a cadet, Watford Detachment, and as Cadet Company Sergeant Major.
In February 2018 she moved to Cambridgeshire and joined Cambs ACF as OC for No1 (Hereward) Company, but continued to manage her previous responsibilities with LNR ACF alongside this until annual camp 2018.
Major Deacon is a midwife with 20 years’ experience, has a Masters degree and is currently sitting for a PhD in Midwifery, Leadership and Career Pathways. She has held positions from clinical to senior management posts in the NHS and still practices as a midwife when time allows. She is currently the Assistant Director of Programmes and System Support for Cambridge and Peterborough, supporting hospital trusts and the CCG (Clinical Commissioning Groups) in all areas of performance. During the pandemic, her role has been focused on supporting the system response to COVID as well as carrying out vaccinations and supporting critical care services. On the 1st April she will be starting as Deputy Chief Nurse with CCG.
Lesley as an SSI and right, as OC D Company LNR ACF.
In her role as Deputy Commandant (Cadets) she will oversee all aspects of what cadets do, ensuring that the training given is in accordance with the manual, and is streamlined alongside the syllabus. She will further be ensuring that the detachments, companies and county are working together to offer equal access to all opportunities offered by the ACF.
At annual camp 2019, with Johnson Beharry VC, and promoting some of her cadets.
She says: “Our biggest challenge over the coming months will be the returning to face-to-face training and preparing for annual camp. Some aspects of training have not been possible virtually, so we need to ensure that we encourage all our cadets back to detachments and offer a fun environment for them to complete their APC qualifications. My emphasis will be on listening to ‘the cadet voice’ and getting some ideas about how we can offer fun, interactive training that engages them at every level.”
Text by PI Doug Stuart with Major Deacon