Our New Deputy Commandant (Adults)

Our New Deputy Commandant (Adults)

1 November 2020

  • Cambridgeshire ACF

Major John Seaman has been appointed to the position of Temporary Deputy Commandant (Adults), as of 12 Oct 20 and will serve in post until Sep 21, when this and other permanent senior appointments will be selected. As the temporary DCC (Adults), he will oversee the training of all Cadet Force Adult Volunteers.

Major Seaman is new to Cambridgeshire ACF, but has extensive previous experience through his service in the Territorial Army, and 28 years’ service with The Combined Cadet Force (CCF). With the CCF, he served as a Contingent Commander, with responsibility for 650 cadets, worked repeatedly with the Army Cadet Force, and left the organisation with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel CCF.

Major Seaman. Picture: Doug Stuart

He started as a cadet in 1986, before joining Cambridge University Officer Training Corps for a total of 5 years whilst reading Chemistry at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, and during a subsequent research degree. This was followed by a short period with the Territorial Army, serving with the Leicestershire and Derbyshire Yeomanry whilst completing a PGCE teaching qualification at Loughborough University. He then started his career as a chemistry teacher at a boarding school, making it impractical to continue with the TA, and transferred to the schools-based Combined Cadet Force.

John being treated for a minor injury as an Officer Cadet in the 1980's, and right with a drill Surface to Air Missile Launcher c2005.

Commissioning in Nov 94, he assumed the role of Officer Commanding Army Section in 1996 at Maidstone Grammar School. His tenure as OC was marked by a dramatic three-fold increase in cadets. He said, ‘At the time the section was struggling, but within 4 years we had grown it to meet its establishment of 100 cadets and 4 adults; including admitting the first girls to the contingent, as well as creating a culture of dominance in a number of regional competitions.’ This success led to an OC role at Gresham’s School, before being promoted to the position of Contingent Commander at Brentwood School in 2014, the largest contingent in the country. A change in circumstances in 2019 provided him with the opportunity to explore other aspects of the cadet world and he joined Cambridgeshire ACF.

He has worked alongside the ACF on many occasions, and his CCF experience has given him considerable experience of not only dealing with cadets and adult volunteers, but also familiarity with the ACF and CCF’s shared values. He says ‘The CCF and ACF have a huge amount in common, dealing with a similar training syllabus, sharing values and standards, and above all, enabling cadets to do great things.’

John (second from left) at a Cadet Guard of Honour mounted for Major General Richard Stanford, MBE 2016.

He is excited about the challenges ahead as Deputy Commandant (Adults). He said; ‘To quote Brigadier Williams (Deputy Commander Cadets) my job is ‘to enable adult volunteers to inspire cadets to achieve.’ He went on; ‘We know that our organisation is about the cadets, but we also know that we need great adults to inspire them. They need to feel empowered to deliver effective training, and ensure cadets not only achieve, but really enjoy their time with us.’

Commandant Colonel Fraser-Hitchen said; ‘Maj Seaman comes to the temporary DCC(Adults) role with a significant amount of diverse experience in the Cadet world. It is this diversity, his breadth of experience, and his character which will bring so much to the role. It is John who has weekly oversight of my Main Effort - the training and development of our Adult Volunteers. As a County, we welcome John into the appointment and wish him the very best of productive luck over the next 12 months.’

Text by PI Stuart with Major Seaman