Clwyd and Gwynedd Army Cadets have marked the end of an era with the retirement of Albuhera Company Officer Commanding Major Andrea Burton after some 30 years in the army cadets.
Andrea served five years as a cadet, becoming the first female Cadet Company Sergeant Major in the then Clwyd ACF, before spending the next 25 years as an adult instructor. Andrea was commissioned in 2008 also receiving the Cadet Force Medal in 2008 and subsequently her 1st and 2nd clasps. During her adult service, Andrea has been a detachment instructor and detachment commander, County Shooting Officer, Company Staff Officer and was appointed Company Commander in March 2020.
In reflecting on just some of the highlights of the last 30 years Andrea said I never thought I would attend Buckingham Palace to receive my Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award or become the very first female cadet CSM. I thoroughly enjoyed the shooting challenges and the opportunities of helping the young people of North Wales.
Andrea said “Joining cadets was the best thing I ever did. 30 years ago I never imagined that I would be standing in front of a Company on my final day as their OC. It has been an honour and a privilege to see so many young people grow into the amazing human beings, those who stood in front of me, as well as all of those who have gone before them. If I have been able to make a difference to just one of those young people or adults then I am proud to have done that. I have met the most incredible people, some of whom I now count as my closest friends. I thank them all for the time they give and the efforts they put into all that they do. Keep on working as hard as you can, take every opportunity coming your way, and most of all, enjoy it.” Andrea added, “I will miss you and will never forget the opportunities the ACF has given me and will always treasure my memories.”
Commandant Martin L Craven said “I have known and worked with Andrea for over twenty great years in the Army Cadet Force and we all know it becomes part of your whole life, and so I know this was not an easy decision for her to make. She has achieved so much and influenced so many young people over the years to achieve more themselves. I wish her and her family all the best for the future and not to be strangers, always welcome to events!”
At her final Officers Mess Dinner, Andrea was presented with her 2nd Clasp to her Cadet Force Medal by Deputy Commandant Gavin Jones and received a “retirement” gift from the Officers Mess from Honorary Colonel Nick Lock.