Continuing our look at different roles within the Army Cadet Force we take a look this time at the most senior cadet officer in Wales the Brigade Colonel Cadets.
To find out a bit more about the role we asked the current Colonel Cadets for Wales Col LT Williams QVRM TD VR what the role entailed within the 160th (Welsh) Brigade, which is the regional brigade of the British Army in Wales.
The role of the Brigade Colonel Cadets can be summed up easily; I am the Brigade Commanders' senior advisor on all maters appertaining to the Army Cadets in Wales. Whilst the chain of command is clear, the Brigade Commander is in command of Army Cadets in Wales, he delegates some activities to his Deputy Commander (Reserves) but in practice, a lot of the day-to-day running of the organisation is delegated to the Col Cadets who is the SME (Subject Matter Expert). It is therefore the role of the Col Cadets to ensure that all army cadet activities carried out across Wales comply with Army policy and are conducted in a safe manner. The Col Cadets will invariably be an ex commandant to enable them to understand the organisation and provide appropriate advice.
In practice this means I conduct regularly meetings both up and down the organisation; Firstly with all my counterparts across the UK and HQ Regional Command Cadets Branch, we have a monthly meeting where issues are discussed across the board. This is replicated a few days later with the Commandants and other senior individuals at which I provide updates guidance and direction, I also receive from the commandants' issues and concerns with regard to their activities. In addition, I also have regular catch-up meetings with the Brigade SO2 Cadets, OC Cadet Training Team, and Deputy Commander (Reserves).
Whilst it is true that most of my time is taken up with meetings I still get the opportunity to visit training on a regular basis and it is important that I do so, to enable me to speak to adult instructors and cadets firsthand and therefore get a chance to see how decisions made at a higher level translate into activity on the ground.
The role is the pinnacle for an Adult Instructor in Wales and provides a real opportunity to influence decisions being made at the highest level. It is a role I have been honoured to hold and feel that the Counties across Wales are now collaborating with each other far more than before which as resources get tighter can only be a good thing.
Col Williams had a long career as an Army Reservist and prior to taking up the role of Colonel Cadets Wales was the Commandant of Clwyd and Gwynedd ACF.