Staff Sergeant Instructor (SSI) Louise Marshall is the Detachment Commander (DC) for Gravesend, Kent ACF Squadron Royal Engineers. She has already had a big impact and has recruited over a dozen new cadets, some of whom passed their Basic training with flying colours at the weekend.
Under Louise's leadership the cadets have already enjoyed events such as navigation training at Shorne Country Park and litter picking in the local community, she is the first female DC at Gravesend and is looking to take the detachment from strength-to-strength.
Here’s what she said:
I joined Sheerness detachment as an adult instructor as they had to close on a regular basis due to staff shortages. I knew a Cadet that paraded there and could see how disappointed he was when it was closed. I knew absolutely nothing about the ACF but signed up for a recruitment evening and it all just went from there.
Best bits so far - without a doubt I would say the adult training experience has been one of the main highlights. I don’t come from a military background so it was all new and certainly pushed me out of my comfort zone. I met and made some great friends along the way as well as the skills needed to train our young cadets. Watching cadets go from being shy or with little confidence to taking lead on exercises and expressing their ideas freely has also been a highlight. I have also had the pleasure of being Troop Commander on a couple of camps too and have enjoyed the responsibility of leading the staff and cadets throughout these events.
I get a great sense of achievement seeing a brand new cadet walk through the door with very little confidence/self-esteem and then see them grow through the activities we teach and experiences we provide to become such confident young adults. It pushes me to be a better version of me and to lead by example.
If you want to make a difference in young people’s lives or want to learn some new skills I would definitely recommend signing up. Its lots of fun and you will make some great memories.
I wouldn’t be on the progression path I am on without the great support I have achieved from my detachment staff and from officers who saw in me what I couldn’t initially see myself. I am still learning new skills every day and I am so excited about where the Kent ACF going.