Welcome to our new Deputy Commandant - Lt Col Barkat

Here's the full interview with the new Dep Comd!

Welcome to our new Deputy Commandant - Lt Col Barkat

6 November 2021

  • Buckinghamshire ACF

Tell us about your ACF career so far...

I joined the ACF as a cadet in Sep 1991 (Bromham Det Beds ACF). it was a rocky start as I contemplated leaving a few times.. I think I couldn’t handle the discipline. After that phase I made some great friends and really enjoyed the ACF. I left the ACF as a 4 star Cdt Sgt Maj (The senior cadet in the County - back then it was rare to have a cadet RSM. In those days if you had passed SCIC you were exempt doing the AIC (known as ITC) so I transfered straight from a cadet to an Adult in Nov 1997. In 1999 I completed my AI’s course at Frimley and my small and full bore range courses. In Sep 2000 I took over as DC of Kempston Det which was historically a large Det but due to changes in DC’s they were down 4 cadets Parading (previously been in the 40-50). I had a great team at Kempston and the following annual camp we took 22 cadets! By the time I finished as DC in 2008 we had 47 cadets regularly parading.

In 2002 I was promoted to SMI after passing the KG6 course in 2000. I took over as Coy Sgt Maj while still running Kempston Det. In 2001 I went to Blanford and completed the advanced sigs instructor course. In 2002 I was also appointed county Sigs Offr (only for about a year). In 2004 I was also appointed the Cty Trg Sgt Maj in the rank of WO1.

In 2006 I attended the DCCT course and in 2007 I was appointed county RSMI while still running Kempston Det. In 2004 I was also the PMC. Also in 2007 I completed the army rifle association clay instructors course. I loved teaching fieldcraft, navigation and drill. I also set up NCO cadres and leadership courses for senior cadets and revamped the JCIC courses.

On amalgamation (Apr 2008) I was appointed RSMI for Beds & Herts. In 2009 the Comdt asked me to take acting command of 5 Coy as their OC had resigned. I did this for about 9 months whilst still RSMI. At AC 2009 I was RSM (didn’t have a PMC so had to do that too), Acting OC and TO (didn’t have a TO)... that was hard but very rewarding! Once we got an OC late in 2009, I was asked to stay on as TO which again I did whilst RSM.

In 2011 I was commissioned and carried on as TO for 5 Coy. In 2013 I was appointed ACTO and was part of delivering the new adult induction syllabus and navigation. We also revamped all the senior cadet training. In 2016 I took over as CTO and in 2019 took over as OC 2 Coy.

Now a little about you and your new role....

I suppose my main efforts throughout my time are to ensure we look after our CFAVs as happy CFAVs = happy cadets. I also think we have to train our senior cadets to become good leaders and give them the skills to achieve.

I'm looking forward to meeting new staff and cadets. I’m also looking forward to absorbing the good practices from the County.

I’m a big advocate of CVQO and completed my Level 7 in leadership and management in 2018

I’m married with 3 kids and work as a business manager for a council.

The role of deputy commandant is varied. It mainly involves supporting the Comdt to give our CFAVs and cadets the best experience from the organisation. I plan to do this by ensuring the Training Wing, in particular the CTO receives top level support and the same with the Company Commanders.


I can offer advice to the key players in order to achieve success.