COL HECTOR STAMBOULIEH
I joined my school's Combined Cadet Force (CCF) as a Cadet in Bristol in the late seventies re-joining later whilst at University as a member of the University Officer Training Corps (UOTC). I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the UOTC. I learned to drive land rovers and had the opportunity to parachute as well as enjoying many other activities they had on offer. I was also fortunate to travel abroad to Cyprus and Denmark and to work alongside the Air Corps in Germany. On returning to Bristol I spotted an advert for the Army Cadets (ACF). I attended the recruitment evening and visited my local Detachment. I initially thought I might assist them for a few months and ended up staying for a number of years eventually becoming Detachment Commander (DC). I became involved with the Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Award Scheme when Devon ACF (who needed a Greek speaking Officer to liaise with the Greek Army for their annual Gold DofE Award Expedition to Crete) heard that I spoke the language fluently. It was an amazing experience. I later became Company DofE Representative then County DofE Officer, a role I held for many years. The Award is a great a way of encouraging young people to take part in activities they would not normally get the chance to participate in. I returned to Company duties as a Staff Officer progressing through the ACF ranks to become Commandant of the City and County of Bristol ACF in 2014. All this happened just because I noticed an advert for a recruitment evening for the ACF some 28 years ago. I have always thoroughly enjoyed helping young people learn, achieve and challenge themselves in ways that are of clear benefit to them in their current and future lives. We are fortunate to have an extremely dedicated and talented body of Officers and Instructors in Bristol who are supported by equally dedicated permanent staff. We all feel a tremendous sense of passion and pride in what we do. The ACF is a wonderful organisation and Bristol ACF in particular provides a top class Cadet experience for hundreds of young people as well as opportunities, qualifications and a sense of satisfaction for the Adults who work with them.
LT COL BARRY ANGUS
I joined initially as a cadet with the Air Training Corps (ATC) in Swindon in the 1970’s before joining the Army in 1976. I saw service with the Army Air Corps (AAC) until late 1999 during which time I toured extensively overseas on various postings. During my posting in Yorkshire my 2 children decided they would like to become Army Cadets. The closest detachment was just over half an hour’s drive away so instead of making several journey’s just dropping off and picking them up I offered to help the Detachment Commander in Thirsk who was both grateful and welcoming. I assisted E Company North Yorkshire ACF for 3 years before finally leaving the Regular Army. I began working with a leading Helicopter Company in Yeovil staying there for 5 years during which time I joined Somerset Army Cadets as a Detachment Commander. My support to the ACF has always been important to me and I have been given the opportunity to rise through the Cadet Adult Volunteer ranks. I have held various appointments including that of my current position as Deputy Commandant for Bristol Army Cadets. My time with the ACF has given me the chance to act as a Ten Tors Team manager, attend RAF Cosford, take part in the Nijmegen marches and attend 14 camps to date. I would highly recommend joining the Army Cadets as an Adult Instructor. It is extremely rewarding and challenging but also offers you a chance to inspire and lead young people to achieve things they never thought possible.
MAJ JON BEAKE
Born and educated in Somerset I joined the Army Cadets (after progressing through Cubs and Scouts), aged 13, looking for additional challenges from those on offer and, as I realised a few years later, something more disciplined and structured. During my time as a Cadet I was given the opportunity to take part in County and Regional sports, to shoot at Bisley, travel to Berlin and Crete, complete all DofE awards as well as many other experiences and achievements. By the time I left at the age of nearly 19 I was the senior Cadet in the County having completed all the APC star (training) levels. When my time was ‘up’ as a Cadet I re-joined as an Adult Instructor as I wanted to help others to achieve at least some of what I felt I had. I progressed through the non-commissioned ranks undertaking most, if not all, roles available up until my appointment as Battalion Regimental Serjeant Major where I worked directly for the Commandant. This appointment involved more leadership and management of the Adult Instructors along with delivery of Senior Cadet training. It was a terrific honour to assist the top Cadets to fine-tune their knowledge and skills and two of my Cadet RSMs won the Champion Cadet competition at Frimley Park Cadet Training Centre. I gained a commission after attending Westbury in 2010 and was appointed Company Staff & Training Officer. Then after an additional few years looking after the Company I had originally joined as a Cadet, I transferred to Bristol ACF in September 2015, taking up the appointment of County Training Officer. I often describe myself as a product of the Cadet system and will encourage my children to join so they might experience the opportunities this fantastic organisation gave me. I now work for the Reserve Forces and Cadets Association (a supporting organisation of the ACF) in which I engage with employers to encourage them to support Reservists, Cadet Force Instructors, Cadets and other Service personnel. The conversations around supporting Cadets are among the easiest as employers really value the ‘soft’ skills gained from the training provided by the Army Cadets that many school leavers will not have the opportunity to develop. Parents and Carers should look seriously at the Cadet organisations as an option for their children (or to help others) as employers and further education establishments, more than ever, are looking for a greater depth of skill than the average school leaver is armed with; Cadets even offer BTEC qualifications. Anything to make you positively stand out is a bonus and Cadet training gives you that advantage.
MAJ STEPHEN SCULL
Born and educated in Bristol I joined the Army Cadets aged 14 after having had a successful time in the Cubs and Scouts. I got the ‘ACF bug’ from my father who served in WWII and was a member of the TA. I joined at the Winterstoke Road detachment which was located in the TA Centre (now HMS Flying Fox). It meant a bus trip across town but it was worth it. In those days the Army Proficiency Certificate did not exist and we had to pass the Cert A Part 1 & 2. The entire subject had to be passed in a weekend. Fail in one subject and you had to redo the complete set again. Not a subject at a time as now. I achieved within 12 months and then became an NCO which led to my first involvement with instructing. During my time as a Cadet I was given the opportunity to take part in County sports, shooting, Adventure Training and visits to regular units. When my time as a cadet came to an end I became an Adult Instructor based at the then newly opened Brislington Detachment. I progressed through the non-commissioned ranks undertaking various roles, including Detachment Commander, Company Sergeant Major finally being appointed Regimental Sergeant Major, working directly for the Commandant. This appointment involved more leadership and management of the Adult Instructors as well as assisting in the delivery of Senior Cadet and Adult training. At the end of my tenure I was commissioned and appointed Assistant County Training Officer. Through time I progressed through various roles including Projects Officer, CTO, Company Staff Officer and Company Commander before being appointed Deputy Commandant. At the end of my tenure as Deputy Commandant I was asked if I would stay on and command C Company – my present role. Besides my own involvement my wife has been an Instructor for 28 years, 3 of my children became cadets, all achieving their 4 Star. 3 of my grandchildren have been cadets and one is in his first year as an adult Instructor. In October 2016 I will have completed 52 years as a member of the ACF and I can honestly say that in the main it has been a fantastic experience. I have met some great people who have become lifelong friends. I have traveled to various parts of Europe either visiting regular units or taking cadets on Battlefield tours. I have also been involved in training cadets to take part in the Ten Tors challenge. I have seen many changes but I can honestly say that the cadet experience has held true and we do ‘Inspire to Achieve’