7 February 2017
As the Queen’s representative for the area, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Gwent Brigadier Robert Aitken CBE held an evening award ceremony at Raglan Barracks in Newport. During the annual award ceremony which was attended by over 100 invited guests, he admitted he was ‘awed and humbled’ by the county’s award winning members as he marked his first year in the role.
Gwent and Powys ACF volunteers swept a hat-trick of Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificate of Meritorious Service awards, courtesy of Sergeant Major Instructor Paul Mugleston, Staff Sergeant Instructor Trevor Phillips and Staff Sergeant Instructor James Donovan.
The Lord-Lieutenant of Gwent said: “I am awed and humbled by the citations that we hear of individual excellence, service and dedication. Everyone needs to know, for every award winner who gets a badge and a certificate, there are a dozen more at each of their units."
Sergeant Major Instructor Paul Mugleston has served as a Cadet Force Adult Volunteer in Gwent and Powys Army Cadet Force since early 2007. He is currently Detachment Commander at Griffithstown, and a key member of the team of instructors that delivers training to cadets in Newport and its environs. A highly effective Detachment Commander, SMI Mugleston divides his time between his civilian occupation as an IT Manager, his young family, and the cadet force – a supreme juggling act that demands huge commitment and energy.
Staff Sergeant Instructor Donovan joined the Army Cadet Force in 2010, transitioning immediately on completing a successful career as a cadet. He soon completed Induction Training, and was posted to Cascade Detachment in Penpedairheol. Establishing himself quickly as a competent detachment instructor he rapidly developed as a Cadet Force Adult Volunteer, and simultaneously enlisted in the Army Reserve, in the Welsh Transport Regiment, in which he still serves as a Radio Operator. A friendly, pleasant, and hardworking SNCO, SSgt Donovan is an articulate, intelligent, and conscientious member of the ACFs adult staff, who embodies in his personal standards, behaviour, and diligence, all that the Army Cadet Force stands for.
Prior to joining the ACF as a CFAV SSI Phillips, an ex-cadet from an Army family, already had huge experience of working with young people: at 16 he had become a volunteer junior youth worker, and went on the gain a degree in youth work, serve as a trustee of Wales’ first youth parliament, set up the Caerphilly Youth Forum, run youth exchanges to Bosnia, Malawi, and Poland, eventually becoming Senior Youth Worker in Blackwood Youth Club. However, of all his characteristics the one that marks him out as exceptional is massive capacity for hard work, his willingness to help, and his desire to turn his hand to any job he is given – or indeed ought out for himself. Always cheerful, always there, and always effective, SSI Phillips is one of those instructors who is at the very core of ACF detachment life.
Find out more about what the Army Cadet Force can offer you at: <https://armycadets.com/county/gwent-and-powys-acf/about-our-county/>