If I hadn’t have joined the cadets I would not be in the position I am now

27 June 2018

Cadet Sergeant George Heron has recently left Swanley Detachment, Kent ACF Squadron Royal Engineers due to reaching 18 years-of-age; he is currently in full time education and studying electrical engineering. He’s hoping to join the Army.

During his time in the ACF he has gained the following qualifications: 

  • First Aid 
  • Junior Cadet Instructor Cadre (JCIC) and his passed his radio users course.

He answered some questions for us about his time in the cadets.

How do you think you've benefited from being in the ACF? 

It has helped me to develop life skills such as working in a team, being confident, and being able to speak to people.

Why did you join? 

I joined though a friend, but I wanted to be able to do things that I wouldn't get to do anywhere else, and I liked the fact that there was a form of structure and discipline. 

What are your favourite ACF activities and why?

Adventurous training, as this can be challenging and you do things you normally wouldn't, such as riding a motor bike, caving, obstacle courses and much more.

Another is field craft, because you have to work as a team and you get to fire blanks and stay out in the field and learn valuable skills. 

Have you faced any challenges in life that the ACF has help you to overcome? 

What honestly helped was having someone that would listen to you and understand what is affecting you and at the end of it they would help to cheer you up. My ACF detachment Swanley Gunners did exactly that no matter how small or how big the challenge was they would help you, cadet or adult instructor. For me personally my detachment has helped me to overcome many different things and become a better person from it.

Fun, friendship, action, adventure- do these describe your time is the ACF?

Yes it does. 

When I went on the Italian exchange trip I met the Italian cadets who were very friendly. When on the trip we got involved in lots of different things, such as field craft up in the mountains and we stayed at old NATO base, this included an ambush, section attack and defending our base. We also done other things like visit the Berretta factory, and saw how the weapons are made.

Do you think being in the ACF will help you career/job/future and, if so how will it help?

Yes it will. 

I will be joining the army so this gives me an insight of the discipline and how the army lifeworks. It has also helped me in life in general, as it has given me confidence to put myself forward to do different things and talk to people, and work as a team and be a leader. 

Do you think you'd have got the same benefits from joining a different youth organisation?

No the ACF for me is one of the best organisations for young people to join, because you learn different things on every parade night, and you can go to different places in the world and do things that normal soldiers do.

What difference do you think your friends and family have seen in you since joining the ACF?   

I think that they have seen me mature, grow up and become a better person, be more confident and more polite. 

Can you tell me about a time in the ACF when you really challenged or surprised yourself? 

I surprised myself when I got promoted to Cadet Sergeant. When my Officer Commanding called me in for my interview i though it was a joke, I never would of thought I would get Sergeant and to top it off I was then the senior cadet in the whole Squadron!

What is your most proud, or what has been your best moment since joining the ACF?

There have been many proud moments, such as passing my Three Star, going to Italy, and I’ve had so many best moments, like my first annual, or my three star field craft. If I had to pick one moment it would be my first time as Squadron senior, because this was a point in my cadet career that I could see how far I had come from and how much I have achieved.

If you hadn't joint the ACF what would you be doing now? 

Well the ACF has given me so many different life skills that will help through my life and has helped me so much. I honestly can say that if I hadn't have joined the cadets I would not be in the position I am now to have to confidence to meet people and talk to people and work in a team, and communicate with people.