8 December 2018
Potential Instructor Lewis Gill is 21 and attends Royal Tunbridge Wells, Detachment, D Coy. He works as a sales administrator and data analyst for a luxury stationery and gifts distributor.
We speak to him about his time in the ACF
How do you think you’ve benefited from being in the Army Cadets?
I had been in and out of trouble at school and was very shy and closed off when I first started, but by the time I left I was well disciplined and all round more confident. Now as an instructor I can build my confidence even further and feel rewarded by helping kids just like me turn their lives around.
Why did you decide to join?
I had always wanted to join the army from a very young age and I heard about the ACF and saw it as a good stepping stone. After finding out I couldn't join the army due to medical reasons I decided to join the ACF again as an instructor to give back what I got from being a cadet.
What are your favourite ACF activities and why?
First aid. I love helping people and it's the most important subjects we do as it can save yourself or someone else's life, I’ve gained a First Aid at Work qualification.
Have you faced any challenges in life that the ACF has helped you overcome?
I suffer from depression and anxiety which can make many day-to-day tasks a challenge, and turn my day into a bad one with one small thing happening, but knowing I have a parade night coming up in the next few days or a training weekend in the near future to look forward to, it helps me get over the difficulties I face because I know I'll be surrounded by people I know.
I’ve met a lot of my friends through the ACF, both when I was a cadet and now that I'm an instructor. Over the years the ACF has become a second family to me
I think the organisational skills I've developed will help me gain higher positions and more responsibility at my current job in the future.
Friends and family have said that I'm more likely to see a task through to the end, even if it's not a very enjoyable job, discipline I’ve learnt through cadets.
I didn't think I'd make it through my IIC lessons simply because I thought my anxiety would hold me back, but I surprised myself and passed the course with positive comments from the assessors
I take pride in the fact that the cadets at my detachment can turn to me and trust me whenever they face a problem or need help with something
If you hadn’t joined the ACF what would you be doing now?
I'd be leading a very boring life with just work to fill it and I'd be worse off with my mental health because I don't think I'd have anyone to help me as much as the ACF has. I never would have gained the discipline to get through my school exams with the grades I got, so I definitely wouldn't have a job as good as the one I'm in now