Anthony Steven became Deputy Commandant of Cumbria ACF having been out of military uniform for 19 years and with no prior ACF experience. In January 2015 he was appointed as Cadet Commandant. As his most recent venture before joining the ACF was composing a musical production Anthony couldn’t have had a more alternative entry into the ACF if he had tried.
The ACF is a vocation where our mission is to enable our cadets to make the best transition from adolescence to adult life, regardless of whether they join the military or not.
“I applied to join the ACF just after I had completed a three year project writing, composing, raising funds for and producing a musical, which I found to be a fantastic leadership, organisational and logistical challenge. A few weeks previously, a journalist from a local paper interviewed me about the production and asked what I wanted to do after the show was over, to which I responded that I wanted to find a county-wide leadership role. So when the previous Cadet Executive Officer of Cumbria ACF (one of the sponsors of my musical) asked me if I would be interested in applying for the role of Deputy Commandant, I realised almost immediately that this appointment was exactly what I had been looking for. I’m pleased to say that it has been everything I wanted it to be and more.
“I most enjoy taking the time to listen to and speak individually with cadets and adult volunteers. They are the main reason why we give so much of our time and energy to the organisation and I want them to know personally that their hopes, dreams and ambitions are important to me. I also enjoy listening to sound, workable ideas from adult volunteers, permanent staff, parents and cadets. Good ideas and new ways of doing things are what will enable our organisation to continue to evolve in a rapidly changing world, so I always welcome original thinking on how we can improve, both individually and collectively.
It is simply the most life-affirming decision I have made in recent years and one that I do not regret for an instant."