Probationary Instructor Joe Ash had no previous experience of the Army Cadets until his son Joseph joined Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders Battalion ACF as a cadet. When he saw how the ACF had changed his son he decided to become involved as an adult volunteer.
Joe runs the family vehicle breakdown company, having started working there when he left school at 16, and has found that being a volunteer with Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders Battalion ACF has helped him personally and in business. He finds talking in public to people much easier now that he has had training and support from the Army Cadet Force.
“Being in the ACF has made a big impact on my business. I plan more and my paperwork is more organised than it ever was before. I might have become a bit obsessive on that side of things now!"
“Being in the ACF has made a big impact on my business. I plan more and my paperwork is more organised than it ever was before. I might have become a bit obsessive on that side of things now!
“I completed the Public Relations course last year. It is not something I would have considered doing before as it would have cost me a lot of money, but it has been a big plus for me personally and in business. Even at my age, the ACF has helped me to be more comfortable speaking in public and this has also made it easier for me when dealing with customers.During your time at the ACF you are constantly challenged to make sure you are doing the best that you can and the courses are also fantastic.
“My main reason for joining was seeing how my own son changed. You see young kids start shy and very quiet and within a few years you see them grow into a better person, and do challenging things that, without the training the Army Cadet Force offers, might never have happened.
“There have been many special moments for me with my son. At annual camp in Altcar 2015 it was my son’s first camp with me there. The cadets and the adults pulled out all the stops to get a birthday cake to him during fieldcraft and I was allowed out to visit him. It wasn’t until then that you realise how much of a family the Army Cadets becomes. The friendship and bonds it makes, all his friends standing in the middle of a field covered in muck, singing happy birthday to him, was a fantastic moment.
“Also when my son was on his Senior Cadet course and was nominated the best cadet, I never felt so proud that this was my son. It was also a first for the Argylls to have a cadet win this honour.
Joe (right), with his son Cadet Company Sergeant Major Joseph Ash
“I have done things that I would never have thought of doing and made some lifelong friends, but the highlight and most memorable time that will stay with me for the rest of my life was going on a battlefield tour, something that I have never put a thought to until I joined the ACF.”