Melissa (20) combines her time spent volunteering with the Army Cadets with being a full-time student. She credits the skills she's gained in the ACF with helping her studies and improving her confidence to take part in group discussions and presentations at university.
Melissa first joined the Army Cadets as a cadet with Glasgow and Lanarkshire ACF and enjoyed her experience so much that she became an adult volunteer to help others have as much fun as she did.
As a cadet I went on the Cadet Leadership Course and it was one of the most challenging weeks of my life. The course pushed my abilities to levels I didn’t even know I had. It made me overcome the limitations I had put on myself and allowed me to know that I can go a lot further and do more things if I just push myself. It made me better in every aspect and the friendships I made from that week with other cadets from all over the UK, I still have three years later. Now as a CFAV I encourage every senior cadet to go on that course, to allow them to push their own limits and surprise themselves with the results.
Throughout my time as a cadet I gained so much confidence and experience and as a volunteer this now allows me to pass my knowledge on to the cadets.
Since becoming a volunteer one of the things I am most proud of is completing the Adult Induction Course (AIC), the last course I had to complete to be a full Adult Instructor. At the end of the week-long course I was one of the three people to receive the highly competent grade from the cadre. I was extremely proud of myself as this showed me that other people see that I have the potential to be a great instructor - it was a complete confidence boost and gave me the determination to not be anything less.
I think being in the Army Cadets has also helped my studies a lot. Whenever there are presentations, solo talks or group discussions, I have no issues participating in these anymore. Teaching classes to cadets at the drill hall and running an activity with the company at a camp has increased my ability and confidence to present in front of large groups.
Being in the ACF has made me a lot more outgoing and allowed me to push myself and made me a lot more responsible - I’m on the ball with what is happening and my organisational skills and time-keeping have improved drastically. I’ve also seen so many cadets come through the door as quiet, shy, timid children and turn into well-spoken, driven and confident young adults - it's one of the most rewarding hobbies that you’ll ever have.