As a former cadet 2nd Lieutenant Ross Goodband credits the ACF with giving him confidence, an ability to communicate and other transferable skills that have helped him succeed. Ross is now a Detachment Commander with Cambridgeshire ACF and aims to rise up the Officer ranks – despite a busy day job as an Environmental Consultant.
"I don’t think other youth organisations can really compare"
Having been a cadet and an adult volunteer I don’t think other youth organisations can really compare. In the ACF you can go from community events and such like one week to being knee deep in mud on exercise the next.
I’ve seen some of the shyest cadets come completely ‘out of their boxes’ after only a few months with us and it’s amazing to watch. The entire set up of the ACF, with a rank structure for the cadets coupled with a team focus and the different opportunities on offer go a long way to empowering cadets.
Some of the situations cadets find themselves in aren’t always easy. It’s fine to be confident and enthusiastic about Fieldcraft or an expedition in the sun – but when it starts raining and its dark, that’s where you really start to see the team spirit kick in, and they start supporting and encouraging each other. And that ability to function well, even in challenging circumstances, is an important life skill that the ACF is very good at fostering.
I reckon that the Army Cadets is 75% responsible for every job I’ve ever had. I used to be rubbish at presentations and getting my point across to people but the ACF has given me confidence, communication skills and a lot of transferable skills.
12- to 18-year-olds are possibly the hardest audience you could ever face. If you can stand up in front of them and comfortably talk, you can do pretty much anything.