Army Cadet Leader invested at the Palace

15 February 2012

On 14th February Ashford man, Colonel Ian Denison OBE, former Commandant of the Middlesex and North West London Army Cadets was invested by HRH Prince of Wales with an OBE, awarded in the New Years Honours List. Col Denison and his family travelled to Buckingham Palace where the investiture took place. He has given 34 years of volunteer service to the ACF, including the last six as Sector Commandant - one year’s volunteering for each of the 34 ACF Cadet Units that he commanded in Middlesex & North West London. The Sector stretches from Staines and Uxbridge in the West, to Barnet in the North and Victoria in Central London.

On first hearing the news he said “It’s a great personal honour to be recognised in this way, but my achievements make only a small contribution to the team that makes the Army Cadet Force such an excellent organisation for young people. The real powerhouse of the movement is in all the Detachments, scattered all over London, where the “Cadet Experience” is delivered so expertly, every week."

He joined the ACF as an adult leader in July 1977 and was posted to the Chelsea Detachment, cap-badged to the London Irish Rifles, based at the Duke of York’s Headquarters in Chelsea. He served there as a Detachment Commander and, subsequently, as a Company Commander for units in the Heathrow area. He spent some years as the Sector’s Training Officer before taking up the role of Deputy Commandant and then Commandant of Middlesex & NW London ACF in 2006. Commenting on his time, he says “Over the past 34 years I have had a great time, met a large number of life-long friends and attended every one of the two-week Camps, each summer but, most importantly, I hope that I’ve played a small part in developing numerous young people into being better citizens. I have really enjoyed everything I have done in all the various roles that I have held within the ACF.”

Colonel Denison is married with a grown up family, and lives in Ashford (Middlesex). In his “day job”, he is a senior manager with the UK Border Agency at Heathrow Airport, where he has worked for the past 23 years. He is also the Chair of Governors at The Matthew Arnold School, in Staines. He ended his tour of duty as Commandant on 31st December and handed over to Lieutenant Colonel Mark Hodson TD.

Colonel Denison has been appointed as the Army HQ ACF Training Advisor. He joined the staff at the National Cadet Training Centre (CTC) at Frimley Park on 1 January. The new job is geared to provide advice on all aspects of ACF Training, both design and delivery, to the CTC’s Commandant and the Training Development Team. In the Spring, he will also take on the role of Chairman of the Tri-Service Cadet Committee for the Reserve Forces and Cadets’ Association for Greater London.

News and picture courtesy of Captain Michael Nolan, PR Officer Middlesex and North West London ACF.