Sir Jonathan Van-Tam MBE, or ‘Colonel JVT’ as he happy to be known is Honorary Colonel for the Army Cadets Medical Support Volunteers. He comes from a military family and his grandfather and father respectively served in the British and French armies. Colonel JVT’s father then went on to become a teacher in Mathematics and Commandant of Boston Grammar School’s CCF. Colonel JVT himself was an RAF CCF cadet (Cdt Flight Sergeant), gaining over 20 hours flying experience and his gliding wings.
After studying medicine in Nottingham from 1982-1987, he quickly joined Lincolnshire ACF in 1988 as County Medical Officer and held a reserve commission in the Royal Army Medical Corps from 1988-2000. Alongside medical duties, he gained qualifications as a 0.22 range instructor and progressed from Unit Expedition Leader (UEL) to Joint Services Mountain Expedition Leader (JSMEL Summer). He has taken army cadets on numerous expeditions in Snowdonia and the GR5 high level trekking path through the French Alps. In addition, he has privately climbed Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Fuji. Colonel JVT led a Lincs ACF cadet team for 9 consecutive years in the Cheviot 2000 fell race; this involved a 22-mile mountainous course with 11 peaks, each one over 2000 feet.
After an academic career in public health, concentrating in respiratory viruses and vaccines, and one which took him to the World Health Organisation and to heart of the UK Government, Colonel JVT returned to the ACF as an Honorary Colonel in 2022 and is open about the fact that he’s spent over 8000 days in the intervening period missing the organisation and all its stands for. He is also Honorary Colonel to 306 Hospital Support Regiment.
Quote “I am so pleased to be back with ACF, albeit in a different role this time around. It remains the same fabulous organisation that I left in 2000, supporting the development of young people towards fulfilling lives and future citizenship. It is firmly rooted in the values of the British Army that I personally hold dear. Cadets of all ages and abilities and from all walks of life gain so much in terms of staying active, learning new skills, developing confidence, self-motivation, and making new friends.”