The Queen’s representative for Gwynedd has paid tribute to the can-do attitude of five members of the Armed Forces community in the county.
Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Gwynedd, Edmund Seymour Bailey Esq, held his annual awards ceremony at Caernarfon Army Reserve Centre last week to celebrate high achievers from the Reserve and Cadet communities.
“Tonight, gives an opportunity to thank a few people who have contributed so much to their community and society in general – an immense contribution of dedication and commitment,” said Mr Bailey. We have a truly amazing Cadet Force organisation with our Cadets having the tremendous advantage of, from a young age, being instructed by dedicated officers and adult volunteers who give up their free time to make the organisation work.They instil self-discipline, confidence and a can-do attitude into Cadets, which is rare amongst their counterparts, and is often sought by the Armed Forces and prospective employees.”
One of those volunteers is Colour Sergeant Jessica Pugh from Caernarfon, who was presented with the Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificate of Merit for her outstanding service and devotion to duty. The former Cadet who became an adult volunteer with Clwyd and Gwynedd ACF eight years ago, has been instrumental in increasing the number of Cadets parading at Penygroes Detachment from one to 22 within the last three years. She parades with the Corp of Drums at many high profile events and teaches adults to become drum instructors. She has completed the Duke of Edinburgh Leaders course and is involved in charity work in her community. Jessica, 26, who works as a nursery assistant, and outside of Cadets coaches the Caernarfon Celts, a wheelchair basketball team said, “I was quite shocked but delighted to be presented with this award. I enjoyed everything about Cadets so much that the natural progression for me was to become an adult volunteer.”
Two young people from Gwynedd’s Cadet community, Cadet Corporal Osian Rees-Jones, 17, of Caernarfon and Cadet Warrant Officer Katie Marsh, 19, of Bangor were appointed as Lord-Lieutenant .
They will act as ambassadors for their peers when assisting HM Lord-Lieutenant at events such as Royal visits, Remembrance services and public parades. They were presented with their distinctive badge of appointment at the awards ceremony held on Thursday, February 27.
Katie, of No 2 WW RAF Air Cadets, said she had grown greatly in confidence thanks to her experiences in Cadets, which she had joined as a shy 14-year-old. “I have had so many brilliant experiences through Cadets and met so many people but the best thing is undoubtedly the flying which is amazing, and which I’m sure helped develop my confidence,” said Katie, who works as a classroom assistant at Ysgol David Hughes in Menai Bridge.
As a senior Cadet, Katie is actively involved in the day to day running of Gwynedd Squadron and ensures activities run smoothly during parade nights. She has attended one UK annual camp and twenty road marching events during her Cadet career. She volunteers in the community and supports a number of charities and was recognised by the Royal British Legion for her work with the North Wales Poppy Appeal, giving up countless weekends poppy selling. She was also awarded the Millennium Volunteer 200 award in recognition of the 200 hours of community support she gave to various charities and events in the area.
Osian of Clwyd and Gwynedd ACF, who joined the Llanberis detachment in 2015, also supports and fundraises for the Poppy Appeal. The keen rugby player has completed his Junior Cadet Instructors Cadre and now teaches other Cadets within his detachment. The Bangor Military Prep College student who plans to follow in his father’s footsteps into a military career, aims to join the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. He has completed his Cadet Communications and Information’s Systems (CIS) and is also working towards his silver Duke of Edinburgh.
Both Osian and Katie were also presented with a certificate and a cash award from the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales, in recognition of their commitment within their service.
The two will follow in the footsteps of Staff Sergeant Dylan Rowlands of Clwyd and Gwynedd ACF and Staff Cadet Warrant Officer William Jones of No 2 Welsh Wing RAF Air Cadets, who werEawarded the Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificate and Badge for being the 2019 representatives. Dylan, who has joined the Royal Army Medical Corps, was unable to attend the awards evening as he has been deployed to Cyprus, but his certificate was collected on his behalf by his mother Karen Parry-Rowlands.
Mr Peter Sinclair, North Wales regional chairman of RFCA for Wales said, “The award ceremonies, held annually by the Lord-Lieutenants of Wales, are an opportunity for deserving individuals to be publically recognised, within the community in which they live and serve, for their contribution to the Reserve and Cadet Forces.”
There are more than 1,200 volunteers across Wales who help over 4,400 active Cadets. They provide opportunities and inspiration to the next generation. This is often delivered through life changing experiences, skills and qualifications.
The awards ceremony was organised by RFCA for Wales – an organisation that has supported the Armed Forces for over 100 years. To learn more about opportunities available, visit: www.Wales-RFCA.org.