The Queen’s representative for the county has paid tribute to the Cadet Force organisation saying it provided exactly what teenagers of today needed.
HM Lord-Lieutenant of Gwent, Brigadier Robert Aitken CBE CStJ was speaking at his annual evening awards ceremony at Raglan Barracks in Newport.
“What a wonderful organisation the Cadet Force organisation is and you are all great representatives of it,” he told award winning members of the Cadets and Reserves.
“What the Cadet Force is so good at doing is providing controlled danger – a degree of excitement in a structured and a safe manner so that the best of those young people can emerge. That is the key with teenagers – to give them parameters and say within those parameters you have complete freedom of movement but you step outside those parameters and you are out of order and those are the rules of the game.”
He said that if anyone needed evidence that there was plenty to celebrate in the young people of Gwent, then they only had to listen to the citations of those being appointed as his Lord-Lieutenant Cadets, as the list of their achievements was ‘quite extraordinary.’
He added that none of these great things would happen without the volunteers to whom the whole community owed a debt of gratitude and their heartfelt thanks.
Four teenagers, including two Coleg Gwent students and a youngster, who made it a family affair with his mum also being recognised for her outstanding work within the Cadet Force organisation, were appointed to the role of Lord-Lieutenant Cadets for 2020 and received a distinctive badge of their appointment.
Able Cadet Alex Husselbee, 14, from Cwmbran, was joined by his mother Leeanne, who was presented with a Certificate of Merit by the Lord-Lieutenant.
The other three Cadets appointed were Cadet Staff Sergeant Daniel Williams,16, from Newport; Cadet Sergeant Connor Porter, 16, of Abercarn, and Cadet Sergeant Jack Wilson, 18, of Ystrad Mynach.
Alex, of Torfaen Sea Cadets and Royal Marine Cadets, attends Cwmbran High School, and aspires to join the Royal Navy as an engineer. He has a substantial number of boating qualifications and was awarded the prestigious Coxswain Award earlier this year.
Daniel, of Gwent and Powys ACF, who studies at Coleg Gwent in Newport, hopes to join the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers as a vehicle engineer. He joined Raglan Barracks Detachment in Newport in 2015. His achievements include securing a gold medal in the demanding Cadet Cambrian patrol exercise and attending the coveted Cadet Leadership course in Canada. He said, “Going to Canada last year was my best experience so far in Cadets.”
Connor, another Coleg Gwent student, joined No 275 Nantyglo and Blaina Squadron in 2016. A natural marksmen , the youngster who has excelled in all aspects of Air Cadet life, but especially shooting and drill, aims to join the Royal Signals as an officer.
Jack, who is studying Maths, Physics and Geography at Lewis School in Pengam, is an excellent role model and plans to join the Navy. The teenager, who is one of the primary technical instructors at No 2353 Ystrad Mynach Squadron, is looking forward to meeting the Royal Family during his year as a Lord-Lieutenant Cadet.
The four will follow in the footsteps of Able Cadet Luke Lewis,(Torfaen SCC); Cadet RSM Joseph Waters, from Newport, (Gwent & Powys ACF); Cadet CSM Toby Pearl, from Abergavenny,(Gwent and Powys ACF); Cadet Warrant Officer Ethan Mallet from Ystrad Mynach, (No 1 WW RAF Air Cadets) and Cadet Warrant Officer Sophie Rodway, from Blackwood (No1 WW RAF Air Cadets) who were awarded the Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificate and Badge for being the 2019 representatives.
Ten people were recognised for their outstanding service and devotion to duty and awarded the Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificate of Merit.
These included: Mr Jason Hart of Newport, 160th (Welsh) Brigade; Corporal Thomas Woodward (614 Sqn RAuxAF); Captain Louise McLeod of Newport , (Gwent & Powys ACF); CSMI Keith Foster of Newport, (Gwent & Powys ACF); Flight Lieutenant Thomas Beach of Newport, (No 1 WW RAF Air Cadets);Warrant Officer Andrew Davies of Cwmbran, (No 1 WW RAF Air Cadets); Mr Mervyn Reece (Torfaen Sea Cadets) of Cwmbran and Mrs Leeanne Husselbee also of Cwmbran and (Torfaen Sea Cadets).
In addition both Captain Jessica Bowman (Gwent & Powys ACF) and Lieutenant Sara Russel (Gwent and Powys ACF) will be presented with their Certificates of Merit at a later date.
Mervyn, 81, has taught hundreds of Cadets during his 30 years as an adult volunteer at Torfaen Sea Cadets, where he is President. His citation described him as, “one of the finest examples of an extraordinary role model to Cadets and Instructors……..a genuine, fantastic volunteer and friend with a heart of gold who truly makes a difference.”
There are thousands of Cadets in Wales who gain skills and qualifications through working with local communities, charities and taking part in a variety of practical activities. The Cadet syllabus is delivered by hundreds of volunteering adult instructors and civilian assistants, who give up their spare time on weeknights and weekends.
The event was organised by the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (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 or contact @RFCAforWales on Twitter.