‘Once a Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet – always a Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet’ – that’s the message from the Queen’s representative for Dyfed.
“It’s a very special, unique accolade and you should all be very proud of yourself,” said Miss Sara Edwards, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Dyfed, to her incoming and outgoing Cadets at her annual awards ceremony at Picton Barracks in Carmarthen. Amongst those recognised was a young man who had to learn to walk and talk again after undergoing emergency brain surgery a year ago and is now pursuing his ambition of joining the RAF.
Cadet Warrant Officer Matthew Clark, 19, of Cardigan was one of seven teenagers appointed as HM Lord-Lieutenant Cadets, for Dyfed for 2020. The event attended by more than 100 people, also recognised the achievements of five outgoing Cadets and honoured six other members of the Armed Forces community.
“I am delighted to be here to pay tribute to Dyfed’s thriving Reserve and Cadet community,” said Miss Edwards. “It was an enormous pleasure and privilege to listen to those impressive citations. And I think my most important duty this evening is to say a huge thank you and well done to all of you. We are extremely fortunate to have such very fine, highly trained part-time soldiers, sailors and air Reservists in our community and as for the volunteers, I really do not know where we would be without the volunteers.”
She said the Cadet Organisation was a wonderful organisation “encapsulating enthusiasm, discipline, dedication and all those things that helped our young people become responsible, worthwhile citizens of the future.” She told her incoming Cadets that they would be in fact serving the Queen as well as their community and that she hoped they enjoyed their year.
The group included:
- Cadet Warrant Officer Matthew Clark of No 3 Welsh Wing RAF Air Cadets who showed incredible strength and fortitude to recover from emergency brain surgery last February, just before he was due to join the RAF. “The first thing I said when I woke up from surgery was ‘I need to get to Cadets!’,” said Matthew, who had been about to leave for a Cadet meeting when he collapsed, suffering from an abscess on his brain. “Cadets is like a second family to me, and that was really brought home to me when I was in hospital last year and everyone kept in touch with me, sending me regular messages.” Matthew, balances two part time jobs, studies Public Services in college and still manages to find time for No 1429 (Cardigan and Aberporth) Squadron where he is an outstanding role model for young Cadets. He is due to complete his Gold Duke of Edinburgh this year and will be applying again shortly to join the RAF.
- Cadet Sergeant Mylissa Schoema, 16, of Llangyndeyrn, is delighted to be following in the footsteps of her elder sister Natasha, as a Lord Lieutenant Cadet. The Dyfed and Glamorgan Army Cadet Force member has grown hugely in confidence since joining the Burry Port Detachment in 2015. She now excels in instructing junior Cadets on all subjects relevant to the ACF syllabus.
- Cadet Sergeant Jemima Clements, 18, of Llanelli, is also following in the footsteps of a sibling with her brother Daniel having been a Lord Lieutenant Cadet three years ago. In fact she followed all three of her older brothers into No 1054 (Llanelli) Squadron of the No 3 Welsh Wing RAF Air Cadets. The Coleg Sir Gar student, who has achieved her Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, is very active in youth charity work when not studying or undertaking cadet activities.
- Leading Cadet Rhys Hughes-Phillips, 16, of Milford Haven, joined the Milford Haven Sea Cadets and Royal Marine Cadets at the age of 10, and has enjoyed all aspects of the programme and now aims to join the Navy. His qualifications include power boating, sailing, first aid, marine engineering, navigation and rowing.
- Cadet Sergeant Joshua Cozier-Bowen, 16, of Llandysul, has made an impressive impact in G Company since joining the Cardigan Detachment of Dyfed and Glamorgan Army Cadet Force in 2015. The youngster, who is as at home on the parade square as he is covered in camouflage cream on a fieldcraft weekend, aspires to join the Parachute Regiment.
- Cadet Sergeant Katherine Fear, 16, of Llandovery College Combined Cadet Force, who is an accomplished climber and skilled in shooting, showed great courage when she took part in a static line jump at the Army Parachute Centre in Netheravon. She said, “I’m really excited and looking forward to the next year as a Lord-Lieutenant Cadet.”
- Petty Officer Cadet Tegan Styles has packed a lot into her time with Tenby Sea Cadets. The Henry Tudor School in Pembroke pupil, whose parents and siblings are also active in Cadets has reached the highest rank and hopes to join the Navy. Her achievements range from advanced seamanship, multiple water proficiencies to mechanical engineering and air rifle marksmanship.
All seven, who were presented with their distinctive badge of appointment, were selected for their outstanding extra-curricular achievements and will now accompany HM Lord-Lieutenant at official engagements. It will include playing an active role at ceremonial events, such as Royal visits and Remembrance services held in Dyfed.
HM Lord-Lieutenant of Dyfed’s Cadets for 2019 received a badge and certificate for their year of service. The group included; Petty Officer Cadet Amy Thomson (Fishguard Sea Cadets); Cadet Sergeant Max Thompson (Milford Haven Royal Marine Cadet Det); Cadet RSM Charlie Richards (Cardigan Detachment); Cadet Sergeant Catrin Maynard (621 Carmarthen Squadron) and Cadet Sergeant Kyle Cook (Llandovery College Combined Cadet Force).
A Reservist and five adult volunteers were recognised for their outstanding service and devotion to duty and awarded the Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificate of Merit. These included: Sergeant Adam Cooper 157 (Welsh) Regiment RLC; Chief Petty Officer Steven Hughes (Fishguard Sea Cadets); Staff Sergeant Instructor Mark Cable (Dyfed & Glamorgan Army Cadet Force); Staff Sergeant Instructor Janette Davies (Dyfed and Glamorgan Army Cadet Force); Pilot Office Tamitha Richards (No 3 Welsh Wing RAF Air Cadets) and Mrs Valerie Callaghan (Fishguard Sea Cadets).
There are more than 4,400 Cadets in Wales who come from the Sea Cadet Corps, Army Cadet Force and RAF Air Cadets. They are given opportunities to grow through life changing experiences, gain new skills and achieve qualifications as they enjoy fun with friends.
The event was organised by RFCA for Wales – an organisation that has supported the Armed Forces for over 100 years. RFCA for Wales is the enabling voice for Reserves and Cadets in Wales.