A teenager who flew solo at 17 is one of two young people appointed as Lord-Lieutenant cadets for South Glamorgan for 2021.
Cadet Flight Sergeant Thomas John from Barry (pictured above) and Leading Cadet Katrina Paterson (below) from Cardiff were appointed by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of South Glamorgan Mrs Morfudd Meredith at a virtual ceremony attended by approximately 100 people, held on Thursday, February 4.
The role which lasts for a year includes attendance with Mrs Meredith, who acts as the Queen’s representative, at a number of official engagements such as Remembrance events, Royal visits and parades.
Mrs Meredith said, “The Cadet Forces are truly amazing organisations, where the mixture of military training, youth work, civilian qualifications and community work helps develop our young ready to take their place in society.
“It gives them confidence to make them excellent team players and leaders of tomorrow who will help build a better world.”
Thomas, of 372 Barry Squadron Royal Air Force Air Cadets, achieved his private pilots licence and flew solo last summer. He is a squadron marksman, a basic radio operator and a youth first aider. He is also a talented sportsman who has excelled in rugby and football, representing No 1 Welsh Wing and Wales and West Region over the last five years.
Katrina, 16, of Cardiff Sea Cadets Corps, who is an excellent role model and a popular cadet, respected amongst her peers, hopes to join the Royal Navy as an officer.
The two will follow in the footsteps of Leading Cadet Joshua Edwards of Barry Sea Cadets; Leading Cadet Lilimai Black of Penarth Sea Cadets; Cadet Corporal Madisyn Morgan of Dyfed & Glamorgan ACF and Cadet Flight Sergeant Rhian Horton of No 1 Welsh Wing RAF Air Cadets.
Joshua, Lilimai, Madisyn and Rhian were all presented with Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet Certificate and Badge for 2020.
Two reservists from the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers – Captain George Edwards and Sapper Andrew Watts – were recognised for their outstanding service and devotion to duty and awarded the Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificate of Merit.
Captain Edwards who was Regimental lead for Exercise Cambrian Patrol led his team to a silver medal, a significant achievement for a reservist unit.
He was mobilised on Operation RESCRIPT supporting his local community in response to the covid-19 pandemic, where he was employed in the Joint Military Centre for Wales as a staff officer in the Dyfed Powys local resilience forum.
While Sapper Watts has ‘exceeded the level of responsibility normally expected of such a junior soldier, a highly attentive and quick-learning individual’, says his citation.
There are over 4,400 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 virtual awards event was organised and broadcast by the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (RFCA) for Wales – an organisation that has supported the Armed Forces for over 100 years.