Teenagers honoured by Lord-Lieutenant of Powys

Cadet Colour Sergeant Stephanie Chaplin and Cadet Corporal Grace Buschini both of Gwent and Powys Army Cadet Force; Cadet Sergeant Erin Nodland of No 2 Welsh Wing RAF Air Cadets and Cadet Lance Corporal Antonia Scott-Howell of Llandovery Combined Cadet Force were presented with the badge of their appointment, which will last for one year, by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Powys, Mrs Tia Jones.

The four were selected for the prestigious Lord-Lieutenant’s cadet role after being put forward for nomination by cadet group leaders and the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association for Wales.
The role includes attendance with Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Powys, Mrs Tia Jones, who acts as the Queen’s representative, at a number of official engagements, including Remembrance events, Royal visits and parades.

Mrs Tia Jones said,

So much still remains uncertain and unpredictable because of the pandemic, but tonight we are delighted to reward some of those who have made the time to give something back to society and serve their community

The Cadet Forces are truly amazing organisations, where the mixture of military training, youth work, civilian qualifications and community work helps develop our young people ready to take their place in society.

Stephanie from Neath who joined Gurnos detachment of B Company is following in the footsteps of her brother Kyle who was a Lord-Lieutenant cadet in 2019. The teenager who is studying at Ysgol Gyfyn Ystalyfera is highly motivated and has gained all the various star levels in both the Army Proficiency Certificate syllabus and music.

Grace who aspires to become an Army doctor joined Newtown detachment in 2018 is studying at Llanidloes High School. She has been instrumental in ‘keeping the flame alive’ during lockdown through leading virtual training sessions which she planned and delivered using social media platforms.

Erin from Welshpool who hopes to join the Royal Air Force as a cyberspace communication specialist excels as a squadron senior non-commissioned officer and throughout lockdown supported virtual parade nights. She has a natural aptitude for teaching cadets in a variety of subjects. Erin of 2364 (Welshpool) Squadron is a keen participant in field craft, adventurous training, sports plus shooting and marksmanship.

Antonia from Brecon, who attends Llandovery College, has been a cadet for three and a half years during which time she has developed resilience, teamwork and confidence in her abilities. This included overcoming anxieties following a traumatic skiing holiday to carry on and apply for Ski Canada as well as trips in Italy and Germany. She has been on the Welsh Judo team for six years, training eight hours a week to compete at national level.

The four will follow in the footsteps of Cadet Company Sergeant Major Lucy Vermeire of Gwent and Powys ACF and Cadet Warrant Officer Cerys Ball of No 2 Welsh Wing RAF Air Cadets.
Two adult volunteers – Sergeant Major Instructor Hayley Davies and Staff Sergeant Instructor David Pope both of Gwent and Powys ACF were also recognised for their outstanding service and devotion to duty and awarded the Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificate of Merit.

Hayley, from Hay on Wye, has gone from strength to strength since joining the Army Cadet Force in 2005, rising to became Detachment Commander in 2014. She also become a member of the Professional Support Staff as the Cadet Administration Assistant in February 2019.

She is the ‘go to’ person to fill gaps and support other Detachments where they are struggling with sufficient Cadet Force Adult Volunteers to open the Detachment. In one week alone, Hayley supported two other Detachments as well as opening her own. She is also the Detachment Commander of Crickhowell High School.

Her citation says,

Hayley is a very busy volunteer who will step up where others will step back, she always leads by example and she will never let you down.

Sergeant Major Instructor Hayley Davies is an outstandingly successful example of combining Cadet Force Adult Volunteer and Cadet Administration Assistant roles. She is loyal, determined and dedicated to the Army Cadet Force.

Staff Sergeant Instructor David Pope of Hay on Wye, instantly made an impact on joining the Army Cadet Force in 2018, quickly attending various courses that qualified him to be an all-round instructor and ultimately Detachment Commander for Cwrt-Y-Gollen Detachment within a few months. During the pandemic – he led a seamless move into the virtual training for his adults and cadets.

Since returning to face-to-face training, Staff Sergeant Instructor Pope has had to commit more to his day job, which has meant him having to relinquish the coveted role of Detachment Commander. He is now a Detachment Instructor with Hay on Wye Detachment.

There are nearly 5,000 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 1,500 volunteering adult Instructors and civilian assistants, who give up their spare time on weeknights and weekends.

The virtual awards event held on Thursday 13 January 2022 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.

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