Army Cadet Volunteers from Ross-shire have recently had their outstanding dedication recognised.
The adult volunteers, from 1st Battalion The Highlanders’ Ross Company, received their presentations at the Battalion’s Cadet Training Centre in Dingwall as part of a Company Adult Engagement event.
Company Sergeant Major Instructor Craig MacIver (34) and Sergeant Major Instructor Lorraine Woolley (57), were both presented with the Cadet Force Warrant. The Cadet Force Warrant was created in August 2020 after consent from the Defence Minister and is designed to recognise the value placed by the Ministry of Defence on the Senior Non-Commissioned Adults within the UK’s Cadet Forces.
CSMI MacIver rejoined the Army Cadets in 2016 as a volunteer with Alness Detachment, having been previously part of the organisation from 2005-2012. In December 2016 Craig moved to Dingwall Detachment as an instructor, where he was appointed as the Detachment’s Commander in 2018 and has only recently relinquished the command of the Detachment to SMI Woolley who took over Dingwall Detachment last month. Craig was appointed as Ross Company’s Company Sergeant Major in 2019, as CSM he works closely with the Company Commander in promoting Cadet Training and also represents his fellow adults within the Company.
SMI Woolley – who is the Detachment Commander for Dingwall Detachment – is the battalion’s longest serving female adult instructor, having joined the Cadets in 1992 as an instructor with the battalion’s Inverness Company. On top of running a detachment, Lorraine is also very active in the cadet shooting world and is part of the Battalion Target Rifle Coaching Team which has seen her take cadets to represent the Battalion in the Inter-Service Cadet Target Rifle Meeting at Bisley Ranges in Surrey. The Cadet Force Warrant will be presented to all adult volunteers on promotion to Sergeant Major Instructor in the Army Cadets and their equivalent within the other Cadet Services, this includes those who have already achieved and hold the rank of SMI, to highlight the effort, achievement and the commitment required to reach this rank.
Staff Sergeant Instructor Alastair Smyth (42), who is an instructor with Alness Detachment, was presented with the 1st Clasp of the Cadet Force Medal which marks 18 years of service to the Cadet Forces. SSI Smyth has been involved in the ACF since November 2002, having already been a cadet with the Combined Cadet Force (CCF). Like SMI Woolley, Alastair is a member of the Battalion’s Shooting Team training cadets for upcoming regional and national competition, skills that have been picked up by the National Shooting Team where in 2017 he was selected to help the British Cadet Rifle Team – the Athelings – training them for their annual exchange in Canada.
The final presentation was made to Potential Instructor Andy Tait (19), from Dingwall Detachment, who was awarded his Master Cadet Certificate which he completed in his final months as a cadet last year, but due to lockdown was unable to be awarded it at the time.
The Master Cadet Course broadens and further develops the leadership, instructional and administrative responsibilities of 4-Star cadets, with the intention of making better use of their abilities. Due to lockdown last year the course was moved online in the form of a virtual assessment board where the cadets were asked a series of leadership questions and scenarios. Andy rejoined the Battalion earlier this year, having only aged out as a cadet at the end of 2020. During his time as a cadet Andy had climbed through the ranks, reaching the rank of Cadet Regimental Sergeant Major. He has taken advantage of everything being an Army Cadet can offer, from representing the Battalion in International Shooting Competitions at Bisley to taking part in Rock Climbing qualification courses in Spain (read about that trip HERE). In 2019 he was appointed as the Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet of Ross & Cromarty, where he assisted the Lord-Lieutenant in their official duties as Her Majesty the Queen’s appointed representative of the area.
The adults were awarded their various presentations by Battalion Commandant Colonel Mike MacDonald at the Battalion’s Cadet Training Centre in Dingwall.