Volunteer recognised for quarter century of service

May 1, 2024
Group of cadet and adults at a medal presentation.

A Caithness Cadet Force Adult Volunteer (CFAV) who recently retired from Army Cadets has been recognised for his quarter century of service to the young people of Caithness and the Highlands.

Major Neil McLean (73), who was a member of 1st Battalion The Highlanders Army Cadet Force, was presented with the second clasp to the Cadet Force Medal – marking 24 years of service – in a presentation held on 4 April at Halkirk Detachment.

Major McLean joined the Battalion in May 1998, where he began as an instructor with Thurso Detachment before later becoming Detachment Commander. In 2006 Neil was appointed as the Company Commander for Caithness Company, a position he held until 2014 where he took a step back to focus on teaching cadets by being appointed as the new Detachment Commander at Wick. In October 2008 he once again stepped up as Company Commander for Caithness and led the Company until he retired in July 2023 after 25 years of service to the Cadet Forces. 

Prior to his retirement he qualified for the second clasp of the Cadet Force Medal. The medal is awarded to CFAVs after 12 years’ service in the Cadet Forces, with a clasp awarded after every additional six years of service, which is worn on the ribbon of the medal.

Major McLean was invited to attend the Company’s Halkirk Detachment to be presented with his clasp, which he received from Ross Company Commander Major George MacDonald in front of the cadets of Halkirk Detachment (main picture, with Major McLean right).

Throughout his service Neil has inspired many young people to achieve their potential.

Staff Sergeant Instructor Connall Bain, who was a former cadet and was taught by Neil, said: “Neil inspired myself and others as cadets, he also helped myself as a new instructor into the Battalion. A great man that will always be welcome in the mess.”

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