Two local cadets celebrate outstanding success

Pictured at the awards presentation are, from left, Colonel Keith Dowell (Commandant, 2nd NI Battalion Army Cadet Force), Cadet Sergeant Hayden Baynes, Cadet Company Sergeant Major - and Master Cadet - Sarah Watson and Colonel Paul Shepherd (38 (Irish) Brigade, Colonel Cadets).
Pictured at the awards presentation are, from left, Colonel Keith Dowell (Commandant, 2nd NI Battalion Army Cadet Force), Cadet Sergeant Hayden Baynes, Cadet Company Sergeant Major - and Master Cadet - Sarah Watson and Colonel Paul Shepherd (38 (Irish) Brigade, Colonel Cadets).

Two local teenagers have been celebrating outstanding success at a formal awards presentation, marking high achievement in the Army Cadet Force.

Cadet Company Sergeant Major Sarah Watson from the Dromore Detachment ACF marked the completion of her hugely successful Cadet ‘career’ with the achievement of Master Cadet status.

Established in 1989, the aim of the Master Cadet Course is to broaden and further develop the leadership, instructional and administrative responsibilities of senior cadets. Attendance at the prestigious course is by invitation and, even when the course has been successfully completed, appointment as a Master Cadet is solely at the discretion of the ACF County Commandant.

At the same ceremony it was a double whammy for Cadet Sergeant Hayden Baynes from Banbridge Detachment ACF who demonstrated his skills with the successful completion of the Level 2 BTEC First Diploma in Public Services and progression to Senior Cadet Instructor.

Paying tribute to the talents of the teenagers, Colonel Keith Dowell, Commandant of 2nd (Northern Ireland) Battalion Army Cadet Force, said: “Banbridge and Dromore are – and always have been - fertile grounds for ACF talent and these two high achieving Cadets demonstrate the calibre of the young people we attract in the region. The achievements they are marking are a reflection of their commitment as well as their abilities, for nothing is gained without hard work and determination. The awards also reflect the commitment of their Adult Instructors who devote their time, energy and expertise to inspiring our Cadets and helping them to achieve great things.

“In today’s highly competitive world, achievements such as these, coupled with the wider experiences and training offered by the ACF, are a real asset to young people, giving them something really positive to add to their Personal Statements as they apply for college or university places or take their first steps into the world of work. They are also a fantastic boost to confidence, helping our Cadets to realise just how much they can achieve when they set their minds to something.”