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Lord-Lieutenant of West Glamorgan pays tribute to reserves and cadets in the county

The Queen’s representative for West Glamorgan has praised the dedication and commitment of reservists, volunteers, and cadets for the service they give to the country and our communities.

Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of West Glamorgan Mrs Louise Fleet JP was speaking at her virtual annual awards ceremony, held on Thursday 27 January 2022.

In what has been a challenging year again for everyone, the continuing influence of covid means that much still remains uncertain and unpredictable but this ceremony reminds us of the constant and reliable presence of the military in our communities and the loyal service given by all

said Mrs Fleet.

The important and integral role that our military reserve play in the defence of our country has been enhanced and reinforced in the Government’s recent Future Reserves 2030 strategy. Being drawn from and residing within our communities reservists bring valuable skills and knowledge to the military reserve and skills acquired as a reservist undoubtedly enhance our local communities.

Mrs Fleet also praised cadets and the cadet force adult volunteers for their commitment in guiding and enhancing the cadet experience.

During the past year, once again, the work you have all done to mitigate the impact of covid has been immense. You have kept the cadets engaged in on line activities and carried out all that could be expected of you to prepare for the return to in person activities. Throughout 2021 your loyalty to your units has been outstanding and without you the impact on the young people you support would have been much more severe,

she added.

2 young people were appointed to the role of Lord-Lieutenant cadets for 2022 and have received a distinctive badge of their appointment. Congratulations to Leading Cadet Harri Oglesby of Neath Sea Cadet Corps and Cadet Warrant Officer Victoria Symes of No 3 Welsh Wing RAF Air Cadets.

Harri, from Neath, who has been a cadet since he was ten, has completed the junior training programme, earning the top award of the Commodore’s pennant – only the second cadet ever within his unit to achieve this award.

While Victoria, from Swansea, was pivotal in helping to revitalise No 1358 (Pontardawe) Squadron, which was in the brink of closure, when she transferred to it from No 610 (Chester) Squadron in 2019.

The 2 will follow in the footsteps of Petty Office Cadet Amelia Willn of Neath Sea Cadet Corps; Cadet Regimental Sergeant Major Jessica Nedin of Dyfed and Glamorgan Army Cadet Force and Cadet Warrant Office Kristian Morgan of No3 Welsh Wing RAF Air Cadets who were awarded the Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificate and Badge for being the 2021 representatives.

4 people were recognised for their outstanding service and devotion to duty and awarded the Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificate of Merit.

These were Captain Steven Gadd of Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia); Mrs Victoria Wilkinson of 157 (Welsh) Regiment RLC; Lieutenant Neil Jones (RNR) of Neath Sea Cadet Corps and Sergeant Byron Thomas of No3 Welsh Wing RAF Air Cadets.

Captain Gadd’s jovial, larger-than-life personality and work ethic has been fundamental to the on-going success of 108 (Welsh) Field Squadron which he joined as a reserve in 2004, following a career in the regular Army Royal Engineers.

Mrs Wilkinson, from Neath, has made an exemplary contribution to the continued administration and operation of 157 (Welsh) Regiment RLC throughout its many organisational and structural changes over the years.

Lieutenant Jones, from Port Talbot, who started his career as a cadet 40 years ago, has trained hundreds of cadets as an adult volunteer and attained every rank and rate within the organisation.

Sergeant Thomas, from Swansea, also joined as a cadet, shows breath taking drive and motivation, always encouraging cadets to involve themselves in every activity within the squadron and just as importantly to mix with other squadrons and cadets within the sector.

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 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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