Lance Corporal Sebastian Edwards, 16, was a pupil at St Bede’s School and is hoping to go to Reigate College in September. A cadet at Redhill Detachment ACF, Sebastian joined the ACF three years ago with friends as it sounded good and he wanted something fun and challenging to do. He said “I love the field exercises and the shooting because we don’t often get the opportunity to do it. The coasteering was fun – I’ve never done it before but I enjoyed it.”
Lance Corporal Kevin Perera, 16, is a pupil at St Bede’s School where he is about to go into the Sixth Form. A member of Redhill Detachment, he joined the ACF three years ago with friends and to get the military experience. He said “This Annual Camp has been great and I’ve enjoyed the adventure training days a lot, as well as the field craft and assault course which was good fun.” The highlight of Kevin’s ACF Career to date has been his promotion which took place during this year’s Annual Inspection as well as last November taking part in the Orienteering Nationals in Yorkshire where he achieved fifth position.
Staff Instructor James Armstrong is a volunteer Adult Instructor at Dorking and Reigate Detachment. He joined the ACF as staff two years ago having been a cadet himself. He said “I was trying to join the Army and sustained an injury so as I had enjoyed my time as a cadet so very much I wanted to give something back. I enjoy it and I get a lot out of it; especially watching the cadets get something out of it. It’s very rewarding seeing them progress and develop. James is an Emergency Care Support Worker for SECAMB (South East Central Ambulance) and enjoys the fun and social side of volunteering with Surrey ACF. He added “I’m able to develop my people management skills and via cadets I’m now trained to teach first aid which is a skill and qualification I can take into my civilian workplace”.
SSI Michael Exley, 43, volunteers as a Cadet Force Instructor at Redhill Detachment ACF. A wedding and portrait photographer as well as a stay at home Dad for his two year old daughter, Michael joined Surrey ACF three and a half years ago. He said “I spent 21 years in the Army as a radio operator with the Royal Logistics Corp and when we moved from Manchester to Crawley, I thought it would be a good way of meeting new people and making new friends. I’m always interested in my local community and I also wanted to utilise my qualifications from my military service. I find it very rewarding and a lot of fun. I especially enjoy seeing the marked improvement in the cadets after they’ve been coming along for a while”. He added “It does take up a lot of time but my wife is very supportive and understanding especially as she is an Army Reservist herself with 150 Recovery Company in Croydon”. Michael wants to build on his existing skills and is currently doing his Duke of Edinburgh Assessor qualification which will be of great benefit to Surrey ACF.
Cadet Chloe Link, 15, is an ACF Cadet at Yorktown Detachment having joined in October last year. A pupil at Frogmore Community College, she joined the ACF because she needed to do something with her spare time. She said “I wanted to make new friends that I have shared interests with and I want to join the Army. This is my first Annual Camp and I’ve enjoyed the shooting most of all as well as the adventure training days, especially the tunnelling, low ropes, army tanks, mountain biking and the coasteering. It’s all been great fun”.