Monthly Archives: January 2018

Championship Cadets!

Cadet Corporal Callum Smith – ACF


Callum joined the cadets because of his keen interest in everything to do with the military.
During his time with his unit, he has learnt how to command others effectively when under pressure plus gaining skills and qualifications in team work activities such as shooting and First Aid.

Cad Cpl C Smith
Callum said: “I have really enjoyed all the annual camps and making new friends.  The cadets has helped me to work hard towards my goals of playing for Team UK in Statewars in the US.  It’s the US National Inline Roller Hockey Championships and we are the only outside team.”


Petty Officer Emily Day – SCC


Petty Officer Emily, who has been in the Sea Cadets since the age of 12, was recruited by her mother, who was herself a cadet at the Farnham Unit.

SCC PO Emily

Throughout her time in the corps, PO Emily has taken part in almost every activity that it is possible to do in the SCC but has a passion for Drill.  PO Emily, along with other team members from Portsmouth, have represented Southern Area in the National Drill at HMS Raleigh in the Colour Party Competition, in which they have been victorious in each time.  As well as being adept at Drill, Emily is an excellent Football Player and Dinghy Sailor, representing the Area in the National Football Competition to become National Champions.

Conferment Of Honorary Freedom To C Company, 3rd Battalion Of Princess Of Wales’s Royal Regiment

C Coy 3PWRR was bestowed the honour of the “Freedom of Medway” by Medway Council at a special meeting on Thursday 25th January 2018.

The honorary freedom of the borough is the highest civic distinction that can
be conferred upon individuals or collective bodies in recognition of
outstanding service or particular civic association, ensuring the honourable
perpetuation of their memory within the community.


Our armed forces act in the highest traditions of our country in the conduct of
their Operations. Reservists and Regular servicemen and women share the
burden and risks associated with service, doing so in the most difficult
circumstances. The Army Reserve is the largest of the Reserve Forces, and
provides support to the Regular Army at home and overseas, and throughout
its history almost every major operation has seen reservists operate alongside
their Regular counterparts.
Kent and the South East is particularly honoured to have the Princess of
Wales’s Royal Regiment (PWRR) stationed in its area. “The Tigers”, as they
are affectionately known, have a history dating back to The Buffs in 1572, and
then locally in the 50th of Foot (Royal West Kent’s) in 1756 which was the first
infantry regiment of the line, traditionally raised in Kent. This makes it one of
the most senior regiments in the British Army and has provided distinguished
service since then. After several re-organisations and mergers it was named
after Diana, Princess of Wales. The “Tigers” nickname harks back to one of
the predecessor regiments; the 67th South Hampshire’s who were awarded
the use of the image of a Royal Bengal Tiger on their colours in recognition of
their 21 years active service in India. They embody the virtues of courage,
self- discipline and loyalty. They have a fierce pride in their connections to the
south east of England.
Just before World War 1, the 3rd (Reserves) battalion of the Queens Own
Royal West Kent Regiment were formed as a training Regiment based in
Chattenden and then went onto Rochester in November 1914, and in the
summer of 1918 formed part of the Thames and Medway Garrison. The 9th
(Reserves) battalion were formed at Chatham and became part of the 93rd


In terms of individuals with a link to Medway whose achievements have been
recognised, six members of PWRR’s forbear regiments have been awarded
Victoria Crosses (VCs) in conflicts ranging from the Crimean War, through
WWI to WWII. These include Colonel Donald J Dean of The Queen’s Own
Royal West Kent Regiment who was awarded the VC near Lens in France
during WW1 and later became a Deputy Lieutenant of Kent. As well as
Sergeant Thomas James Harris, also of The Queen’s Own Royal West Kent
Regiment who was born in Halling in 1892 and his parents both grew up in
Rochester. Sergeant Harris was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross
after he and his section captured a machine gun position. He then single
handedly attacked a further two enemy machine gun positions, taking the first
before being killed by the latter.
Company C of 3 Battalion PWRR, the Army Reserve Battalion, have been
stationed at Fort Clarence in Rochester since 2006, and they continue the
proud record of achievements that include recent operational experience in
Afghanistan and Iraq in support of the Regular Army and Cyprus supporting
the United Nations mission. Officers and soldiers of the Battalion take time
away from their normal civilian employment, to train every week and one or
two weekends each month as well as participating annually in a two week
training period. The links with Medway continue with 38 Reserves currently
coming from Medway with another 11 going through the recruitment process.

On behalf of the people of Medway, the Council wishes to express admiration
at the bravery, endurance and commitment of the servicemen and women of
C Company, 3rd Battalion. In recognition of the eminent services the men and
women of the Company have made to Medway, the Council is minded to
grant the freedom of Medway to C Company, 3rd Battalion of the Princess of
Wales’s Royal Regiment. This will cement and foster the close and
longstanding bonds of friendship and mutual respect existing between the
Company, Medway Council and the people of Medway.

94 (Berkshire Yeomanry) Signal Squadron, 39 Signal Regiment

Private Elliot Smith – 94 (Berkshire Yeomanry) Signal Squadron, 39 Signal Regiment


Private Elliot Smith signed up to the Reserves to meet new people outside of work and his circle of friends and says “it has been great to meet people all over the world who come from all walks of life.”

Fujitsu Res Bio Smith

One of the major challenges was deploying to the Falklands, which was a great experience and highlighted how difficult it can be for all service personnel deploying abroad. Whilst being with the Reserves, Elliot has gained a number of additional licences and adventure training qualifications, all of which have benefitted both his Reserves and civilian career.

“It is a difficult transition between civilian and military life, the rewards are certainly there and hard to come by in the civilian world.  It is personally rewarding as it is to the amount you are willing to give and well worth the effort.”

Working within the NHS, they have offered all Reserves an additional two weeks leave in support of Annual Camp and have supported him leave days to help with recruitment events. Elliot’s best experience as a Reserve so far, was the opportunity to travel 8,000 miles to meet locals in Port Stanley who were there during the 1982 Falklands War and hearing about their experiences.


Signaller Jennifer Ince – 94 (Berkshire Yeomanry) Signal Squadron, 39 Signal Regiment


Jennifer is employed Part Time with the Army Reserves and currently working towards Main Board to become an Officer. Jennifer wanted to find an alternative to the office environment and something challenging to better herself and gain new skills and qualifications.

Fujitsu Res Bio Ince

One of the biggest challenges she has had to overcome was being deferred for 8 months at main board but has used the time well to work on developing herself and enrolling in Army courses to help prepare herself. Having successfully gained qualifications as an Army Instructor, Jennifer hopes to become a Ski Instructor as well as a PTI within the Army.

Jennifer said joining the Army has been the best thing she has ever done. It has opened her eyes to a completely new world that she absolutely loves and now wants to pursue a full time military career. Jennifer said she has met some of her best friends through the Army and that it can give you experiences that no other profession can.

94 (Berkshire Yeomanry) Signal Squadron, 39 Signal Regiment

WO2 Matthew Chapman – Regimental Sub Unit Support Officer – RSUSO – 94 (Berkshire Yeomanry) Signal Squadron, 39 Signal Regiment

Fujistu Res Bio Chapman

Under a current Full Time Reserve Service (FTRS) contract, Matthew has been a Reserve for the last eighteen years alongside completing eight years as a regular and took up the opportunity to become a recruiter in the FTRS role.

Matthew said “one of the biggest challenges is always going to be the balance between home life, work life and commitment in the Reserves but well worth the satisfaction of seeing people express the desire to have a Reserves career.  More often than not they have no previous military experience at all and it is a huge motivation to get them physically fit and ensuring they are prepared for the challenges of military life. Seeing them through their courses and watching them at their pass off parade, marching off the square as a soldier is a hugely proud moment.”


Corporal David Brownlees – 94 (Berkshire Yeomanry) Signal Squadron, 39 Signal Regiment for 8 years.

David became a reservist to really change his life and do something that would be worthwhile and also do something that he could get a personal satisfaction from.

Being self employed, David has been able undertake a number of instructor courses that benefit both his unit and his civilian business. Being keen on personal training, the best gain for him has been the fitness focus and encouraging those around him to get fit.

Fujitsu Res Bio Brownlee

Enjoying adventure training that included climbing the The Dolomites in Italy and Skiing in Austria in France, David said “it’s a really good environment to be in and an opportunity to meet new people.”

David is also working through his judo belts to enable him to become qualified as an instructor so that he can also take this back to the unit.


More from 7 Rifles Waterloo Band & Bugles of the Rifles

Sergeant Jackie Mann – 7 Rifles Waterloo Band & Bugles of the Rifles

As recruiter for the Waterloo Band & Bugles of the Rifles, Jackie signed up to the band to help her get to know people in the area when she first moved but also to continue her hobby.

Res Bio Jackie Mann - & Rifles Waterloo Band

Initially a challenge to improve her fitness and understanding the different dynamics of playing in a military band, Jackie believes it has made her more disciplined and helped her to maintain her management experience.

Jackie said:  “I would definitely recommend signing up to someone who can commit the time to and energy to being a reservist.  It is fairly disciplined and you must enjoy the challenges but it gives you great opportunities to travel and we have performed at high profile events, allowing me to meet many new friends.”


Musician Steph Hicks – 7 Rifles Waterloo Band & Bugles of the Rifles

Steph is currently a Trainee Clinical Psychologist at the University of Bath completing the 3 year NHS Professional Training Doctorate. After moving to the area, she began to look for a new concert band to play with.

A friend from University played with the Regulars and suggested the local Reserve band.  Having played Saxophone to degree level at University, she believed that, as it was paid, the reserves band might have slightly higher standards than other amateur bands locally. Steph liked the challenge of learning to walk and play at the same time, as well as trying to understand army culture which was also completely new to her.

Res Bio - Steph Hicks & Rifles Band

Steph said: “It’s given me a new challenge in my playing and allowed me to start developing my music to the point where I might be able to consider music as a decent part of my career. I have always hoped to do part time psychology and part time music, so it’s been great to be able to start the ball rolling on that by being in the reserves. It’s also introduced me to a whole world of military music that I wasn’t really aware of before.”

7 Rifles Waterloo Band & Bugles of the Rifles

Musician Emma Thompson – 7 Rifles Waterloo Band & Bugles of the Rifles

Emma Thompson is a keen musician and has enjoyed all the opportunities being involved with 7 Rifles has given her.

Res Bio - Emma Thompson - 7 Rifles Waterloo Band

Emma said:  “It has been a challenge to play in different environments but I have had so many experiences I wouldn’t have got anywhere else.  The benefits of being able to travel and to do engagements such as playing for the Horse Guards have been amazing.  I get paid to do my hobby and also get to experience many different engagements. I would definitely recommend it.”


WO2 Henry Hookings – 7 Rifles Waterloo Band & Bugles of the Rifles

Henry, previously a regular, took the opportunity to continue playing with a military band by joining 7 Rifles.  Although sometimes a challenge with travelling and juggling full time self-employment, he enjoys the opportunity to play with the band and also keep in touch with colleagues whilst enjoying the social side of the Battalion.

Henry said:  “Regular playing has meant I have been able to maintain my musical skills and also a high level of fitness.  The best part of being involved has been the engagements that we have performed at, some of which have included travel abroad including Cyprus, Bermuda, Georgia, Armenia and Switzerland.”

Res Bio Henry Hookings 7 Rifles Band


CIS Troop, 8 Engineers Brigade

Private Johnson – CIS Troop, 8 Engineers Brigade

Private Lina Johnson wanted to do something different outside of her comfort zone that would push her boundaries.  Enjoying being outdoors and sports, she also felt that it would be nice to give something back herself, given all the services do to protect our Country.

CIS Troop - PTE Lina Johnstone

As a personal assistant in London, Lina’s employers have been supportive of her Reserves role and she has been able to introduce them to the Reserves Employer scheme and show them all the benefits that are available to them.

Lina feels her confidence has grown since enrolling as a Reserve and she enjoys the support that she has received.  This has encouraged her to develop herself and is grateful for all the potential opportunities that are available.


Sergeant Wayne Adams – CIS Troop, 8 Engineers Brigade

Sgt Wayne Adams served for 25 years with the Irish Guards and was encouraged to sign up by friends already in the Reserves.

RES Bio CIS - Wayne Adams - INT SGT

Being in the Reserves gives Wayne the opportunity to work on familiar tasks as a team and assist those regulars who have never been involved with the military before.  He enjoys being able to experience the military activities and opportunities that aren’t available in any other environment.

Wayne currently works for the Crown Estate as a Warden on the Great Park in Windsor and has great support of being enlisted as a reserve, especially as his boss is the Duke of Edinburgh and is the head ranger of the park.


“It is like another little family.”

Private Lizzie Payne – CMT – Combat Medical Technician 


Private Payne originally looked to join the regulars when she was younger but opted for university and it had always played on her mind when seeing the advertisements about signing up. On seeing an advertisement during one of the advertising campaigns for the reserves, Lizzie thought if she didn’t sign up then she never would.

Res Bio - Pte L Payne

When asked how she felt about her unit Private Payne said “I really enjoy the team focus, the enthusiasm to push yourself further than you would normally attempt and being able to do the activities that I would not normally do on my own such as Coasteering or adventure training in the Dolomites. It has a lot to offer and the guys and guys are brilliant.  It is like another little family.”

Private Payne has enjoyed the flexibility of committing to the different days throughout the year and although not originally supportive of time off, her employers have now allocated an extra week of leave to allocate training away with the Army.


Dawn McCafferty  – Air Commodore – RAFR 

Air Com - Dawn Mc

Dawn is responsible for over 45,000 cadets and approximately 12,000 adult volunteers.

Her aspiration as the Commandant of the Air Cadets is that when Cadets choose to move on to either join one of the services or enrol for university or an apprenticeship, that the Air Cadets organisation has done something to help the cadets achieve their potential and become productive members of society.

She said: “I feel privileged and inspired working with the Cadets and helping youngsters achieve.  We hope that the well-developed young individuals along with a string of achievements on their CV that they have achieved throughout their time with the cadets, are influenced by what they are given at the units such as confidence and team building.”

“I have overcome the challenge of speaking in front of people”

Corporal Aleaha Stuart – Donnington Bridge – Oxfordshire Battalion

ACF Bio Cadet Aleaha Stuart

After seeing of the experiences that were available with the Cadets, Aleaha signed up to become a Cadet at Donnington Bridge.

With hard work and practice, Aleaha has overcome the skills she wasn’t so good at and believes it has made her more confident, self-reliable and focused. Aleaha believes that it has changed her for the better and best part of being a Cadet is all the friends she has made.


Corporal Abi Stanford – 2403 Aldermaston Squadron – Air Cadets

ATC Bio - Cadet Abi Stanford

Abi became involved after seeing the activities that weren’t available outside of the organisation.

Since becoming a cadet, she has learnt both teamwork and leadership skills plus achieving her Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award.  Abi Said: “I have really enjoyed being part of the competitions between the different squadrons and other military organisations and have overcome the challenge of speaking in front of people and learning to effectively communicate between everyone.”

“It is really good fun and I definitely recommend joining up.”

Cadet Megan Robins–Bourton – Bicester Detachment – Oxfordshire Battalion

Megan Robins-Bourton has wanted to work with the Army since she was little and was encouraged to join by her Dad’s friend who helps with the Cadets.

ACF Bio 20th May - Megan Robins - Bourton

Joining the Cadets has helped boost Megan’s confidence and by meeting lots of new friends, she feels that it has helped make it easier for her to socialise with people. Megan has overcome a lot of fears since enrolling with Cadets and really enjoys activities that she didn’t think she would.  She said:  “It is really good fun and I definitely recommend joining up.”


Sergeant Tyler Jeffs – Banbury Jordan Detachment – Oxfordshire Battalion

Tyler became a Cadet as a number of his friends had enrolled and he thought it was something new to get involved with.

Tyler has enjoyed the challenges of overcoming many obstacles including Fieldscraft, physical training and has progressed to become a senior cadet within his company. He feels that it has made him far more rounded as a person and he has developed skills that he never thought he had, all the while making lifelong friends.

ACF 20th May- Bio Tyler Jeffs

Tyler has found it inspiring to be able to support the younger cadets in learning new skills and developing themselves as people, which has helped him develop his own leadership and teamwork skills.