Commander John Gardener
Commander John Gardener has been the head of the Royal Navy Presentation Team for ten months and was previously the Chief of Staff to the Commander of the Amphibious Task Group.
He believes that the Armed Forces Briefings are important for the Armed Forces to explain to the general public and to other audiences, what they are for and what their part is in the Nation’s Defence of Security and events like the AFB are perfect to do just that. They also show where the Forces are in their particular community. Where they are locally and regionally explaining not only what we are doing but also what our linkages are with society based around military personnel based in their area.
Lieutenant Commander Heather Lane
Lieutenant Commander Heather Lane is the Royal Navy Media Operations Specialist Officer and was previously the Staff Officer on the Navy Command Engagement Team in Naval Headquarters.
Heather believes that with the decreasing footprint of the military, the Armed Forces Briefings are the first exposure to what the Royal Navy and its Reserves do.
It is vital to keep the community connected to the nations Armed Forces and to win their support.
Captain “Dutch” Holland, a Royal Green Jackets & 4 Rifles Rifleman since 1979 and still serving in today’s Local British Army Reserve unit, 678 (Rifles) Sqn will be running the London Marathon 2018 on behalf of Just Rifles, in a few weeks’ time.
Throughout his military career, Dutch has been assisting Riflemen in many ways. More recently to help them adjust to civilian life. A keen ultra-athlete and mountain leader, during the last seven years he has raised thousands of pounds through various charity events, enabling less fortunate Riflemen to maintain a decent quality of life when they have found themselves in unusual circumstances. This year Dutch has been lucky enough to gain a ballot place in this year’s London Marathon and will run it in aid of Just Rifles – a registered military charity – in order to keep our Riflemen and their families supported through difficult times in the future.
By running this year’s London Marathon, it is his aim to honour the 55 Riflemen who were killed (one sadly who was a local man “Rfn Andrew Fentiman”), the 252 Riflemen who were wounded and the 453 British Army Soldiers that were killed in action in Afghanistan. Throughout the marathon, Dutch will be wearing five different Just Rifles charity shirts, coordinated by his support team. He will begin in a normal Just Rifles running strip, Running Number 9056. Dutch will run the marathon as follows:
- At the 55 mins point of the event Dutch will change into a shirt stating 55 Rfn KIA.
- At the 2hr 52 mins point, he will change into 252 Rfn wounded in action (WIA).
- At the 3hr 07 mins, he will change into 307 total killed or wounded.
- Dutch then intends to complete the event in 4hrs 53. Representing the 453 service personnel men and women killed on Op Herrick.
Can I please now ask that you to visit the Just Rifles Just Giving page and donate as much as you possibly can to continue to help those Rifleman and their families. We all must, as good proud citizens, continue to give as much as we can, both in physical support and in financial terms, keep raising awareness to our service men and women for many years to come. You can follow Dutch’s progress on the Rifles donations page, the Strava running app, Twitter and Instagram, by searching for Dutch Holland.
Cadet First Class Lio Bradbury – TS Ark Royal
After hearing about how much fun the cadets were, Lio signed up to take advantage of the qualifications available such as rowing, sailing and kayaking.
Julia said: “There are a lot of waterborne qualifications but there are also many practical aspects such as learning to live in the wilderness. The best parts of being involved are making new friends and all the courses, plus overcoming challenges such as attempting to put on a wet suit.”
Cadet First Class Will Bradbury – TS Ark Royal
Will became a sea cadet after the enrolment of his brother and decided he wanted to try something new himself.
Finding some of the sports challenging, such as windsurfing, Will has gone on to learn many of the water sports including rowing and powerboating.
Will said: “I have learnt how to speak to people and get involved. My favourite part has to be meeting new people and getting involved with the community.”
Petty Officer Cadet Nicole Milton – TS Zephyr
Nicole was looking for something more active to do outside of school and something that would challenge her to improve her skills further.
Through cadets, Nicole has participated in a number of courses including kayaking, windsurfing and sailing. She’s also been given the opportunity to be involved with the sea cadet’s exchange to South Korea.
Nicole said: “I have developed many water sport skills and made so many friends both in the UK and other countries.”
Cadet First Class Julia Saper – TS Zephyr
Julia signed up to the cadets as she liked the fact that she could go on courses that she never would have gone on before.
Mastering how to windsurf has been her biggest challenge but said “the best part of being involved is meeting new people. I have met a lot of people and I have been able to try out lots of water sports that I would not have done if I hadn’t have become a sea cadet.”
Heather Wells in the Chief Petty Officer at Newhaven and Seaford sea cadets.
Heather started as a Cadet in Manchester and became a volunteer there before moving to the South Coast. Besides being an adult volunteer with sea cadets, she also manages a registered care home for three adults with profound learning disabilities.
The life skills she has gained from cadets are confidence, patience and organisational skills.
She is also a First Aid instructor, a piping assessor and holds qualifications in kayaking, sailing and power boating. Heather said “the best part of being a volunteer with cadets is seeing them grow into well rounded, helpful, polite and skilled young people that the whole community can be proud of.”
AC Catherine Boorman is with Newhaven and Seaford Sea Cadets after becoming interested in all the competitions the unit was involved with. Catherine has gained many new skills from cadets including drill, boating and Kayaking.
Catherine said: “The best part of being a cadet is the experiences I have and am going to have. I believe that it has shown me how important the Armed Forces are and it has changed my behaviour for the better.”