A volunteer with Yorkshire (North & West) Army Cadet Force (ACF) has been awarded the Cadet Forces Medal (CFM) for his commitment to the ACF.
Colour Sergeant James McDowell (31) of Leeds, volunteers with Thornbury Detachment in Pudsey and received the award from Colonel Cadets, 4th Infantry Brigade and HQ North East, Colonel Chris Tearney, at a ceremony held at Belle Vue Barracks in Bradford in front of family, friends and local dignitaries.
The Cadet Forces Medal is awarded to recognise long service in the UK Cadet Forces: Sea Cadet Corps, Army Cadet Force, Air Training Corps and the Combined Cadet Force. James has clocked up an impressive 12 years with Thornbury Detachment.
A former cadet himself, James joined Thornbury Detachment back in 2000, a day after his 13th birthday.
He said of his time in cadets: “The best thing about being a cadet was becoming a member of the famous Corps of Drums and eventually being selected to the role of Drum Major”.
James decided to become a cadet force adult volunteer (CFAV) as he wanted to give something back to the local community and help develop the next generation of young people.
He said: “I joined as a volunteer 12 years ago and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.
“I feel a real sense of achievement when I see cadets accomplishing their goals and knowing I’ve helped them gives me an amazing feeling of pride. Becoming Detachment Commander of Thornbury at the very place I started as a young cadet all those years ago was a huge honour.
“Receiving the Cadet Force Medal is such a privilege, to be awarded for all the years of hard work is brilliant. It also means a lot to me personally, I’m accepting this award on behalf of all the cadets I have taught, and commanded, at Thornbury and also for those colleagues who are sadly no longer with us.”
Colonel Chris Tearney said: “It is important that we recognise the immense service and dedication of our CFAV. Without their commitment and devotion the cadets throughout the UK would not benefit from the cadet experience and society as a whole would suffer.”
If you’re interested in finding out more about becoming an adult volunteer with the army cadets visit https://armycadets.com/volunteer-with-us/