How being a cadet transformed me


Leading Cadet Chloe Feirn explains how her years with Thorne Sea Cadets have transformed her from a shy child into a confident young woman who has received the highest honour a cadet can get – appointment as a Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet.

“Before I joined the Sea Cadets, I was painfully shy. I could hardly speak to anyone, I would never share my ideas in class and I was even too scared to talk to my aunties and uncles.

“When I turned 12, my parents told me I had to try the Sea Cadets. I went to an open day and saw the cadets on the water in kayaks, canoes and rowing boats. I wanted to join in but was too scared until the Commanding Officer introduced me to a few of the cadets. They were all very welcoming and I felt like I was going to fit in.

On my first day

“On my first day in the Sea Cadets, an older cadet came to check I was okay. She was so kind and still probably doesn’t know how much she helped me that day.

“One of the first lessons I had was about ranks and I was told that cadets can go up to Leading Cadet and Petty Officer Cadet rank but nobody in Thorne had reached that level in years. I knew I wanted to change that and inspire other people to do so too.

“I went on my first course – in first aid – a few months after joining cadets. I quickly gained more qualifications which meant I got promoted to higher ranks.

Summer camp

“Summer camp was my next big step. It was an amazing experience and when I came back, I felt I could talk to a lot more people.  I started volunteering for community events, marched at the Remembrance Day parades and became part of the open girls rowing team.

“In the November of 2018, I went on a two-day promotion board. It was a very scary experience because nobody I knew had been through it before. But despite my nerves, I passed and became Leading Cadet!

“In the future, I would like to do well in my A levels, then hopefully join the Navy as a nurse. I am absolutely honoured to have been appointed the Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet and hope that I represent my unit and district well.”

Reserve Forces