Three outstanding cadets have been awarded one of the highest honours any cadet can achieve – appointment as a Lord-Lieutenant Cadet for their county.
HM Lord-Lieutenant of North Yorkshire Johanna Ropner paid tribute to her new appointees who she personally selected in recognition of their exemplary contribution to their units and wider community.
The cadets were among those honoured at a special ceremony at Worsley Barracks in York which was hosted by the RFCA for Yorkshire and the Humber to enable the Lord-Lieutenant to recognise some of the county’s very best volunteers.
Also awarded were four reservists and six cadet volunteers all of whom have shown exceptional commitment and dedication throughout their service.
Commitment to the cadets
Mrs Ropner said: “It is such a privilege to be able to pay tribute to some of North Yorkshire’s exceptional citizens who volunteer their time to support their communities through their commitment to the cadet and reserve forces.
“It is particularly wonderful to welcome my newly-appointed Lord-Lieutenant Cadets. They are remarkable young people and I am looking forward to getting to know them over the next year.
“I am also delighted to recognise the contribution made by the region’s cadet force adult volunteers. They deserve our deepest gratitude for the time they give to help young people gain access to the wide range of opportunities made possible by the cadet movement.
“In addition, I am very proud to recognise the contribution of some of our reservists in the region. Reserves combine lives and careers in the civilian world with valuable roles in the military.
“I am so pleased that I was able to honour four outstanding individuals who represent the very best of our reserves and have shown exceptional dedication and commitment to their respective units.”
The cadets awarded honours were:
- Petty Officer Cadet Harry Ridsdale, aged 16, of Scarborough, who a pupil of Scarborough Sixth Form College, is at Scarborough Sea Cadets. Harry said: “There are many aspects of cadets that I love but one that stands head and shoulders above the rest is sailing. I love the challenge of being on the water and I’m always learning new things which has only made me want to sail more. Being in the sea cadets has not only increased my confidence but I’ve also made many friends and memories that I will cherish for a lifetime.”
- Cadet Sergeant Rosie Nelson, aged 17, of Scarborough, who is a pupil at Scarborough Sixth Form College, is with Malton detachment of the Army Cadet Force. Rosie said: “Joining the Army Cadet Force has been the greatest decision I have ever made, it’s opened up so many opportunities for me and given me experiences that I would otherwise not have had. It’s a huge honour to be selected as a Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet and I’m truly looking forward to carrying out my duties in the year ahead.”
- Cadet Flight Sergeant Adam Lill, aged 18, of Thirsk, is at 2487 (Easingwold) Squadron of the Central and East Yorkshire Wing of the Air Training Corps. He has recently applied to join the RAF. Adam said: “I am obsessed with all things aviation and being in the air cadets has given me the opportunity to make my dream of flying come true. I’ve flown seven times and am still in awe every time I step out on the airfield. One day I’d like to return to Easingwold Squadron as a cadet volunteer and give back to the cadets as much as they have given me.”
Winning cadet force adult volunteers
- Patricia Kinsella of Scarborough, Eastern Area Sea Cadets, Scarborough. Since taking up the role of admin officer in 2013 Patricia routinely goes the extra mile for the cadets, hunting high and low for grants and sponsors to help the cadets get the best opportunities; trying to ensure no cadet ever misses out. As well as volunteering at the Sea Cadets, Patricia volunteers at the local church. All this on top of working at the Rainbow Centre in Scarborough where she helps less fortunate people get through life the best way that they can and supports many people in having a fresh start.
- Michael Roberts of Harrogate is with Eastern Area Sea Cadets, Harrogate. Michael has been a sea cadet volunteer for over 30 years and treasurer since 1995. He has been described as an unsung hero for ensuring budgets were adhered to and has been the driving force behind many fund-raising activities.
- Major Rory Romani, of York, is with B Company, York, Yorkshire (North & West) Army Cadet Force. In what has been a difficult period for cadets Rory has shined with his enthusiasm and leadership skills. He has kept his cadets and staff connected and motivated by introducing many innovative virtual training ideas to help all to achieve their goals, even though face to face training was out on hold.
- Sergeant Major Instructor Arthur Joy, of Catterick, is with A Company, Catterick, Yorkshire (North & West) Army Cadet Force. Throughout his 15 years volunteering with the army cadets Arthur has taken on every challenge given to him and has excelled with all, including his own professional development. He routinely goes on training courses such as target rifle shooting so that he can teach cadets effectively. Arthur also has excellent links with the local community and regularly organises and runs fundraising activities for the benefit of all. He said: “It is a great pleasure to be nominated and to receive this prestigious award. I joined the ACF following a visit to the local detachment and decided that I could contribute and make a difference to benefit the young people of the region. I’ve been supported throughout by my employer, Landmarc support services in Catterick, and I’m pleased that they were able to join me at the ceremony to celebrate this achievement.”
- Squadron Leader Robert Southwell, of Arkengarthdale, is with Air Cadets Regional Headquarters (North) in Northallerton. Newly retired from West Yorkshire Police, Robert has had a career in the Air Cadets spanning 40 years – firstly as a cadet and then as an adult volunteer. Combining his volunteer role with his full-on career in the police, he has risen through the ranks of the Air Cadets to become a Squadron Leader overseeing weapons training across the North of England and leading on adventurous training. He is described by his peers as an inspirational and caring leader and an exceptional role model for the cadets.
- Flight Lieutenant Jo Tucker, of Harrogate is Officer Commanding of 110 (City of York) Squadron Air Cadets, the largest squadron in the Central and East Yorkshire Wing region. Jo has had a career in the Air Cadets spanning 25 years and joined as an adult volunteer immediately upon leaving as a cadet. Jo ensures the highest standards are maintained from those in her charge, which is a true reflection of the demands she expects of herself. Her focus and support of the Wing’s Virtual Parade Night Programme throughout the periods of lockdown was unmatched by anyone, providing many sessions of interest, not only for her own squadron, but that of all squadrons from across the Wing. She has an infectious, positive outlook and is a constant support to cadets and staff members across the region and hundreds of cadets have benefitted from her instruction and experiences.
- Warrant Officer Class 2 Jason Cartwright of Aysgarth is with 205 Battery in Catterick, which is part of 101st (Northumbrian) Regiment Royal Artillery. Jason volunteered to set up a new Troop in Catterick and has been pivotal to its ongoing success, with attendance continuing to grow since he stepped up to lead the troop back in 2018.
- Warrant Officer Class 2 Claire Norton, of York is formerly of A Squadron, The Queen’s Own Yeomanry (QOY) in York but now serves with 212 (Yorkshire) Field Hospital in Sheffield. With an army reserve career spanning 21 years Claire has been on three operational tours one of which was in Bosnia where she earnt the United Nations (Balkans) Operational Service Medal. Claire was also one of the first women to take on the ground-breaking Ground Close Combat role with the QOY where she is considered a role model which has seen the number of women in a combat role increase dramatically. Claire is a keen sportsperson and has been repeatedly selected to join the Royal Signals Corps Road Cycling team and was the first Army Reservist to compete in the Inter-Corps Cycling Road Race championships and Triathlon where she came third.
- Warrant Officer Class 2 Garry Smith, of Aysgarth, is with the Army Training Unit North in Strensall, York Officer. Formerly a regular soldier Garry has deployed on numerous operational tours and joined the Reserves upon leaving regular service. He was appointed Recruiting Warrant Officer where he made an immediate impact on recruiting figures, seeing them grow exponentially. In his latest role as troop commander he has he has built up numbers from scratch and is a credit to the Yorkshire Regiment.
- Corporal Rhoslyn Shutt, of Malton is with Helmand Company in York, which is part of 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment. Rhoslyn having previously completed a tour in Afghanistan as a combat medic, has over the past year combined her army reserve career with working on covid wards in Scarborough and York hospitals, all whilst studying for a nursing degree.
Outstanding civilian contribution
- Susan Smith, a civilian from York who works for 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment in York was instrumental in making sure that the usual day-to-day tasks of the regiment continued to function when the majority of reserves were mobilised to help with covid testing in the region.