Three teenagers have been recognised by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant for their outstanding service in the cadets, having been appointed the Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadets for North Yorkshire – the highest honour that can be achieved by a cadet in any of the forces.
Natalie Dixon (16) of Yorkshire North & West Army Cadet Force, Charlie Davies (16) of the Sea Cadet Corps (SCC) and Joseph McKernan (18) of the Air Training Corps (ATC) were appointed by HM Lord-Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Mr Barry Dodd, at a special ceremony held at Strensall Barracks in York in front of family, friends and local dignitaries, including the High Sheriff of North Yorkshire and the Chairman of North Yorkshire County Council and Mayors of York, Harrogate and Scarborough among many others.
Cadet Sergeant Natalie Dixon is described by Commandant Jim Greenlee as a dedicated member of the Detachment and B Company, who participates in all aspects of training at Company and County level.
Natalie, who lives in York and attends Huntington School, achieved many outstanding results during her time with B Company, such as her Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award and Cadet Signal qualifications, as well as taking part in the Brigade Black Rat Cadet Challenge. She is also a very keen sportswoman, representing the North East Region at athletics.
Natalie said: “It’s an incredible honour to receive this award. I look forward to assisting the Lord-Lieutenant in his duties and hope I can be a good role model for other cadets.
“I joined up to make friends and to take myself out of my comfort zone, to gain confidence in myself and put something back into the community. I never dreamed I could do as much as I have but look forward to doing more in the future.”
Cadet Warrant Officer Joseph McKernan of Harrogate joined the ATC in 2012 and in that time has led his drill teams to victory in the Wing competition for three years running and was selected by the Wing to attend the ATC 75th Anniversary Parade in London; an event that was also attended by the Duchess of Cambridge. He was also named runner-up in the Royal Air Force Association’s Young Person of the Year Award in 2015 and has also been given individual Drill awards at Wing and regional level.
An accomplished pianist and trombonist, Joseph has performed on HMS Victory and for the then Prime Minister David Cameron at an event in Downing Street in 2014.
“I feel very honoured to be receiving this appointment,” said Joseph. “I hope through this award to inspire younger Cadets in my squadron and my wing to persevere in their cadet career and show that with integrity and drive, much can be achieved.”
Leading Cadet Charlie Davies has been a member of Scarborough Sea Cadets since 2011 and in that time has represented his unit at national level in drill, rowing, football, sailing, and band.
Charlie has also attended courses for various activities – he is has just completed a six-week trainee dinghy instructor course at the Sea Cadets Training Centre in Caledonia in Scotland and he’s also taken part in the Small ships Race at Cowes, which he won.
On his new role as ambassador for the Army Cadets in North Yorkshire, Charlie said: “I am very honoured to be selected as the Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet.
“As well as gaining all the qualifications I have, I’ve made lifelong friends and learned valuable life skills thanks to Scarborough Sea Cadets.”
Lieutenant Colonel Jeremy Bleasdale, Deputy Chief Executive of the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (RFCA) in Yorkshire and The Humber, which runs the awards, said: “These cadets demonstrate exactly what can be achieved with dedication, hard work and a passion for what you’re doing. To be chosen as the Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet is a huge honour and one that I know is deeply appreciated by Natalie, Charlie and Joseph.
“Joining the Cadet Forces provides young people with the opportunity to enjoy activities and experiences that wouldn’t ordinarily be available to them and allows them to develop essential life skills while gaining recognised vocational qualifications and it’s great fun; and these three cadets demonstrate what can be achieved by joining. They should be very proud of themselves, as we all are.”
Colonel Bleasdale also appealed for more adult volunteers to support the region’s 8,500 cadets: “The Cadet movement’s popularity means we need more adult instructors to lead the cadets and deliver the quality of experiences, adventure and community projects which our cadets enjoy. We would love to hear from people who are willing to offer their time and enthusiasm to join our ranks as an adult volunteer – no military experience is needed, just a desire to work with young people.”
Charlie, Natalie and Joseph were among only 12 cadets selected from a total of 8,500 across the whole Yorkshire and Humber region to be awarded the Lord Lieutenant’s Certificate. All cadets are between 10 and 18 years of age and can be part of the Sea Cadet Corps, Army Cadet Force or Air Training Corps.
To view all the pictures from the event please visit our Gallery page here.