Edinburgh Reservists and Cadet Force Adult Volunteers Honoured By Lord-Lieutenant

Councillor Robert Aldridge, left, presenting a Lord-Lieutenant's Certificate to Lieutenant Iain MacIver of East Scotland University Royal Naval Unit.

Five Armed Forces Reservists and two Cadet Force Adult Volunteers (CFAVs) have received a prestigious award from the Lord-Lieutenant for the City of Edinburgh in recognition of their exceptional service. 

The award ceremony, held at Edinburgh City Chambers on Tuesday 20 February, saw recipients receive their Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificates of Meritorious Service for their valuable contributions to both the military and civilian communities. 

The annual Lord-Lieutenants’ Award presentations for Reservists, Cadet Force Adult Volunteers and the appointment of Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadets are recognised as exceptional honours throughout the Defence community. 

Recipients of both Lord-Lieutenant's Awards and Employer Recognition Scheme Awards grouped together at Edinburgh City Chambers.

His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenants are the representatives of the Crown for each county in the United Kingdom. 

The Right Honourable Lord Provost Councillor Robert Aldridge, who is also The King’s personal representative for the City of Edinburgh, signed and presented each certificate to thank the recipients for their selfless dedication to serving and protecting the Nation.

‘I am pleased to offer my warmest congratulations and thanks to those who have received the Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificate of Meritorious Service for 2023. Edinburgh is proud to be home to hundreds of Reservists, Cadets and CFAVs, all of whom make an exceptional contribution to their community.

‘Reservists consistently go above and beyond in their duties both at home and abroad. The wealth of talent and transferable skills that they bring to both their Defence and civilian roles are valuable assets deserving of recognition. Cadet Force Adult Volunteers, likewise, must be praised for the time they freely give to supporting and mentoring young people in Edinburgh and throughout Scotland.

Councillor Robert Aldridge enjoying a light hearted exchange with 603 Squadron's Flight Sergeant Barry Kinkade.

‘It is a privilege to present the certificates in person, to congratulate each of the recipients and to thank them on behalf of the City of Edinburgh.’

In total, five Reservists received Certificates of Meritorious Service during the event. Recipients came from the following local units: 

  • 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force
  • Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry (SNIY)
  • University Royal Naval Unit (URNU) Edinburgh

‘Receiving this award has been quite an honour,’ said Lieutenant Iain MacIver, a Reservist who has been involved with East Scotland URNU for twenty years. ‘It means so much for the work I’ve done with the URNU to be recognised like this. 

‘I first joined the University Royal Naval Unit as a student, and coming back as a Reservist has enabled me to see the best of both the civilian and military worlds; I’ve enjoyed so many opportunities to travel and see the world but also have time to spend with my family.’

Flying Officer John Carruthers from 1143 Portobello Squadron RAF Air Cadets posing with his certificate in hand and a Lowland RFCA banner in the background

Awards were also presented to two adult volunteers from 1143 (Portobello) Squadron Air Training Corps, praising their commitment to providing the best possible Cadet experience for young people in their units.

Flying Officer John Carruthers, one of the CFAVs presented with a certificate during the evening, said of his achievement: ‘I’ve been involved with the RAF Air Cadets on and off for about forty-five years now. I did my full Cadet service as a youngster and loved it so much that I decided to return as an adult volunteer.

‘It’s always a great feeling to know that the work you put in is appreciated. I’m very lucky to have a great team at the Squadron, and of course working with the Cadets themselves makes it such a fulfilling and enjoyable experience.’ 

As well as presenting certificates to the winning Reservists and CFAVs, the Edinburgh ceremony also celebrated the appointment of two Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadets. 

Cadet Lance Sergeant Rhaine Mertens receives his certificate as Lord-Lieutenant's Cadet from Councillor Robert Aldridge.

Cadet Warrant Officer Jamie Scott from 870 (Dreghorn) Squadron RAF Air Cadets and Cadet Lance Sergeant Rhaine Mertens from 20 Platoon Colinton, Lothian & Borders Battalion Army Cadet Force, will assist the Lord-Lieutenant in his official engagements, serving as ambassadors for their respective units and role models for Cadets throughout the Lowlands of Scotland.

‘I never expected to be put forward for a position like this,’ commented Cadet Lance Sergeant Mertens, ‘but I’m very grateful to my Detachment Commander for nominating me. It’s a huge privilege to be part of tonight’s event and I’m really looking forward to working with the Lord-Lieutenant at future events.’

Highlighting the immense value of the supportive relationship between Reservists and their civilian employers, the awards ceremony included the presentation of an Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold Award revalidation to Future Sales Factory. Bronze ERS Awards were also presented to DEMQ Properties, Forces Children Scotland, Royal British Legion Scotland, Anderson Strathern and Scottish Land and Estates. Welcoming these five organisations onto the first stage of the Employer Recognition Scheme was Air Officer Scotland Air Commodore Bill Gibson, attending as a representative of the Secretary of State for Defence.

Matthew Quinn of Future Sales Factory shakes hands with Air Officer Scotland Air Commodore Bill Gibson as he receives his ERS Gold revalidation

Colonel Ted Shields, Chief Executive of Lowland RFCA, said of this year’s winners: ‘I congratulate and thank all our Reservists, Cadet Force Adult Volunteers, Cadets and Civilians whose dedication and service have been officially recognised by His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant for the City of Edinburgh. 

‘It is often said that our Reservists and volunteers are “twice the citizen” – committed to serving our Nation and their communities on top of their everyday jobs and personal lives. It is a tall order, and those who have received Certificates of Meritorious Service have gone above and beyond in this respect. Their respective units and organisations have all benefited from their skills, determination and selflessness. They are a credit to the Defence community and the Nation. Thank you and well done.’


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