The CARAs 2022


The Cadet Adult Recognition Awards 2022 saw ten Cadet Force Adult Volunteers from across the Lowlands celebrated for their service and commitment to the Cadet Forces. 

For the past three years, the CARAs has sought to recognise the dedication and selflessness of CFAVs who give their time and energy to help young people aged 12-18 develop new skills, prepare for adult life and make friendships that can last a lifetime.

All nominations for the CARAs are submitted by Cadet members of the Army Cadet Force, Sea Cadet Corps and Air Training Corps. 

During the online awards ceremony on the 18 November, each of the winning CFAVs gave a moving acceptance speech, thanking the Cadets for taking the time to nominate them and showing such appreciation for all the work they do.

As well as receiving a prestigious CARAs certificate, each winner was also presented with a gift voucher sponsored by a local business. This gives Lowland businesses an opportunity to show support for the hard-working adult volunteers, some of whom are members of their own workforces.

Kate Johnston, Lowland RFCA Head of Communications said:

‘The vast proportion of those who deliver the Cadet programme are volunteers. Many of these individuals have a lot to balance with busy day jobs and families. This makes it all the more incredible that they freely give up hundreds of hours a year to assist young people in so many valuable ways. It’s utterly inspiring and we believe these fantastic volunteers deserve a big public thank you.’

2022 Winners

Sea Cadets East – Warrant Officer Chris Gay, Commanding Officer Musselburgh Sea Cadets (Award sponsored by BD Print)

‘Being an ex-Sea Cadet myself, it’s great to see the Cadets appreciating the work that the Cadet Force Adult Volunteers do, not only here at Musselburgh but in the wider organisation…

‘My proudest moment of being a Cadet Force Adult Volunteer was taking command of Musselburgh Sea Cadets, taking it on and developing not only the unit but the Cadets; seeing them grow, becoming young adults and also becoming fellow Cadet Force Adult Volunteers.’

Sea Cadets West –  Sub Lieutenant Robert Duncan, Commanding Officer Irvine Sea Cadets (Award sponsored by David MacBrayne)

‘I’m very grateful to be the recipient of the Sea Cadets West CARA Award.

‘When I had found out I had won I was so gobsmacked. Hearing from the RFCA that I had been nominated first of all and also had won, you know it was just amazing. I’ve heard of the CARAs before but I never actually thought that I would win one.

‘So winning this award definitely encourages me to keep going and to strive to do better… the reason I’m in the Cadets is for the Cadets so the fact that I’m doing something right just keeps me going.’

Air Cadets East – Sergeant Neil Carr, 661 Volunteer Gliding Squadron RAF Kirknewton (Award sponsored by Baillie Gifford)

‘I’m very happy to be awarded a CARA. I’m one of the ground crew, I drive the winches and the vehicles and really get Cadets in the air where they belong. I’m an ex-Cadet myself and I’ve had people that have helped me here and somebody just recognising that in myself is amazing.

‘I’d like to thank everybody in the team here at 661 VGS because without them I wouldn’t be where I am.’

Air Cadets West – Flight Lieutenant Christopher Tyson, Officer Commanding 2329 Castle Douglas Squadron (Award sponsored by Brodie Engineering)

‘I’m incredibly proud to have been awarded this CARA, it’s a huge surprise! Thank you very much to whoever it was that nominated me, I’m very grateful indeed. It’s nice to get an award nominated from the Cadets – at the end of the day what we do, running a squadron, working on a squadron, is all about trying to give Cadets opportunities; opportunities to go out and see things, do things that they wouldn’t do anywhere else, so to get nominated by a Cadet really is a special gift so thank you very much, thank you.’

Glasgow & Lanarkshire – Staff Sergeant Michael Cobb, B Platoon RHF Army Cadets (Award sponsored by NG Homes)

‘This is an honour to receive this… I’m just pleased that my cadets feel that I’m doing the job that I’m here to do.

‘I love being a CFAV because I’m ex-military myself, I was a Cadet back in ‘79 and I feel the knowledge that I picked up while I was in the Army, I would like to pass on to the youth of today because it keeps them on the straight and narrow and it helps them progress, get better jobs, maybe even join the Services or even come back as a CFAV themselves.’

Glasgow & Lanarkshire Runner Up – Second Lieutenant Amy-Jo Battersby, Detachment Commander 3 Platoon RSB (Award sponsored by Mr Singh’s India Restaurant)

‘I’m really pleased to be receiving this award because I was nominated by Cadets and everything we do here is for the Cadets so to know that our hard work is appreciated means an awful lot. 

‘A massive thank you to all the adult volunteers in the Cadet Force because everything you do, all the time that you give is hugely valuable to the organisation and to all of the Cadets who get so much out of it. A few of us will receive a certificate, but actually every single one of us has put all of this time and effort in, so a big thank you to all of you.’

West Lowland – Company Sergeant Major Michelle Cook (Award sponsored by QTS)

‘When I found out I won a CARA I was speechless and to be honest I did tear up, I had no words to describe how I felt because it came as a shock so thank you.

‘I think the CARAs award is a good thing because over the years I have seen so many adults like myself take the time out to make young people better and to see that they have been recognised for this award is really, really good, and it’s the Cadets’ choice and again that’s the reason why we’re here, for the Cadets.’

West Lowland Runner Up – Euan Sockell (Award sponsored by Scotia Surface Hardening)

‘I’m very humbled and honoured to win this award as it was voted for by Cadets and it makes you feel that you’re making a difference in their lives. 

‘The best thing for me about being an adult volunteer is taking that shy 12-year-old coming in through the door and seeing them leave at 18 years old, potentially a Company Sergeant Major, Regimental Sergeant Major, bursting with pride, can march parades of hundreds of Cadets, and seeing them transform from being a young person into a young adult.’

Lothian & Borders – Sergeant Drum Major Matthew Moore, Lothian & Borders Pipes and Drums (Award sponsored by Forrest Precision Engineering)

‘I’m so surprised and pleased to have won this because it just, to me it means that all the work that I do for the Cadets is sort of getting recognised by the Cadets and it’s worth it and that I’m actually making a difference in their lives.’

Lothian & Borders Runner Up – Sergeant Caitlyn Stewart, 27/28 Platoon (Award sponsored by Sked Construction)

‘I am so happy to have won the CARA. Thank you to all the Cadets who put me forward for it and recognised the hard work that goes on behind the scenes. This award is extra special as it’s the Cadets who nominated me for it. I was once a Cadet myself, I was a Cadet from when I was twelve to seventeen. When you’re a Cadet you don’t really see all the work that goes into being a volunteer and all the stuff we have to do for set-up. It’s really nice to win the award from the Cadets rather than somebody at HQ, or another adult, it makes it a little more rewarding.’

In the press:

Irvine Times


East Lothian Courier

UK Daily News

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