As another year passes, we find ourselves continually immersed in the vibrant and dynamic world of the Reserves and Cadets. This journey is both uplifting and challenging, presenting our dedicated soldiers, sailors, and aviators with unique opportunities and offers many development opportunities to the Cadets.
The Reserves face a recruiting problem in a very challenging market but a number of high level Reserve policy documents have emerged over the last two years and there is a sense that senior decision makers now have a real determination to progress these issues as quickly as possible. This should improve the baseline start points of Reserve service, including the recruiting process, and smooth out some of the current frictions.
Despite these challenges, the unwavering commitment, endeavour, and professionalism of our remarkable forces shines through, reaffirming their resilience and commitment in the face of adversity.
On the Cadet front, we celebrate a double-digit percentage rise in growth, a testament to the positive impact the Cadets have on young minds. However, for this momentum to continue, we rely on the dedication of Cadet Force Adult Volunteers (CFAVs). Their incredible work, day in and day out, forms the backbone of our cadet community and we are eager to welcome more volunteers to foster further growth.
Yet, challenges persist – from the pressure on training space across the estate, to resource constraints and frustrating IT issues. Despite these hurdles, the daily stories of individual achievements, annual camps and the sense of purpose and teamwork leave us continually amazed.
GL RFCA plays an important role in facilitating the success of both the Reserves and the Cadets. The complexity of keeping 150 sites safe and functioning poses challenges, especially with dwindling budgets. Nevertheless, our Cadet Professional Support Staff continues to exceed expectations, ensuring ongoing support for cadets, CFAVs and RFCA staff involved in engagement efforts. The push to encourage organisations to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and climb the ladder of MOD’s Employer Recognition Scheme is indicative of our shared commitment to excellence and organisations’ desire to support our work.
Behind the scenes, we extend heartfelt thanks to Association members who, in various ways, support and promote the joint efforts of both Reserves and Cadets, especially in their local areas.
The stories and photos within this edition offer a mere snapshot of the incredible work and activities that have transpired since our last publication. We invite you to delve into the pages and witness the journey of determination, achievement and collaboration that defines the spirit of the Reserves and Cadets.
Welcome to an edition filled with inspiring tales and vibrant snapshots of our community’s achievements and dedication.
Colonel (retired) Peter Germain