Local man Alex Thornton has just been awarded a Queen’s Commission with Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Army Cadet Force and has standards and values for the young high on his agenda.
Newly appointed Second Lieutenant Alex, (34), is delighted to have been selected for the honour after attending a prestigious officer selection weekend at Westbury, Wiltshire, in October. During several tests and challenges he successfully demonstrated the qualities of leadership and management required of a commissioned officer in the Army Cadet Force – one of the country’s foremost youth organisations for young people aged 12 to 18.
A well as previous experience as a teenage cadet himself, Alex also served with the Territorial Army for four years. More importantly, he brings to the cadet force life experience as a caring adult and parent committed to the well being of the young. As the officer in charge of 50 young cadets and four adult instructors at the cadet detachment in Queensway, Hemel Hempstead, he is well equipped to train, lead and manage young cadets to achieve their best in life.
“I have always been interested in the Army” says Alex, “and the Army Cadet Force satisfies that interest as well as enabling me to introduce cadets to meaningful standards, values and experiences that they will draw on later in life.” “My employer has also gained direct benefit from some of the management and leadership training which I have received in the ACF”
Alex, who lives in Hemel Hempstead, has three youngsters of his own – daughter Eryn (9) and twin sons Aled and Luca (5). He has an honours degree in engineering from Glyndwr University in Wales and is a full member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology. After being introduced to the Army Cadet Force by a friend he joined as an adult instructor in 2010 and since then there has been no looking back.
“Holding a Queen’s commission to work with young people is a huge privilege and I am looking forward to playing a much greater part in the development of exciting and safe training activities for the cadets,” he said. “Once my own children reach joining age I hope they will also want take full advantage of what is on offer.”
In his daily working life Alex is the Principal Engineer at Leighton Buzzard based company Geomatrix Earth Science Ltd. with responsibility for the manufacture and supply of survey equipment used in civil engineering, archaeological exploration and several other applications.
More good news is that the Army Cadet Force is seeking additional adults from all walks of life who have the motivation to assist young people to achieve. No previous military experience or high levels of fitness are required. The ACF needs a range of people with common sense, drive and determination who have the ability to communicate with young people and lead other adults in shaping their future. Benefits include free training and equipment, repayment of expenses and payment for time given. Management and practical qualifications are also on offer, which could also improve personal career success.
For more information about the army cadet force and how you can be part of it call 01992 582423 or visit www.armycadets.com