Essex ACF Officers Share Common Cause

Billericay couple Pete and Miranda Scott-Mills are dedicated to young people throughout Essex – and with a combined total of 35 years voluntary service in the Army Cadet Force they are a shining example of commitment and devotion to a worthy cause.

Pete, 40, a business owner who founded locally based IT support company Vezo Networks five years ago, has risen through the ranks since joining the cadet force in 1993 to become the Major in charge of the South East area of the County. He now holds responsibility for the training and development of 260 young cadets aged between 12 and 18 as well as adult instructors in several locations.

Previously, as a teenage army cadet himself, he achieved a host of awards including appointment as Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet and went on to University to gain a Batchelors Degree in business information systems. In addition to his area duties Pete is also closely involved with the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme.

“The Army Cadet Force is a wonderful organisation,” says Pete. “It provides opportunities to adults and young people to develop and achieve their best in life.Its a privilege to be part of it and be able to organise training and expeditions that truly benefit young people.”

Miranda, 32, who successfully balances her work as owner of Brentwood Floor and Tile Company with being a Captain in the cadet force, joined as an adult instructor in 2001 and entirely shares Pete’s enthusiasm for helping young people. Working alongside him she manages youth involvement in the BTEC and Duke of Edinburgh Award Schemes at local and County levels. Miranda’s eight years of experience as the detachment commander at Leigh-on-Sea has proven invaluable in her day to day duties.

“Its vital to understand and support young people,” she says. “Sadly some come from backgrounds where they have not been appreciated or may even have been subjected to such things as bullying in the home or at school. We provide a haven where they can come and enjoy friendship and support and gain confidence in a safe learning environment to become whatever they wish in life.”

For Pete and Miranda travel abroad with the cadet force has included an Easter Camp at Gibraltar and close involvement in the organising of Duke of Edinburgh Award expeditions to Africa. In 2012 a successful three week self-funded volunteering project in Ghana for ten young people was arranged by Pete, during which the cadets took part in cultural development projects. He hopes to repeat the experience this year with fifteen different cadets and then make it an annual event towards achievement of the Gold level award, which Miranda already holds.

Pete and Miranda originally met during a cadet force competition in 2001 and married in August last year. They are currently renovating their home in Billericay and are now hoping for a family of their own and…“Joining the Army Cadet Force will certainly be on our children’s agenda !”says Miranda.

Get in touch…
More good news is that the Army Cadet Force is seeking additional adults from all walks of life who share Pete and Miranda’s passion for assisting young people to achieve. People able to take on the challenge are needed throughout the area. No previous military experience or high levels of fitness are required. The ACF needs 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 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 01245 462302 or visit www.armycadets.com   

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