The Role of a Cadet Commandant – Norfolk ACF

Colonel Clem Maginniss, Cadet Commandant Norfolk ACF, is clear on the key aspect of his role: “Creating and sustaining a professional, diligent and enthusiastic Command Team that is able, through the Chain of Command, to deliver a safe, coherent, inspirational and focussed cadet experience in Norfolk ACF, supported by capable, effective and resilient administrative, welfare and logistic systems.”

Main issues for him are: training, personnel (adult and cadet recruiting, administration and welfare) and logistics, with his priorities being the introduction of the Adult Induction Programme, Four-Star Cadet development, and delivering the challenging annual camp for 2013.

But as with other Cadet Commandants, the recruitment of officers is high on his agenda.

“Selecting and preparing the future leaders of Norfolk ACF is the most important task I have as Commandant; a failure in this arena will create a long-term negative legacy, which will be compounded annually,” he said.

However, he recognises that as some candidates may mature later, it remains important still to continue to monitor new potential in the Adult Instructor’s Mess.

Cadet Commandants have also highlighted the value of tapping into the resource of retiring regular officers or reservist personnel for positions within the ACF.

Col Maginniss joined the Ratcliffe College CCF as a cadet in 1969 transferring to the Warwickshire ACF in 1974 as an Under Officer before joining the Regular Army. A field soldier at heart, he has commanded two specialist transport squadrons, held two regimental commands, retiring at 56 as a Lieutenant Colonel, as is now in the TA as the Staff Officer Rail with the Logistic Operational Headquarters Support Group.

Commanding 35 Officers, 123 adult volunteers, 27 detachments and 770 cadets with more than two-thirds of them in rural areas, he considers himself fortunate to have had experience of the CCF, ACF, TA and Regular Army.

That armed him with a “good feel for the cadet movement,” while his TA experience was “fundamental to comprehending the volunteer ethic” and Regular service gave him “splendid leadership opportunities, challenging operational tours, and excellent training, in a wide variety of military and civilian environments”.

As a new Commandant (he came into post just this January) Col Maginniss said he remains constantly “amazed” by the dedication, humour, zeal and enthusiasm of his cadets and added: “It is a pleasure and a privilege to be an ACF Commandant and I consider myself most fortunate to have been selected for the appointment”.

Source: Army Cadet Magazine

21st May 2013

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