Cameron achieves highest cadet rank in Medway Towns
We were delighted to hear that one of our Level 3 Engineering students, Cameron Anderson, has reached the highest Army Cadet rank and is the top cadet in the Medway towns - we met up with him to find out more about his wonderful achievement.
“I’ve been in the Army Cadets for six years, starting when I was 12. My uncle is a Captain in the Royal Engineers and he’s the one who got me thinking about being an engineer. I’m studying Level 3 in Engineering at the Medway Campus because I want to start in the Royal Engineers or Royal Mechanical Engineers with some engineering knowledge – not as a rookie.
I’m in my second year and we are mainly covering electrical engineering, fabrication and welding. There’s a lot of maths and we work with angles a lot. The good thing is that I’ve got a lot better at as the programme has gone on.
I plan to work for a couple of years before applying to join the Army as I want to be physically and mentally prepared for it. I’d like to do an apprenticeship with BAE systems as the Royal Engineers work closely with them and that will help prepare me.
I started off as a basic Cadet, working through 1 star, 2, star and 3 star. I am now a 4 star Cadet and a Staff Sergeant. As a 4 star you are expected to be the best of the best. I am the top Cadet in Medway at the moment. As Staff Sergeant I am in charge of Squadron Royal Engineers and have, at the last count, 99 Cadets under my command which is a bit scary, but I enjoy it. Being the top Cadet in Medway is daunting, but it’s good. Cadets isn’t just about shooting guns and stuff like that for me, you can do things like First Aid courses and I’ve actually just completed the Senior Cadet instructors course, so I’m qualified to teach in my Squadron and at camps. I had a bit of a rough start and was a bit naughty, but then started knuckling down and once I got Lance Corporal that’s when things changed and I started to get more responsibility. They say it’s the ‘hardest promotion to get and the easiest one to lose’. My Sergeant at the time was the one who set me on my course for a senior role and used Cadet Force instruction techniques to help me move up through the ranks. The Army Cadets is like a family – if you don’t work as a family and team, it won’t work. One thing leads to another so if you do things that are out of line, then it’s not going to work. You’ve got to lead by example and be disciplined and upstanding.
An Army life is definitely the one for me, I like it - it’s structured - but not quite yet. I know what it takes to get there and I’m not physically prepared. I want it to be my life so I want to go in aged 21 or 22.
You have to leave Army Cadets aged 18, but you can be an instructor which I plan to do and carry on doing that while I’m working. It will always be my life, I’ll always go back to it, even when I’m in the Army as you can even work in a detachment teaching Cadets.
My College Engineering programme is good, I like it, it’s hard but it’s level 3 so you expect it. Facilities are good and we’ve got everything we need to do the programme, equipment wise. We’ve got welders, even TIG welders which are a specialist bit of kit.
My promotion means that I’m a Senior Cadet, so if anything needs to be done it comes to me first and then I get it done, or pass it down the chain. I don’t think any of my Cadets are scared of me, I want them to be the best. If any of them asked me what they should do in the future, I would definitely recommend they go to MidKent College.”