Western Isles Company of 1st Battalion The Highlanders Army Cadet Force attended a training weekend based at QinetiQ MoD Hebrides West Camp in Balivanich form 22nd to 25th February.
In dry but cold weather the cadets took part in activities including rifle training, shooting, fieldcraft; first aid and map reading. They also enjoyed the excellent catering and accommodation facilities provided in West Camp.
At the final address at the end of training a cheque for £2852 was presented to Deputy Lord Lieutenant George MacDonald who accepted it on behalf of PoppyScotland.
That the population of the Western Isles still make such large donations to forces charities in a period of austerity says a lot about the continuing generosity of the islanders. Cadet Colour Sergeant Ali MacLeod presented the cheque as one of the duties of his last weekend camp.
Colour Sergeant Ali MacLeod joined the ACF in 2007 and during his time has attended annual camps at Ripon, Strensall, Swynnerton, Barrybuddon and Benbecula. He has attended many training weekends, parades and also represented the company in shooting and tactical competitions.
Ali leaves after a full cadet career having attained his ACF 3 Star qualification and attended the Senior Cadet Instructors Course.
First Aid is a popular and necessary part of any modern youth organisation and the ACF is no exception. Cadets can attain the St John Ambulance Youth First Aid Qualification and the Deputy Lord Lieutenant awarded the following cadets their certificate.
From Back Detachment Joe MacLeod; from Benbecula Detachment Joseph Carberry; Ewen Connor and Christopher Palmer; from Daliburgh Detachment Conner MacLeod and Calum Binnie; from Harris Detachment James MacVicar and Frances MacLeod; from Ness detachment Connor Morrison; Innes MacLeod, Debbie Hunter and Chloe Hunter; from Stornoway Detachment Holly Guilmartin.
Deputy Lord Lieutenant George MacDonald then awarded Captain George MacDonald of Tong with the second Bar to his Cadet Forces Medal in recognition of his 25 years as an ACF instructor.
Captain MacDonald was a cadet himself in his teenage years. Recognising the good work of the Adult Instructors he decided himself to become an adult in the ACF and joined in October 1987. He attended his Initial Training Course, Adult Instructors course and King George VI detachment commanders course. The then S.I. MacDonald applied for and received the Queens commission in January 1993. With the rank of second Lieutenant he was appointed as Detachment Commander at Back.
Since then Capt MacDonald has attended a shooting course; first aid courses; Mountain Leadership courses; too many to count company weekends and training events; been a regular at annual camps; worked with Back youth club and managed to fit in a family life. He was promoted Captain in 2002 and on completing his Area Commanders course in 2005 became company second in command and training officer.
In recognition of his service to the ACF, his community and youth he has previously been awarded the Cadet Forces Medal and Bar; the Lord Lieutenants Certificate and the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Captain MacDonald has recently been promoted at work and this promotion means a move to Inverness and an increase in responsibilities. Unfortunately for the ACF this increased pressure means that he feels he can no longer commit as he would wish to the ACF and has resigned – this was also his last weekend.
On behalf of Western Isles Army Cadet Force the Deputy Lord Lieutenant presented Captain MacDonald with a miniature Highland broadsword and a pair of crystal whisky glasses in recognition of his quarter century service to Western Isles ACF.