The VCC offers young people a worthy spare time activity and helps them to develop skills and friendships that will benefit them for years to come. Whether our cadets have careers in the military or in ‘civvy street’, what they learn in the VCC could prove useful for the rest of their lives.
We asked a number of former cadets to look back on their time with the VCC and reflect on what their cadet experiences meant to them…
“To me, the VCC is not just another Youth Organisation; we’re much more than that! Without the principles and discipline that I was taught (and now teach), I would not be where I am today. The VCC is one family and this was evident when I transferred from Portsmouth to Plymouth when attending University.” Louis Colpitts, former cadet and now an adult volunteer with the VCC.
“Without a doubt, when it came to my basic training with the Army the skills I had learned as a Royal Marines Cadet not only made my life easier but also enabled me to help my mates without previous cadet experience.” Rhys Navato, former cadet and now Royal Armoured Corps
“If it wasn’t for the discipline and the examples I was shown in the VCC, I don’t know where I would be today…but I can guess!” Wayne Littlejohn, former cadet and now an adult volunteer with the VCC
“The VCC gave me a second family who has supported me throughout my life.” Lee Bridgeman, former cadet RSM and now a PhD student in New Zealand
“I was a bugler in the cadet band and that certainly influenced my choice of career.” Dave Huskinson, former cadet and retired Royal Marines bugler
“From the discipline and drive to see things through, to leadership and presentation skills, my time in the VCC helped prepare me for by business career!” Russell McKee, former cadet who now runs his own IT business
“After the cadets I joined the Royal Marines was awarded the King’s Badge as best recruit in commando training. I went on to specialise as a Mountain Leader and completed tours in Afghanistan, Iraq, Northern Ireland and Albania, serving with another ex-cadet. After a 21 year career I left the Corps as a Colour Sergeant.” Lee Waters, former cadet and now training to be an international sea kayak guide
“I was the lead drummer in the cadet band; being a cadet meant more than just turning up twice a week. I had a real sense of pride wearing my uniform representing the Royal Marines and the cadets in parades and competitions.” Joe Stevens, former cadet and potential recruit for the Royal Marines Band Service
“I was a cadet between 1989 and 1992 and proud to wear my uniform. It was also where I first learned about the importance of teamwork.” Daniel Tregarthen, former cadet and now a Petty Officer with the Royal Navy
“After nine years as a cadet finishing as a WO2 I joined the Parachute Regiment where I was awarded Top Recruit during training. Finishing as a Corporal in the Paras I joined the UAE Army as a Lieutenant military advisor and now work abroad for corporate security with another former VCC cadet!” James McIntosh, former cadet and now somewhere in Africa!
“Being a cadet gave me confidence and taught me about teamwork.” Natasha Rock, former cadet and now an operating department nurse
“The VCC taught me self-discipline and respect, and gave me resilience.” Chris Fisher, former cadet and MOD Police sergeant