Mr Paul has been an adult volunteer for the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) for 10 years. He’s the Officer Commanding Army Section in the CCF at Robert Gordon’s College where he teaches Geography by day and is also the Educational Visits Coordinator.
Enjoying the variety of roles that working at Gordon’s can offer, Mr Paul shared: “I used to be a reservist and love the outdoors. That’s why I do it. But it’s not all shouting, mud, and sleeping outside – though it can be if you want it to be! There’s something for everyone within the cadets. If you’re into history and regiments you can do that, if you want to develop your transferable skills you can do that – they offer a Masters degree in Leadership and Management.”
Since becoming an adult volunteer with the cadets, Mr Paul has trained in many different activities, from courses in leadership and becoming a qualified Skill at Arms instructor and a range conducting officer, to alpine skiing and ice climbing. A personal highlight is the adventurous training trips through the Cadet Centre for Adventurous Training (CCAT), with Germany and Canada among his favourite destinations.
The College values the experience that being an adult volunteer offers; from commitment and perseverance, being able to work with different people, management skills and managing budgets, to writing training programmes for the cadets and planning brigade activities like camps and competitions.
The cadets get a lot out of it too. Mr Paul summarised: “The thing I enjoy most is watching the development of the young people in the Army Section. I teach many of our cadets in the daytime and see how they can transform in a different environment. When they’re out of school clothes and in their cadet uniform they all step up and meet new expectations that they just wouldn’t experience in everyday life. Cadet careers always come up in university and job interviews. Everything we do through the CCF is an investment in their future, and I’m proud to be part of that.”
Read more: Ministry of Defence - Volunteering for the CCF