A detachment commander from Epsom is actively seeking young recruits to join the Army Cadet Force in Epsom.

Sergeant. Patrick Cullen has been an instructor in the army cadets for more than five years and is looking to recruit 12 to 18 year olds to join the ACF. 

He previously served in the parachute regiment of the army and is now the detachment commander of unit 154 in Epsom.

He told the Surrey Comet that he as a “complete passion” for educating young men and women and watching them grow.

Surrey Comet: photos: Sgt. Pat Cullenphotos: Sgt. Pat Cullen

He said: “We’re looking to recruit young boys and girls to join our cadet family.

“I am really keen to promote the ACF and gain additional recruits for our detachment in Epsom.”

Patrick says the cadet force have a range of military subjects and life skills to learn at a basic level, as well as the chance to bond and meet new people of a similar age and interest.

Surrey Comet: photos: Sgt. Pat Cullenphotos: Sgt. Pat Cullen

He added: “We currently parade one night a week, as we only have nine cadets at present – but the cadets turn up consistently, week in, week out.

“Day to day we teach subjects such as field crafting, navigation, reading a map and figuring out grid references.

“With the physical training, drill is a big part of the cadets, as well as command tasks.

“You work your way up through a stark ranking that starts at basic cadet and goes up to master cadet.

“If the training is done in sequence and each subject is passed, then you go up another star level.”

Patrick began his journey in the armed forces many years ago, when he was a cadet himself, which he says was an “awesome” experience.

Whilst in the army, Patrick was based in Aldershot then Colchester and took part in tours across Northern Ireland, Bosnia, and Kosovo.

He says he “always knew” he would revisit the cadet force as he thoroughly enjoyed his experience as a child.

Patrick says joining the cadet force is a “great experience” for children, as they’re learning life skills and opens up future possibilities to join the army or gain extra qualifications.

Surrey Comet: photos: Sgt. Pat Cullenphotos: Sgt. Pat Cullen

He explained: “We’re open to take anyone within the age group and don’t exclude.

“You learn leadership skills as you work your way up the star ranking, as well as learning vital life skills such as first aid.

“It’s a great way to develop skills in normal day to day life.

“We encourage the Duke of Edinburgh, and we offer several other qualifications in the ACF.

“Having the cadet background on your CV shows motivation and determination to give you a step forward.”

Surrey Comet: photos: Sgt. Pat Cullenphotos: Sgt. Pat Cullen