Appeal for adults as cadet numbers rise

An adult volunteer with the Army Cadet Force has spoken of the pleasure she gains from the role in a bid to encourage more people to come forward.

Donna Borthwick is Detachment Commander for No5 (Jedburgh) platoon of Minden Company of the Army Cadet Force (ACF).

The full-time student from Kelso has been an adult instructor for almost ten years, having previously served as a Cadet Sergeant Major, which gives a sense of what it might be like to become an adult instructor.

It was that taste that led Donna to become an instructor. She said: “As a senior cadet I looked up to the adult volunteers who trained me through the years.

“Now as an instructor myself, just knowing that I can make even a little difference in someone’s life is amazing.

“The skills and confidence you gain as an adult volunteer are invaluable.”

In her time as a volunteer Donna has gained many skills which cross over into everyday life, such as motivation, self-confidence and first aid, which had to be put to use recently when she arrived on the scene of a road accident.

The ACF in the Borders is growing and a push is on to increase the number of adult instructors to match the demand.

Minden Company Commander Major Alan Cook, himself a former cadet, said: “The company is in a great position just now with new cadets coming along all the time, and as a result we need to ensure they are given the best possible instruction and inspiration.

“Our adult instructors are vital in delivering this, and we’re now looking for more volunteers to join us.”

Local adult volunteers come from many different walks of life, from student to garage owner and school teacher to radio presenter. However all have the common aim of wanting to inspire young people to achieve success in life while having fun.

No military experience is required, only the desire to learn and pass knowledge onto cadets. Full training is provided, as well as a uniform. A commitment of one or two evenings a week alongside training weekends is all that is required.

Anyone over the age of 18 can apply to become an instructor and there are no qualification requirements. To find out more people can visit

Detachments in the Borders meet in Kelso, Jedburgh, Hawick, Galashiels, Selkirk, Peebles, Eyemouth and Duns.