Three East Belfast teenagers have been appointed to serve as Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant’s Cadets for the County Borough of Belfast, receiving their honours at a formal ceremony held at Parliament Buildings, Stormont.
Cadet Sergeant Jonathan Cuthbert, Able Cadet Toni Dickson and Cadet Company Sergeant Major Ryan McMaster, all from the East of the city, will be amongst just twelve Lord Lieutenants’ Cadets appointed across Northern Ireland. The Cadets who are selected for the largely ceremonial year-long role can expect a busy year in office as they attend their respective Lord Lieutenants on major civic occasions. In recognition of their role, they are entitled to wear a special insignia on their uniforms throughout their year in office.
Sixteen-year-old Sergeant Jonathon Cuthbert, a student at Royal Belfast Academical Institute, joined the Sea Cadets in November 2013 and has since proved popular with cadets and peers alike. The Citation which accompanies his honour commends him as ‘a confident and outgoing young person with a vibrant personality … an inspirational young leader whose motivation of younger cadet’s teamwork and maturity is recognized widely within the organisation.’
Currently working towards his Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, Jonathan currently represents Royal Marines Cadets on the Northern Ireland Cadet Forum while his sporting interests include playing rugby and powerboating, competing at the National Boat Handling event this year in London.
His Citation concludes, ‘Jonathon prominently displays the Cadet Core values of Commitment, Loyalty, Honesty, Discipline and Teamwork.’
Two Grosvenor Grammar School students were also selected for the prestigious posts this year: Able Cadet Toni Dickson from Training Ship Formidable Sea Cadets and Cadet Company Sergeant Major Ryan McMaster, who is an enthusiastic member of the school’s own Army Cadet Detachment.
Seventeen-year-old Toni joined the Sea Cadets in 2013 since when she has become an asset to her unit, working her way through the Cadet Training Program with dedication and commitment. She is an active outdoor person who particularly enjoys sport and adventure training and has competed at NI District and National Levels in Football, Kayaking and Sailing. She has a strong interest in Offshore Training and is currently working towards obtaining her Day Skipper Qualification.
The Citation which accompanies Toni’s appointment as Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet describes her as, ‘an intelligent and inspiring cadet who not only strives to learn new skills but uses her knowledge to help motivate those younger than her. She is a patient and respected peer leader who takes time working with others, helping them to achieve their own personal goals. An excellent asset to the TS FORMIDABLE Unit, Toni regularly assists local charities with fundraising including the Royal British Legion, NI Cancer Fund for Children and the Sea Cadets. Able Cadet Toni Dickson is a reliable and dedicated cadet whose maturity allows her to become an excellent role model and ambassador for the Sea Cadets, with outstanding dress and bearing.’
Cadet Company Sergeant Major Ryan McMaster, aged 17, has achieved an exemplary record since joining the Grosvenor Grammar School Detachment Army Cadet Force (ACF) in September 2013. He is currently working towards the completion of his 4 Star Army Proficiency Certificate following the successful completion of his Junior Cadet Instructors Cadre last year. He is also working towards his Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.
His Citation praises him as ‘a great asset to his detachment commander and fellow cadets. He is a very good instructor and has played a major role in the recruiting, training and retention of new cadets. He has boundless enthusiasm and will willingly take on any task and see it through to a successful conclusion.’
Keenly competitive, Cadet Company Sergeant Major McMaster is always up for a challenge, and over the past three years has represented his detachment and company in annual military skills competitions, as well as being a member of the Company Drill Team and the Local Hero competition team.
The Citation says of Ryan, ‘He is a popular and well liked member of his detachment and company. His contribution as a senior cadet in terms of support to his detachment and company commander remains substantial. He has worked very hard and thoroughly deserves to be a Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet for the City of Belfast.’
The trio are photographed receiving the certificates which mark their appointment from Mrs Fionnuala Jay-O’Boyle CBE, Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for the County Borough of Belfast.