Downham mother-of-five Kelly Thomas has become one of the county’s newest Army Cadet Force officers.
Kelly, 42, successfully completed an officer selection board held at Westbury in Wiltshire. She was rewarded with a Type ‘B’ Territorial Army Queen’s Commission as a 2nd lieutenant working with teens.
Kelly, a mobile complimentary therapist, joined the Army Cadet Force in 2012 and since then there has been no looking back. “I was hooked on the first night and absolutely love it,” she said.
“Two of my children were in the cadet force so it seemed natural to take part”, she said. “I was hooked on the first night and absolutely love it. I applied for a commission because progress in the cadet force is open to everyone and to show that women can do it too !”
And Kelly did it with style ... having progressed from Adult instructor to Detachment Commander at Downham Market, she set her sights on becoming a first aid trainer. Following training at the National Cadet Training Centre at Frimley Park she has since been appointed as the County First Aid Officer responsible for training and assessing cadet force adults and young people throughout Norfolk.“Through first aid I found a passion that I could share with others”’ says Kelly. “The cadet force offers many interests, not only for the cadets but also for adults. It’s a supportive atmosphere and everything is geared towards safe, fun activities that develop young people as individuals in their own right.”
Kelly’s future ambitions - having also qualified as a flute player during her service - include developing the recently created corps of drums and reaching the rank of Captain so she can be more involved with the planning and organisation of cadet training activities.
“Responsibility for the well being of young people is a satisfying but also serious business” she says. “I want to do all I can to ensure their enjoyment in a safe learning environment” In their spare time Kelly’s family enjoy airsoft events twice a month at Cambridge and her husband James - who is second in command of the cadet detachment at Swaffham - is aiming for a Queen’s Commission of his very own !