Colonel Mark Knight retires from Cambridgeshire’s army cadets after 45 years
- Credit: Colonel Mark Knight MBE LD / Cambridgeshire Army Cadet Force
A key and long-serving figure of Cambridgeshire’s army cadets has announced his retirement after 45 years’ service.
Colonel Mark Knight joined the Tydd St Giles detachment in 1968 when he was 13 and served various roles with the Cambridgeshire Army Cadet Force throughout his adult life.
Under his leadership, young cadets and adults have had once-in-a-lifetime experiences and developed life skills outside formal education and work.
He also held various appointments including detachment commander, company HQ appointments, including OC No1 (Hereward) Company.
In 2007, he was made a Member of the British Empire for his commitment and dedication to the county’s cadets. Last year, he was appointed deputy lieutenant of Cambridgeshire.
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He has held the position of commandant of the Cambridgeshire Army Cadet Force since 2016.
Col Knight said in his farewell message: “For the last four years I have had the privilege of leading the 880 cadet and adult leaders of Cambridgeshire Army Cadet Force for which I honestly believe is the country’s best youth organisation.
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“It provides challenge, adventure, builds confidence, friendships, develops life skills which will help both cadets and cadet force adult volunteers in life. All of which are useful to those joining Her Majesty’s uniformed services or those taking up a civilian career.”
He explained external qualifications can be gained through the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme and the education charity CVQO.
“Overall it helps makes people better citizens and community spirited,” he added.
As he reflected on his long career, Col Knight included the commemorations around the centenary of the First World War.
He also mentioned the community work carried out by Army cadets to support the Royal British Legion’s parade and collecting for the Poppy Appeal.
The county’s expanding cadet force, the annual training camps, the friendships and the continued commitment displayed throughout the pandemic were also among his highlights.
Col Knight, who still lives in the Fens, will be succeeded by the new commandant, Colonel Adam Frasier-Hitchen from Saturday (August 1).