Star Cadet Adam
POC Adam is still recovering after a near-fatal motorbike accident in November
Star Cadet Adam
One determined cadet is overcoming adversity to achieve his goals
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Current

Current
04/08/15
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POC Adam had it all planned out: he was going to finish school and get on track to become a nautical engineer in the Royal Navy. He had already set the wheels in motion when he had a near-fatal motorbike accident last November. He suffered serious injuries and spent six weeks in hospital. But, despite having his leg in a brace and walking with a stick, just a few weeks after getting out of hospital Adam was helping his unit train for area Drill, and recently led them to glory at the district regatta. He’s even been nominated for a Triumph Over Adversity award in his local town. He talked to Current about changing his plans and staying positive.  

Are you still able to take part in Sea Cadets activities?

Having this big brace on my leg is quite a hindrance. I’ve had it on since December but it’s finally coming off later this month – I can’t wait to get rid of it! Adventure Training (AT) has been completely out of the question, and my unit does a lot of AT as we haven’t got boating facilities on the doorstep. I used to love doing loads of mountain biking. But I still go to cadets twice a week. I was recently coxswain in power boating at the district regatta and we won, so we’ll be competing in the area regatta soon. At the area Drill competition I was Squad Commander. I managed to give orders, but I missed a lot of the training while I was in hospital and I have a head injury, which means I still get confused sometimes, so it didn’t go too well. But the main thing is I managed to turn up.

Has your unit been supportive?

Absolutely. A few people from the unit came to visit me in hospital, the CO came twice, and she wrote to Yorkshire Tea (because I really like Yorkshire Tea), and they sent me a massive hamper!

Was it difficult coming to terms with not being able to join the Navy?

It was really hard. It was joining Sea Cadets that made me realise what I wanted to do. I’d had my heart set on it for about two years and had a good idea of what I needed to do to get there. I’d already applied to go to Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College and got a lot of the experience I needed. I found out while I was still in hospital that I wouldn’t be able to pass the medical for the Royal Navy, and I wasn’t in any condition to finish my A-Levels.

What are you going to do instead?

I can’t join RN but can join Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) [http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/our-organisation/the-fighting-arms/royal-fleet-auxiliary]. It’s still part of the Armed Forces, but you don’t have the same hands-on experience, so the fitness and medical requirements aren’t as demanding. I’ll still get to travel the world and use my qualifications. I’ve got a first class BTEC in Engineering Maintenance through Sea Cadets, and I’m starting an engineering diploma at college in September. I want to get an office cadetship and an HND in engineering at Fleetwood and then get onto an RFA ship.

Are you going to be a Sea Cadets volunteer?

Yes, one benefit to what’s happened is that I’ll still be around next year, so I’ve already spoken to the CO and filled out the forms to become a volunteer when I turn 18 in September. Everything I’ve done at Sea Cadets and the volunteering experience I’ll get will all look really good on my CV.

How did it feel to be nominated for a Triumph Over Adversity award?

My CO nominated me and I was a bit shocked. And the award ceremony is on the anniversary of when I had the accident last year, which is a weird coincidence. I wasn’t expecting it at all. To me, I’ve not really done anything significant, I’ve just carried on as before and tried to get on with my life – but it turns out that’s what the award is, people who’ve had a set back and they’ve just kept going. You’ve got to stay positive. You can’t let things get you down, can you?


Adam was nominated as a Star Cadet by his CO Caroline Davenport. She said:

“Adam has always been a very keen cadet. However, since his accident he has been a real inspiration to his peers and younger cadets. He continues to remain cheerful and does his best to take part in all unit activities, despite often being in pain. He is a very active member of the team and is already planning how he can help when he turns 18.”

Nominate a Star Cadet by emailing current@ms-sc.org

Do you want to pursue a career in nautical engineering like Adam? Check out the work experience and apprenticeship opportunities available through the Current careers page.

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