On Monday 05 March, the Contingent Commander of the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) at BMS, Major Alexander Smith, received Her Majesty Lord Lieutenant’s Certificate of Meritorious Service at an awards ceremony held at the Sculpture Gallery in Woburn.
Certificates of Meritorious Service are intended to supplement Honours bestowed by Her Majesty The Queen in the New Year and Birthday Honours Lists and, in precedence, ranks immediately after such awards.
Major Alexander Smith took the post of School Staff Instructor in the rank of Warrant Officer Class 2 (WO2) in 2012 after a successful career as a regular Royal Signals Soldier. His enthusiasm and professionalism have led to a broadening of the opportunities available to the cadets in school, especially since his appointment as Commanding Officer. Cadets have benefitted from periods of time at sea on HMS Ocean, successful nominations for Lord-Lieutenant Cadet positions, a re-establishment of flying training for the RAF section and his liaison with the Defence Helicopter Training School to provide acquaint flights during training periods. The number of cadets on roll has risen, retention has been bolstered and the morale of both cadets and adult volunteers has improved. As a direct result of the efforts of Major Smith, the cadet experience has been improved considerably.
Within the community, Major Smith is a keen amateur historian and is actively involved in research into the history of the Great War, particularly that of the involvement of OBMs. In his civilian role, Major Smith is responsible for the Outdoor Education department at BMS.
HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis, said after the ceremony: “It has been such a delight to meet with the wonderful people of Bedfordshire who have received awards this year. The range of contributions that have been undertaken demonstrate what can be achieved when people are prepared to go the extra mile. Each individual represents the very best of great citizenship and each has played a major part in building strong communities here in Bedfordshire and nationally”.
Major Alexander Smith added: “It was a real surprise and honour to receive this award. The ceremony highlighted the work of the many volunteers within Bedfordshire and to be surrounded by so many inspirational people and hear their stories was extremely moving”.