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Caithness cadets volunteer recognised for 25 years of service

By John Davidson

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An Army Cadet volunteer has been recognised for his quarter of a century of service to the young people of Caithness and the Highlands.

Major Neil Mclean (73), who was a member of 1st Battalion The Highlanders Army Cadet Force, was presented with the second clasp to the Cadet Force Medal – marking 24 years of service – in a presentation held at the Halkirk Detachment earlier this month.

Major McLean (right) receiving the 2nd Clasp to the Cadet Force Medal by Major George MacDonald at Halkirk Detachment.
Major McLean (right) receiving the 2nd Clasp to the Cadet Force Medal by Major George MacDonald at Halkirk Detachment.

Major Mclean joined the battalion in May 1998, when he began as an instructor with Thurso Detachment and was later appointed as the detachment’s Commander.

In 2006 he was appointed as the Company Commander for Caithness Company, a position he held until 2014 when he took a step back to focus on teaching cadets by being appointed as the new Detachment Commander for Wick Detachment.

In October 2008 he once again stepped up as Company Commander for Caithness and led the company until he retired in July last year after 25 years of service to the Cadet Forces.

Prior to his retirement he qualified for the second clasp of the Cadet Force Medal. The medal is awarded to Cadet Force adult volunteers after 12 years’ service in the Cadet Forces, with a clasp awarded after every additional 6 years of service, which is worn on the ribbon of the medal.

Major Mclean was invited to attend the Company’s Halkirk Detachment to be presented with his clasp, which he received from Ross Company Commander Major George MacDonald in front of the cadets of Halkirk Detachment.

Throughout his service Major Mclean has inspired many young people to achieve their potential. Staff Sergeant Instructor Connall Bain who was a former cadet and was taught by the Major said: “Neil inspired myself and others as cadets, he also helped myself as a new instructor into the Battalion. A great man that will always be welcome in the mess.”

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