Captain Philip Russell RN is stepping down as Captain Sea Cadets after six years of helping to steer the Sea Cadets experience and inspiring young people all over the UK. Here he shares a farewell message and some of his highlights as Captain.
I feel incredibly privileged to have served as Captain Sea Cadets for six-and-a-half years. It has been a time of great success for the charity, as we have grown through investing in infrastructure, equipment and volunteers to keep Sea Cadets relevant and exciting.
The proof of our success is clear in our amazing cadets and it has been a real pleasure to meet and encourage so many of you as you find your way in life. It has also been a humbling experience to work with our incredible volunteers who give their time freely to support cadets as they develop.
As I retire from service, I would like to say a very big thank you to all those who have made my final years in the Royal Navy both memorable and heart-warming. You are all a credit to yourselves and to Sea Cadets. BZ. friends, colleagues and cadets.
MY BEST BITS…
Getting out and meeting cadets and volunteers has been brilliant. I visited around 230 units in total and while each unit is unique I have been met by the same warm welcome and have always been impressed by the commitment of our volunteers and enthusiasm of our cadets.
Cadet development has been an important part of my role. I’m encouraged by the renewed interest in developing Senior Cadets, and the Cadet Forums. The Virtual Leadership Academy has ensured that even more cadets can develop their leadership skills. I believe our Senior Cadets are the best they have ever been. BZ.
Nerve-racking though it was, I couldn’t think of anywhere better to propose to my wife than among the Sea Cadets family at the National Combined Regatta. It was also a delight to have the South West Area Sea Cadets Band escort my bride to the church on our wedding day. It made me a very happy Captain.
The Commissioning of TS Royalist by HRH the Princess Royal
A really memorable day at the start of my time as Captain. This was the start of huge development in Sea Cadets that has seen us invest in new yachts, upgrade our inshore fleet and open up new boat stations.
Camps and competitions
These always have an incredible buzz and gave me an excuse to try some of the amazing activities cadets can enjoy. Although, unlike many royal marines cadets, I have to admit to passing on the opportunity to try the regain over the icy waters of the tank at the Royal Marines Training Centre at Lympstone! Hats off to those who have!
Sea Cadets’ response to Covid-19
The last 18 months have been incredibly challenging but this time has reinforced my admiration for you all as I witnessed once again everyone pulling together as one. Apart from cadets’ support of their communities, it was truly amazing to watch the charity switch to productive online activities almost overnight with the launch of Virtual Sea Cadets, and then bounce back to face-to-face activity when conditions allowed. Working together and following the Sea Cadets’ ethos, we have yet again proved we really are Ready Aye Ready for anything.