An Exeter man has received a prestigious award from Devon’s Lord-Lieutenant after transforming the Sea Cadet programme at a local school.
Lieutenant Gerard Poulet, aged 72, of Exeter, has been a Cadet Officer at Trinity School Combined Cadet Force (CCF) for eight years, where he plays an active role with the Sea Cadets Corps (SCC) section.
Lieutenant Poulet was rewarded for his dedication at a special ceremony in Plymouth where he was presented with a certificate for Meritorious Service by the Lord-Lieutenant for Devon, Sir Eric Dancer.
“I feel very privileged to have received this award – it really is a great honour and it is fantastic to be recognised for the hard work you put in on a day-to-day basis,” he said.
“I enjoy the work I do with these young people immensely and it is wonderfully rewarding to see Cadets learn and grow because of what I teach them.
“Being retired, I have the time to dedicate to these young Cadets,” he added.
“Of course there is no age limit for instructors such as myself but I’m sure at some point I might be deemed too old to continue. However, I’m just going to carry on doing it until they tell me I have to stop!”
Gerard has spent eight of his 12 years as a Cadet Officer with Trinity School, and when he joined in 2005 he was faced with dwindling numbers of Cadets in the Royal Navy section.
Since then, he has increased the SCC section from five to 25, and with his meticulous attention to detail, has seen the school into the top five Contingents sending cadets on national camps and courses.
He gets stuck into all aspects of the school’s CCF, including arranging helicopter visits, training Cadets for the 35-mile Ten Tors Challenge and co-ordinating the BTEC Diploma.
Describing the transformation of the school’s SCC section since Gerard’s arrival, Trinity School’s Commodore, Jamie Miller said: “Trinity Royal Navy section has risen like a phoenix from the ashes.”