An ex-Regular Army Sergeant who then had a 23-year-career in the police has made such an impact in just eight years as an adult instructor with Dorset Army Cadets that he has been awarded the Lord Lieutenant’s Certificate of Meritorious Service.
Born in Bournemouth and now living in Wimborne, Company Sergeant Major Instructor Chris Bean, 59, is the senior military instructor for Cadets in the east of the county.
The citation for his award described him as “an outstanding adult instructor, acting both as a role model for the adults and as a superb instructor for the cadets. Respect for him is universal.”
Having seen his own son thrive in the Army Cadets, Chris had no hesitation in volunteering for the Cadets after retiring from the police in 2010 although still he works part-time as a security officer at Bryanston School.
He said: “I knew I could then devote my time to the Army Cadets. My son was Cadet RSM in 2008-9 and he got a lot out of it. He’s now a Bombardier in the Royal Artillery.
“Quite a lot of our Cadets come from troubled social backgrounds, so what does it for me is just watching the improvement in a Cadet as a person and growing into a good human being with aspirations.
“I’ve been to Cadets’ passing out parades when they’ve joined the Army. There are some phenomenal kids. I feel an immense sense of pride when I see how much our Cadets achieve with their lives.”
After an initial stint at Christchurch, Chris took over command of West Moors detachment at a time when it needed strong leadership as well as initiative and imagination to get it back on its feet. He quickly transformed it into one of the strongest detachments in the county.
He was also Dorset ACF’s Regimental Sergeant Major for two years up to 2017.
Chris’s Army service had seen him join up with the Royal Signal Corps, training as a radio telegraphist. He deployed with various infantry units and the Royal Marines on six-month tours in Belize and Cyprus before earning his parachute wings.
Promoted to Sergeant, he was posted to the Grenadier Guards as part of a small Signals contingent, mainly on rural patrols in Northern Ireland. It was in late 1987 that he left to join Dorset Police.
“I did a good mixture of everything, including some time in CID and also intelligence gathering and surveillance, and then finished up on the beat. They were good times for the most part.”
The presentation by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant, Angus Campbell, took place at Kingston Maurward House, Dorchester. Others to receive a Certificate of Meritorious Service were:
- Group Captain (RAF, retired) Michael Davis, 83, of Swanage. For his wide-ranging and continuing support to 2185(Swanage)Detached Flight since becoming Poole RAFA’s representative on the 2185 (Wareham & Swanage) ATC Welfare Committee. After ten years as independent examiner for the accounts, he is now a trustee of the Squadron.
- Michael McAndrew, 56,of Bournemouth. For his untiring commitment to the Sea Cadet Corps through the Christchurch Unit Management Team, galvanising fund-raising and, as Chair, ensuring its survival to ensure that hundreds of young people have had the benefit of the Sea Cadet experience.
The Lord-Lieutenant also announced the Cadets who will assist him in his duties over the next year. They are: Cadet Warrant Officer Class 1 William Bond, Sherborne School CCF; Leading Cadet William Louch, Portland Sea Cadet Corps (not present); Cadet Serjeant Henry Slocombe, Dorset ACF; Cadet Serjeant Lily Tointon, Dorset ACF; Cadet Corporal Carla Anning, Dorset ACF; Cadet Corporal Kane Aubrey, Dorset ACF; Cadet Corporal Lilly-Mae Nennstiel, Dorset ACF.