The island’s army cadets have a new commandant and for the first time the new man at the helm is from within the cadet force rather than the army.
Dean Johnson, who has been a volunteer officer with the cadet force for some years, said he was delighted to take up the post and hoped to swell the number of recruits.
Speaking of his new role he said: ‘I suppose it means the buck stops with me. The title sounds grandiose but it really means I’m responsible as the senior ranking officer for the island’s army cadet force.’
In the island, the organisation boasts 130 cadets and 35 adults - lower numbers overall than the neighbouring areas of Lancashire and Greater Manchester but measured per capita, that’s still three times the size of any other area in the North West.
‘Whether we do something better or whether the Isle of Man is simply more community-minded, I don’t know, but that’s been the case historically for a number of years,’ he added.
The numbers equate to two and a half per cent of all eligible young people joining, compared with less than one per cent in the UK.
‘We have a strong team and I’m not planning any sweeping changes. Our motto is “Inspire to achieve”. It’s all about developing good citizenship skills for the future.’ he said.