December 20th 2023

A year in the life of a Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet

A year in the life of a Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet

What exactly does it mean to be a Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet? The Army Cadet representative for Lincolnshire looks back on a year of extraordinary opportunities after handing the baton over to the next Cadet to take up this prestigious ceremonial role.

My name is Kieran Elsey, I’m 17 years old and at the time of writing, I am the Cadet Staff Sergeant, Senior Cadet of the Cherry Willingham Detachment in Number 1 Company Lincolnshire Army Cadet Force.

Between 2022 and 2023, I had the honour of being HM Lord-Lieutenant of Lincolnshire Mr Toby Dennis’ Army Cadet.

How it started

At the beginning of my journey, I was only a Corporal. Just before Annual Camp in 2022 my Company Officer Commanding (OC) sat me down and discussed the position of the ‘Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet’.

She proceeded to ask me if I would like to be put forward to possibly become the Lord-Lieutenant’s Army Cadet for 2022 to 2023. As a Corporal at the time, I was slowly getting used to the senior style and I believed this would be the perfect opportunity to put myself out there, so I agreed to be put forward.

‘One of the best feelings I have ever had’

During our 2022 Annual Camp at Swynnerton, Staffordshire, myself and two other Cadets were given times and locations for an interview for the position. The interview began with me walking into the room, saluting and sitting down.

The interview was performed by the Commandant of Lincolnshire Army Cadets, Colonel Sackree, and Deputy Commandant, Lieutenant Colonel Maguire. The interview proceeded with a wide range of questions ranging from personal life, Cadet life and if I was aware of who the Lord-Lieutenant was and what his job was. I feel I answered the questions well. Combined with the reference my OC had put forward about me, I was full of confidence.

We were told to meet at the Colonel’s office bright and early the next morning. This is when he would announce which one of us would be selected to be the Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet.

We stood in separate corners. Sir began by explaining that he made his decision based on how we acted, our confidence and experience. That’s when he announced: ‘I have decided to choose Kieran.’

It was honestly one of the best feelings I have ever had, I was filled with joy and pride. Of course, I thanked Sir and discussed it with the other Cadets who were put forward. I congratulated them on being put forward and wished them luck for their futures. It was a great day.

The ceremony

Soon after I was promoted to the rank of Cadet Sergeant came the night of the inauguration, 20th October 2022. My predecessor, Cadet Sergeant Major Alex Webber, 4 Company, was there to pass down the role to me.

The ceremony included Officers in Command of Army Cadet Forces, Sea Cadet Corps, Combined Cadet Forces and Air Training Corps from the area, all who gave a brief description and inside knowledge of their Cadet.

This is when the Lord-Lieutenant himself presented me with my badge and certificate. There was also a presentation from past Lord-Lieutenant Cadets on what they did during their year. After a photo shoot, I had time to visit Cadets at my Detachment in Cherry Willingham, who all congratulated me. It was a great night.


When myself and the other Lord-Lieutenant Cadets attended the Remembrance parade, we begun by standing in a line. One of us opened Mr Dennis’ car door and we all stood back and saluted him. We greeted Sir, he asked how we were and welcomed us to our very first duty as Lord-Lieutenants Cadets for the year. We had reserved seats in front of the service at London Cathedral, which gave us a great view. I felt so important at that moment. I was able to read a passage too, which felt great.

Carol service

On Christmas Eve there was a Christmas carol service being held at Lincoln Cathedral to really drive home the Christmas spirit. The Lord-Lieutenant was invited to this joyous occasion so we were able to attend with him. As a collective, we decided to come together and bought him a nice bottle of port to celebrate the occasion. I felt honoured.


On 30th April 2023, Mr Dennis held his own service in the grand Lincoln Cathedral to celebrate and support the Coronation of our great King Charles III. I was slightly nervous at the beginning as the service was very important and my very first event as a Cadet Staff Sergeant. The service itself had so much, I felt important and highly honoured that Sir wanted us to attend with him. We were also joined by a Sergeant from an entirely different county. He seemed pretty sweet. The service was so professional.

The first royal visit

On 12th June, Washingborough Primary School hosted a day organised for the healthy eating initiative they were launching. Attending this event was HRH Princess Anne. It was such an honour to be the one who had permission to open her car door and greet her Royal Highness. I will admit leading up to that moment I had a deep nervous feeling, however, it was smooth and she is one of the best people you could ever meet.

I opened her door, stepped back, saluted and walked with her and Sir into the school. We were able to have a detailed tour of the great school itself before a wonderfully performed ceremony presented by the students, This was followed by Her Royal Highness presenting a plaque.

The second royal visit

Exactly one month later I had the honour of showing around and providing a tour of the Cornhill Quarter to the Duke of Gloucester, HRH Prince Richard. Myself and my fellow Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet, Petty Officer Hannah Griffiths of the Sea Cadets, were able to tour the Cornhill and learn a great deal about Lincoln’s history. We even had the chance to look around the market which, at the time, hadn’t been opened to the public yet. That day was such an honour.

Meeting His Majesty

On the cloudy afternoon of July 24th, RAF Coningsby was celebrating the 80th anniversary of the Dambusters Raid. This was celebrated with an afternoon tea party with a very high honoured guest, His Majesty King Charles III.

Having the chance to shake His Majesty’s hand and have a conversation with him made me feel so honoured and will forever be my greatest achievement as a Cadet.

He asked me if I was okay, if I planned to join the forces, and he wanted to find out about the Army Regiment we are affiliated with, the Royal Anglians.

What an incredible experience and one I will remember forever. Luckily, for this event, I was joined by my mother and sister who were able to help settle my nerves before I met His Majesty.

If I could tell the next Lord-Lieutenant Cadet anything, it would be if they get a chance to meet His Majesty, to have confidence and not to fear him. He may be the King, but he is super, super kind.