January 23rd 2017

Meet LNR ACF’s new Commandant Mick Coleman

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Mick Coleman

The new Commandant at Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland Army Cadet Force (LNR ACF) says he owes his career to his time as an adult volunteer in the Army Cadets and he’s determined to give as much back as possible.

Colonel Mick Coleman took up the senior voluntary post in November, 30 years after first joining as a cadet.

The 46-year-old was born and bred in the New Parks area of Leicester but moved to Grantham where, aged 16, he joined the ACF

Three years after finishing as a cadet, Mick returned as an adult volunteer – a move that has shaped his entire life.

He’s enjoyed it so much it led to him changing his initial career in catering to move into working with young people in a full-time role. He is now a Regional Care Manager for Cambrian Children’s Services.

As a senior adult volunteer he has risen through the ranks with Lincolnshire ACF before crossing back to the county of his birth to take the Commandant’s role.

Mick said: “It’s the cadet experience that got me the job I’m doing now and led to the career change. I’ve used all the training I’ve received through the youth organisation to progress my volunteer role and now my work has helped land the Commandant role.

“Being Commandant for LNR ACF is a massive role as it’s taking on one of the largest cadet areas in the country. There’s around 1,400 cadets 200 adult volunteers and 44 detachments. Looking over all of them is going to take some adjusting to, but that’s the big challenge that excites me the most.”

But what does the role of a Commandant entail?

Mick answers: “My role is to direct and lead the exceptional talent at LNR with the aim of ensuring cadets and volunteers get the absolute most out of their experience with the Army Cadets.

“I have to ensure the county is operating to national regulations and set standards for everyone at LNR to aspire to. It’s about ensuring everything runs smoothly.

“I used the Christmas break to do some planning and we’re starting to make changes.

“As someone who has come in from a different ACF county I’m bringing in new ideas to LNR and I’m looking to convince them of how those will benefit volunteers and cadets in the coming years.”

Mick is from a military family with his dad David Coleman having served with the Royal Corps of Transport, a forerunner of the Royal Logistics Corps. Mick’s eldest son of three, Jake, is now a Lance Corporal in the regular Army with the Royal Signals after being a cadet himself with the Grantham detachment of Lincolnshire ACF.

Mick is married to Gail who he has been with for 30 years and in his spare time he enjoys off-road biking, socialising and watching films.

There isn’t a huge amount of spare time though with cadets being a massive part of his life on top of his full-time employment.

Mick continues: “I volunteer with the cadets because I love the young people we work with, I love the adult volunteers involved and I love the opportunities the ACF presents you which are different to ones you would get in any other organisation.

“My passion comes from wanting to make sure the young people get the same experience we received as cadets and being a part of the organisation opens so many different doors as I’ve found out throughout my life.”

“My role is to direct and lead the exceptional talent at LNR with the aim of ensuring cadets and volunteers get the absolute most out of their experience with the Army Cadets."