A TEENAGER says he is honoured to be the Mayor of Henley?s cadet.
LCpl Matthew Case, 15, was formally appointed at a meeting of Henley Town Council on Tuesday.
Mayor Lorraine Hillier presented him with a framed certificate and a badge of office.
Matthew, a pupil at Gillotts School, was chosen from nominations received from Henley?s air, army and sea cadets.
He will accompany the Mayor on various engagements during her year of office, including at the town?s Remembrance Day service.
Matthew lives in Gainsborough Crescent with his father Graham, a window cleaner, mother Carole, a secretary, and 14-year-old sister, Laura, who also goes to Gillotts.
He said: ?I was called by the Mayor?s secretary telling me that I had been put forward for the role. I wasn?t aware of it but I was very pleased and I am excited about it.?
Matthew joined the army cadets, who are based in Friday Street, in April 2013.
He said: ?I wasn?t sure at first because of the discipline and strictness but when my friends got properly involved in it I said I would come along and give it a try and I really enjoyed it. The discipline side is one of those things you go along with.
?It has been a very good experience for me and I have learnt a lot.?
Matthew attends a training session every Wednesday evening. He was promoted to lance corporal in November following the Remembrance Day service in Market Place and says he enjoys the added reponsibility.
He said: ?When I get there we have a little chat and are told what we are going to be doing. We then go on parade to see that we look up to scratch and are proud to be a Henley cadet.
?Being a senior cadet, I make sure that the cadets can get ready for the programme for the evening. If we are going into the field I make sure their water bottles are filled and that they are kitted out properly.
?I have learnt from the senior cadets and now am able to teach the younger cadets what it takes to be a cadet. I find that very satisfying.
?Being a cadet teaches you respect for others and and teaches you vital life skills.
?It has allowed me to grow and go through the stages of being a cadet, embracing the strictness and discipline and giving advice to the younger cadets so we make sure that they are good cadets too.?
Cadets are rewarded with promotion if they have the right attitude and show they are making an effort.
Matthew said: ?There has been talk about who will be promoted next. Our next senior cadet, a corporal who is one level above me, has just been promoted to sergeant so corporal is something I would like to be.?
The teenager can stay with the cadets until he is 18, which he intends to do. He is also considering a career in the army after he leaves school.
Matthew added: ?I have my GCSEs next year as I go into year 11 in September.
?I am definitely keeping the army as an option. The other option is to go to college and study physics, maths and engineering, which I?m also interested in doing.?