A REGIMENTAL Sergeant Major has been rewarded for almost 50 years of service in an Army cadet force.

RSM Dennis Rowland MBE, of Durham Army Cadet Force, has been awarded a Certificate of Good Service by the Lord Lieutenant of Durham, Sir Paul Nicholson.

RSM Rowland, of Ushaw Moor Light Infantry Detachment, was presented with the certificate at the Territorial Army Centre, in Newton Aycliffe.

RSM Rowland, 58, joined as a cadet in 1957 at the age of 13 and rose to the rank of Cadet Sergeant.

He began his service as an adult instructor in October 1965 and was promoted to RSM in 1976, when he was also awarded a Certificate of Good Service.

For the past ten years, he has been the Commander of the Ushaw Moor Detachment.

Many of the cadets who serve under him have been introduced by their parents, who were themselves cadets under his command.

He has received the Cadet Force Medal and the first and second clasp, and was awarded the MBE in 1998 in recognition of his continual dedication and service to youth organisations in his local community.

Major Brian Kitching said: "We are extremely proud of Dennis and I can honestly say that it is a well-deserved award. He invariably leads from the front.

"His enthusiasm, ability to set a good example and leadership talent makes him an exemplary member of the Army Cadet Force and a deserving recipient of the Lord Lieutenant's Certificate of Good Service."

Durham Army Cadet Force is looking for adult instructors to follow in RSM Rowland's footsteps.

No experience is necessary as training will be given.

To find out what is involved, call Major Steve Ramsey on 0191-388 2351.