Top award for outgoing sea cadet commander

Jennie Wilkes of the TS Landguard Felixstowe Sea Cadets unit

PO (SCC) Jennie Wilkes (née Nicholson) with her framed Certificate of Meritorious service - Credit: A WILKES

The commanding officer of a Suffolk sea cadets unit has been presented with a top award to mark her 10 years of leading the unit.

Jennie Wilkes, officer-in-command of the TS Landguard Felixstowe Sea Cadets, has been working to keep the unit functioning during lockdown as well as doing her 'day job' as a therapy practitioner on the Covid-19 wards of Ipswich Hospital.

Her work has also involved treating patients Felixstowe Community Hospital and at Bluebird Lodge, as well as in the communities across Suffolk, visiting patients in their own homes.

During lockdown the sea cadets' training has continued online, with courses lightened by quizzes. The unit is in the final stages of preparing for life after lockdown, with the ambition of getting afloat immediately once Covid restrictions are eased.

Jennie took over as commanding officer of Felixstowe Sea Cadets, based at the Drill Hall, Garrison Lane, a decade ago. She stepped down from the role on March 1 and to mark her outstanding service has been awarded the prestigious Lord Lieutenant’s Certificate of Meritorious Service.

Jennie Wilkes has been commanding officer of TS Landguard for 10 years

PO (SCC) Jennie Wilkes receiving her Lord Lieutenant’s Certificate of Meritorious Service from Clare, Countess of Euston, the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, online - Credit: A WILKES

It was presented during an online ceremony on March 3 by the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, Clare, Countess of Euston.

PO (SCC) Wilkes’ place as office-in-charge of TS Landguard will now be taken by PO (SCC) Karl Wilkinson.

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He has long service with the unit, having until his promotion served as Boats Officer, in which role he has brought the boating function of the unit to high levels of professionalism.

P.O. (SCC) Jennie Wilkes & P.O. (SCC) Karl Wilkinson

Outgoing TS Landguard Felixstowe Sea Cadets commander PO (SCC) Jennie Wilkes with PO (SCC) Karl Wilkinson who has taken over as officer-in-charge - Credit: A WILKES

The Sea Cadets is open to all young people, from the ages of 10 to 18. Service in the Sea Cadet Corps provides a young person with grounding in self-reliance and the character to face the challenges of life.

The unit offers a wide range of skills in the maritime sector including sailing, power boating, canoeing, windsurfing and paddle boarding in addition to land-based maritime activities, all within a disciplined, naval-based framework.

New recruits are welcome and people can contact the group via its website at