Lieutenant Commander Craig Walecki, NZCF
Cadet Unit Commander (CUCDR)
Lieutenant Commander Walecki joined the Air Training Corps cadets in Howick as a 13 year old. He commissioned as an Officer in 1994 and has been posted to Air Cadet Squadrons including No. 40 (Howick), No. 13 (Napier) and No. 18 (Christchurch) before returning to Auckland in 2013.
LTCDR Walecki has been parading with TS Achilles Sea Cadet Corps since September 2013 and has previously held the positions of Training Officer and Gunnery Officer.
LTCDR Walecki assumed command of TS Achilles from LTCDR B. Jamieson in February 2017 and was promoted to LTCDR on appointment to CUCDR.
He has enjoyed the change of scene with TS Achilles and looks forward to many years with the Sea Cadet Corp.
Secondary roles in the NZ Cadet Forces have included Chief Flying Instructor for the Air Training Corps National Aviation Course and the then NZCF National Aviation Officer, providing subject matter expertise to the Commandant as required.
Lieutenant Commander Sacha D.M. Belcourt, NZCF
Executive Officer (XO) / Admin Officer
Lieutenant Commander Belcourt joined Training Ship Achilles (Auckland City) as a cadet in 1985 and over the next few years got “bitten by the bug” which has led to a long term commitment in the service of the Sea Cadet Corps and the New Zealand Cadet Forces.
Initially he was awed by the self-discipline and sense of structure, and found it a worthwhile challenge to grow into the responsibilities and skills required of him. In 1992, he commissioned from the ranks and gained management and leadership skills that saw him appointed as Unit Commander. During this time he discovered new challenges, and loved seeing others flourish as they grew and developed within the Cadet Forces. A major life change saw him leave the New Zealand Cadets Forces to spend time overseas.
After returning to New Zealand with his family, his passion to support young people to identify and move towards their potential drew him back to Sea Cadets. He returned to TS Achilles in 2015 and was recommissioned into the rank of Lieutenant. He was promoted to Lieutenant Commander in 2017. He is incredibly proud of his two young boys, and will support their growth through Cadets in the future, should they choose to join.
As an experienced officer, LTCDR Belcourt currently holds the position of Executive Officer and is keen to ensure that young people are always well trained and are in the best position to experience everything that the Sea Cadets and the New Zealand Cadet Forces has to offer.
Ensign Adam Brannigan
Boats Officer / Stores Officer / Ajax Divisional Officer
Ensign Brannigan joined TS Amokura in Wellington in 2008 at the age of 12.
He stayed through some rough times at his old unit eventually getting it back on it's feet in late 2011. He was Ships Coxswain and Stores NCO for the later part of his time there. For the past 4 years he has also helped with the Amokura Dolphins until he left Wellington at the beginning of this year. Being at the unit for so long he was lucky enough to have been able to stay at TS Amokura for their 50th Anniversary.
In 2013 he left for England to have a gap year, from there he sailed on the British
Brig-rigged Tall Ship Stavros S Niarchos to visit Ireland before coming back home to decide what he wanted to do.
At the beginning of this year Under Officer Brannigan moved up to Auckland to start studying a Bachelors in Maritime Engineering at AUT with the hope of specialising in Naval Architecture. He transferred to TS Achilles so he could remain involved in Sea Cadets and became the new rank of Under Officer which has been introduced to the Sea Cadet Corps around two years ago.
A/ENS Brannigan attended the May 2017 NZCF Commissioning Course and appointed to the rank of Acting Ensign. An experienced sailor, A/ENS is the units Boats Officer, responsible for managing the units sailing assets as well as the unit Stores Officer, responsible for managing the unit uniform and equipment stocks.
Acting Ensign Cassandra BatesGlover
Training Officer (TO) / Exeter Divisonal Officer
OFFCDT Bates-Glover is currently under process to be a commissioned officer in the NZCF. She was an Air Cadet with No.19 Squadron in her youth and progressed through the ranks to Under Officer. In her last year as a cadet she paraded with TS Gambia so has had experience with the Sea Cadets prior to joining TS Achilles.
OFFCDT Bates-Glover was a member of the Unit Support Committee prior to committing to the operational side of the unit and starting her commissioning process. She was approved to attend the NZCF Commissioning Course in 2017 and intends to complete the May 2018 course.
As a Officer in training, she is assisting the Training Officer with the unit training programme as well as assisting with unit admin, gaining her excellent exposure to the roles and responsibilities of a NZCF Officer.
Under Officer Sophyia Hilario
Assistant Training Officer
Under Officer Hilario originally joined TS Leander (Devonport) in 2012 at the age of 13. She served at TS Leander for three years, reaching the rank of Petty Officer before transferring to TS Achilles in 2015.
Upon her transfer to TS Achilles, she was appointed the roles of Ajax Divisional Coxswain and Unit Stores Officer. At the 2015 End of Year parade, she was promoted to Chief Petty Officer, requiring her to step down from her role as Ajax Divisional Coxswain to undertake the new position as unit staff.
At the end of 2016, she was promoted to Warrant Officer Cadet and was appointed the role of Ship's Coxswain for 2017. She relinquished her role on December 2017.
At TS Achilles' 2016 Prize-giving Dinner, WOCDT Hilario was awarded the Sword of Honour.
UO Hilario is currently at her second year studying a BSc/BA in Environmental Science and Politics at the University of Auckland.
Physical Training Instructor Mike Kaufusi
Physical Training Instructor (PTI)
PTI Kaufusi joined TS Achilles as a Supplementary Instructor in 2017. He was with the Army Cadets in his youth, and was keen to get himself re-involved with the New Zealand Cadet Forces after working closely with LTCDR Belcourt.
PTI Kaufusi conducts training at various times throughout the year and he aims to provide challenging and enjoyable physical training sessions. When time permit, he may look to expanding his role and commitment to the unit.
Interested in Helping Out?
We are always on the lookout for people to help out at TS Achilles Sea Cadets.
These voluntary roles include assisting with training of Sea Cadets in various skills, organising and running activities, and supervising sailing, outdoor activities and camps.
All of the Instructors and Officers at TS Achilles are volunteers. If you are interested in finding out more about getting involved in training youth for the future, please contact TS Achilles now to find out more.