In July each July the Royal Air Force Air Cadets run week-long Leadership Courses at RAF Cranwell, aiming to:
a. To provide leadership training for cadet NCOs or potential NCOs so that they may return to their units as better leaders.
b. To teach leadership training methods to improve this training at unit level.
c. To improve the standard of drill commands, especially among the less experienced cadets.
d. To foster greater understanding and co-operation between the staff and cadets.
This year sergeant Rebecca Jagger (age 16) was fortunate enough to be selected for this prestigious course, although she had first to demonstrate her fitness, as this is a physically strenuous course. Her fitness test involved running 1½ miles in 12½ minutes (the standard for female cadets).
On the course, cadets are instructed in some fundamental skills including leadership techniques. They practice these techniques in a strenuous regime, culminating in a 48-hour exercise under canvas. There is very little free time during the course and the days are both long and demanding. At the end of the week cadets tackle a peer assessment exercise and are then reported on and interviewed by their flight commander.
After a demanding week’s training and assessment, Rebecca successfully completed the course and her parents travelled to RAF Cranwell to be on hand for the passing-out parade for the course, where she was awarded with the Gold Aid Cadet Leadership badge. The reviewing officer for the parade was Air Vice-Marshal Harvey Smyth, Air Officer Commanding No 1 Group RAF, whose daughter was another of the course candidates.
Comfortably back at home, Rebecca was able to reflect on the experiences of the week: “The Air Cadet Leadership Course (ACLC) has given me a new confidence in my own leadership that I can pass down to other cadets. Teaching me the skills behind leadership it gave me a great opportunity to improve my own abilities as a leader. I would recommend the course to all other cadets, not only was it very rewarding, but it also allowed me to meet others from all over the country, building friendships that will last a lifetime.”
Mirfield’s Squadron Commander, Flight Lieutenant Peter Doubell, commented “the Air Cadet Leadership Course is a really good opportunity for cadets, but with very limited places each year it is a challenge for anyone to actually be selected! However, each year I encourage cadets to apply, and this year Sergeant Jagger was successful, and she has returned home after a tough but enjoyable experience that has really enhanced her confidence and leadership skills. Well done to her.”
The Mirfield Air Cadet Squadron meets at the Air Cadet Centre on Huddersfield Road near the Stocks Bank Road junction, on Tuesday and Friday evenings. Or for Dewsbury, 96 Squadron meets at their headquarters on Vulcan Road on Monday and Thursday evenings. For more information please visit or contact Flt Lt Peter Doubell on 01924 498 896.
868 Mirfield Squadron Air Cadets Regional Commandant North - Air Cadets Royal Air Force Air Cadets