Thirteen weeks of hard work and dedication were rewarded last week when the latest intake of Sleaford Air Cadets Squadron graduated.
For the record intake of 32 young people the graduation parade at The Drove headquarters in front of their parents and friends marked the culmination of all their efforts and the end of one phase of their training under commander Fl Lt Mel Walker.
With each cadet of Intake 2/14 having to march out to receive their 1st class cadet certificate it allowed them to demonstrate to the audience just how much their training had impacted on their confidence and bearing.
This particular intake marked a change in the Air Cadet recruitment policy. In the past, young people had to be 13 before becoming eligible to join; from September last year this policy changed; now young people entering year eight at school may join, meaning many of this intake were aged 12 at the point of entry, swelling the ranks.
Following the award of their certificates, individual awards were made to the Most Improved Cadet, Cadet Kieran McGuire and Best Cadet of the Intake was Cadet Adam Bailey. The reviewing officer for the graduation was Wing Commander Sam Watts from RAF Digby.
Wg Cdr Watts said to cadets and parents: “I work in a tri-service environment where many of my staff are former cadets. There can be no doubt that the training they received whilst members of the cadet forces gave them a good grounding for military service.
“Whether they join the armed forces or pursue a career in civilian life these young people will gain immensely from what they learn here.
“Finally, I think we would all agree that these fine young people who have graduated this evening would not have reached this high standard without the work of Flt Lt Walker and her dedicated team.”
At the end of the formal ceremonies the parents and guests were treated to refreshments followed by a tour of various training stands which illustrated what their offspring could look forward to in the coming months.
The whole process begins again this month when Intake 1/15 arrives for their induction night, showing no signs of diminishing interest among young people.