Barnsley Cadet Named Top 6 In the Country
On the 11th May 2019, I travelled down to RAFC Cranwell to be introduced to the other nominees for the RAFAC National Awards both ATC and CCF. I was North Region’s nominee for the ATC 75 Sword; The best female cadet in the Corps. It is a highly competitive award in which each Region nominates one female and one male candidate to participate. Every cadet brings unique experiences, skills and achievements to the table. After some time getting to know each other, all cadets travelled to Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty’s (Commandant Air Cadets) house for dinner; something that was never done until then, which was an honour. It was a pleasant few hours getting to know the other candidates and participating in a few games after eating some great food kindly prepared by Ma’am herself (And getting to meet Charlie the dog!) until we returned to RAFC Cranwell. We all had a big day ahead of us!
The morning of the 12th May consisted of three board interviews held at the CHOM, judged by a panel consisting of Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty (Commandant Air Cadets), Group Captain John Lawlor (Chief of Staff for RAFAC) and Wing Commander Marland Green (CCF Gliding Officer). It was a “Dragon’s Den” style interview where all nominees where asked 6 questions and we were to answer one at a time. It was nerve wracking and incredibly challenging, but also exciting as it was an opportunity to suggest ideas and voice our opinions on certain matters that affect us all as members of the RAFAC. Every cadet had important views to put across and I was glad we could do it in such a unique setting. After the three interviews were completed, we had lunch and before we knew it the final presentation was ready to begin, where we had friends, family and staff members alike to support us throughout the day. The presentation consisted of the nominees for all the competition including a range of other awards such as the Cubby Sword, flying scholarships and more.
Even though I did not win, it was an honour to meet such amazing and worthy cadets from all around the ATC/CCF and I’m incredibly privileged and humbled to say that I am one of the top 6 female in the whole RAFAC. It’s been an honour and I’m proud to have to represented 148 (Barnsley Squadron) at Wing, Region and Corps level. It is a position that I never imagined myself to be in and I can only be grateful for all the support I’ve had from everyone over the years and I thank those that have always encouraged and believed in me. The Air Cadets have molded me into the person I am today. From being a quiet, self-conscious, introverted 13-year-old, I have found a new lease of independence, confidence and self-belief. It all makes me step back and realise all the opportunities I’ve had throughout the last 6 ½ years, and I cannot wait to give back after my final few months as a cadet is over and I can then hope to return as a staff member.