Air cadets across the UK will be standing tall today to mark respect for members of the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, Royal Marines and the Army.
The RAF Air Cadets are proud of their association with their parent Service, the RAF, which helps with their funding and provides opportunities for camps and station visits…and sometimes even fantastic flying opportunities in aircraft.
This year’s Armed Forces Parade would have been in Scarborough and cadets and volunteers from the town would have been a large part of the celebrations.
COVID-19 changed those plans but here the officer commanding 739 (Scarborough) Squadron Air Training Corps says they are all primed for next year.
Flt Lt Steven Lewis (pictured above) said “We look forward each year to Armed Forces Day (AFD) as it is a key link between us and the Armed Forces, but in particular the RAF, our shared history and the cadets’ futures - for those who wish to serve.
“It brings together youth, volunteers, serving personnel and veterans in a unique way to honour the dedication of those who serve and protect this country and our allies in both peacetime and war.
“We were looking forward to holding the national event in Scarborough this year as it is a once in a cadet lifetime opportunity to be part of such a large event, however, we are now planning for the national event in 2021 with a lot of input from the cadets themselves as they are what the RAF Air Cadets are all about”
Two cadets from Scarborough squadron outline why they love the RAF Air Cadets and how it helps them.
Cadet Flight Sergeant Abbi Flynn with her parents, on award of her flying scholarship.
Cadet Flight Sergeant Abbi Flynn said: "Initially, I joined the RAF Air Cadets as my older brother was a member, watching him get to go flying, gliding, on camps, I was so jealous and wanted to get involved.
“The highlight of my cadet career thus far is undoubtedly winning a 12-hour Royal Air Force Association (RAFA) Flying Scholarship.
“Being lucky enough to have 12 hours of free flying training is something very few receive and something I will be eternally grateful to RAFA and to the RAF Air Cadets, for.
“The scholarship itself helped me make my first steps towards my dream career – a pilot in the RAF – a career which I hadn’t even considered until joining the RAF Air Cadets.
“In the future, my ideal role would be as a pilot within the rotary wing, helping to deliver troops and vital equipment into combat zones - something I would love to do.”
Cadet Flight Sergeant Jade Lewis at Armed Forces Day, running the radio exercises with Sgt Roxanne Mennell RAFAC in the background.
Cadet Flight Sergeant Jade Lewis said: “I joined the air cadets because it had been something that my dad had done when he was my age and I wanted to be closer to him and know more about the organisation I had heard so much about but mostly, I wanted try something new.
“I hope to help my squadron grow and help other cadets achieve like my peers did for me when I first joined, I want them to see that we are a family.
“I plan to go to university next year after the air cadets allowed me to discover my love for teaching and helping people grow. I want to show to everyone that the air cadets gives amazing opportunities and really allows you to develop yourself.
“I hope to stay a member of the Royal Air Force Air Cadets after I age out at 20 and become a member of volunteer staff in a few years because I love the adventure and the community that the organisation provides.”
Jade joined the ATC in 2015. She quickly proved herself a dedicated and capable cadet earning promotion to Cadet Corporal in March 2017, to Cadet Sergeant in May 2018 and to Cadet Flight Sergeant in April 2019 on recommendation from her volunteer instructors.
She has achieved her Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award, has nearly completed the Silver Award and has undertaken Blue Comms & Bronze Cyber awards.
She was nominated and interviewed for Station Commander’s Cadet RAF Leeming in 2018 and 2019 and has recently been put forward to Wing selection for Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet for North Yorkshire.
Jade is planning to go to Lincoln University next year to train as a teacher but for now she is content as a member of the RAF Air Cadets. Her father is the Officer Commanding at Scarborough Squadron so it is a real family affair!