Dacre Sword winner Zoe Webb has urged Air Cadets to seize every opportunity they are offered after being shortlisted for the Women in Defence Emerging Talent award.
Zoe will attend an official ceremony in London on October 18 to recognise her achievements, along with others shortlisted in different categories.
Zoe, was named as the top ATC cadet earlier this year when she was a Cadet Warrant Officer with 1986 (Wymondham) Sqn in Norfolk. The 20-year-old is now a Civilian Instructor transferring to 1070 (Diss) Sqn.
I feel immensely proud to be in the position I am today and it was incredible when I found out I had been shortlisted. As a cadet I never knew about any of these awards so my whole cadet career was me trying to get as many opportunities as possible, build my CV and enjoy some new experiences. You don’t have to be the best at a specific subject matter, or the best athlete, you just have to show up and give it your all day in day out. Make mistakes and build yourself from them, learn from others, try things you never thought possible, just throw yourself into anything and who knows, it may work out for the best.
Zoe was a cadet for seven years and has several notable achievements under her belt, including completing the Junior Leaders course (main image), and achieving her solo flight in the Air Cadet Pilot Scheme.
She describes herself as being from an unsettled background which has taught her many skills and has altered her mindset. This has led to determination in the workplace, doing a paper round at 14, then working in McDonald’s at 16 before becoming a manager at the fast food restaurant two years later. She now works as a lifeguard and hopes to join the RAF as a Physical Training Instructor.
Despite her success, Zoe said having the ability to inspire others was one of the things she cherishes the most.
All of this was down to me pushing myself out of my comfort zone and giving any opportunity a go. Now being someone that people follow is an honour. I received a card from one of the NCOs on my last night saying “thank you for being my role model".
Comments like this go a long way, not once have I done the things I have achieved to be receiving awards like the Dacre Sword and being shortlisted for the Women in Defence Emerging Talent Award, but to be a person that people look to is such a special feeling.
No matter where you come from you can still achieve so much with an organisation such as the Air Training Corps.
Top ATC Cadet
Zoe was announced as a finalist on October 21 and the winners will be announced at an awards dinner on November 24.