Don't take our word for how great the Air Cadets is. Find out about what other cadets have achieved and what they have to say about being a part of the best cadet organisation in the world. Meet two cadets who have really made the most of their time in the corps...
Cadet Warrant Officer Chelsey-Ray Palmer-Williams
CWO Palmer-William's list of achievements is long. She's attended various UK annual camps at RAF stations and was lucky enough to be given a place on the overseas camp to Rhinedahlen in Germany. She's completed her Bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh Awards and is currently planning her Gold expedition. She's gained the St Johns Ambulance Junior Lifesavers and Squadron Marksman Awards, is taking a BTEC in Aviation Studies and was voted her squadron’s Cadet of the Year. She's competed at athletics and hockey for her region and has been awarded the Commanding Officer's Award of Recognition of Services to the squadron two years running. Phew! But that's only the beginning. Over to Chelsey to tell you more about what has made her Air Cadet experience really special...
‘Annual camps have been a great part of my cadet life, meeting new people and getting involved in some great activities, such as flying, sport, team building, visits to sections on RAF bases and night exercises. Overseas camps have also been fantastic, like seeing real Service lifestyle at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus.
‘Three moments in my cadet career really stand out. One was gaining a place on the Air Cadet Leadership Course, an intensive week where I worked hard and relied on people I barely knew. By the end of the week we were all great friends. On the last day we did a march past to our family outside the spectacular RAF College. Another was doing the Nijmegen marches, covering 100miles of Dutch roads in just 4 days! Being cheered on by the people of local towns was amazingly uplifting, especially when your feet felt like they were going to drop off! Receiving my medal was so rewarding - I knew that the six months of training had really paid off.
‘My most recent achievement was becoming a Qualified Aerospace Instructor. 6 months of intensive lessons led to an amazing week at RAF Linton-on-Ouse where we were pushed to our limits with 3 days of testing. Our final test was the most intense, a forty-minute presentation to the Chief of the Air Staff - an amazing buzz. The week ended in a formal evening with award presentations, and winning an award for my Air Power presentation was an immense feeling. I've gained the confidence to lead under any amount of pressure.
‘Outside of the cadets I’ve also completed a Youth Ranger course with National Park Rangers and helped to organise a fashion show promoting the use of charity shop clothes, with money raised going towards opening a school in Kenya. I play on my college girls and mixed hockey teams and also on the girl’s football team. After completing my studies I’m hoping to be a Dental Officer in the RAF.’
Chelsey's Commanding Officer says: ‘In the relatively short time that Chelsey has been in the Air Cadets, she has changed from a shy, timid girl into a perfect role model brimming with maturity, integrity and self confidence. She is always first to volunteer for any given task no matter how mundane it may be and has taken full advantage of everything the Air Cadets has had to offer.’
Cadet Warrant Officer Danny Williams
CWO Williams has certainly racked up some impressive achievements - including completing the Junior Leaders Course and a Flying Scholarship (flying solo after 9Â½ hours of training). Danny has since continued his flying training as a Staff Cadet on 632 Volunteer Gliding Squadron at RAF Ternhill. He hopes the top class training he has had in the ATC pays off and helps him to be successful in his dream of joining the RAF as a fast jet pilot!
‘Within six months of joining the Air Cadets I was working towards my 1st Class Badge and my first Air Experience Flight (AEF). The people you meet in the Air Cadets all have the same passion for aviation and flying, the confidence and ability to socialise at all levels and the same ambition and determination to achieve in life.
‘I've attended two Annual camps. Staying at an RAF Station and having the chance to see what RAF life is really like left me with a thirst for more and a standard to aspire to. Recently, I was lucky enough to be selected for the International Air Cadet Exchange (IACE) to Canada. This was an amazing experience - meeting new people, and extending my contacts and knowledge across the globe. I now know cadets in Australia, America, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, France, Belgium and many more countries.
‘In my time as an Air Cadet I’ve learnt skills that you just won’t find anywhere else. My confidence grew each and every day. My punctuality, attendance and personal standards were of high importance and my ability to lead became more and more apparent. I first attended the Cadet Leadership Course at Frimley Park where, along with the Sea Cadet Corps, Army Cadet Force and Combined Cadet Force, we battled though initiative exercises, log races, obstacle courses and physically demanding activities. I was awarded the Kriegie Trophy for the Best Air Cadet in the Corps for leadership. I then moved on to complete the nine-month intensive Junior Leaders course. This provided me with an ILM Level 2 Certificate in Leadership Management and the best experience of weapons and ground training the ATC has to offer.
Danny's Commanding Officer says: ‘Danny is a determined young man and a natural leader who will always go the extra mile.’