I was awarded The Dacre Sword in 2022, which is presented to the top ATC cadet, when I was in 1986 (Wymondham) Sqn near Norwich in Norfolk. During my seven years as a cadet I tried sports and activities that I’d never tried before.
I went for an AEF flight which led to me getting a flying scholarship, I went on a fieldcraft day which then led to me completing Junior Leaders and getting the most improved award. I tried sports which I ended up competing and region and corps events.
All of this was down to me pushing myself out of my comfort zone and giving any opportunity a go. I left as a Cadet Warrant Officer and volunteer as a Civilian Instructor for other cadets. I want to join the RAF as a Physical Training Instructor.
I received a card from one of the NCOs on my last night as a cadet 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, 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. 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.