OBE for Central & East Wing Commander

Wyt P17806 AT Regional Staff PortraitsWing Commander Paul Bower RAFVR(T), the Central and East Region Adventure Training Technical Officer (RATTO) has been deservedly made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

As can be judged by his website biography reproduced below. the Wing Commander has had a long and auspicious career in the Air Cadet Organisation and is recognised for infecting generations of cadets with his passion for the outdoors.

Wing Commander (Wg Cdr) Paul Bower was commissioned in 1977 after a successful cadet career where he achieved the rank of Cadet Warrant Officer, representing the Corps at Soccer and travelled to various parts of the world with the RAF

After commissioning he continued to serve the same squadron he did as a cadet and eventually took command there on promotion to Flight Lieutenant in 1982. He joined the Wing Staff of Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire Wing in 1991 and promotion to Squadron Leader followed in 1996.

In addition to responsibility for a group of squadrons, throughout his period as a Wing Staff Officer, he also held the position of Wing Adventure Training Officer with responsibility for all Adventure Training within the Wing. His passion lies in outdoor pursuits and he started taking groups from his Wing on Adventure Training courses to the Corps’ AT centres in the Lake District and Snowdonia for week courses in 1978 and continued to do so until retiring as Officer Commanding Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire Wing in 2013.

In addition to his Wing responsibilities, Wg Cdr Bower took on the role of Regional Adventure Training Technical Officer for Central & East Region when the role was first created and became a member of the Corps Adventure Training Technical Panel.

Promoted to Wing Commander in April 2002, he took command of Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire Wing, and also continued to hold the position of Regional Adventure Training Technical Officer as he still does today.

In 2008 he became one of the first members of the Corps to gain the Membership Award of the City and Guild Institute for Strategic Youth Management and Leadership (MCGI).
He continues to enjoy participating in Adventure Training activities, in particular those involving snow and recalls one of his best wild camps was spent in an igloo 250k north of the Arctic Circle, waking up to a temperature of -37OC.

On receiving news of this great honour, Wing Commander Bower said; “I am obviously delighted to be appointed an OBE in the Queens Birthday Honours List. I am truly humbled to have been chosen, as I see it as recognition for our organisation, and the thousands of dedicated staff who give an enormous amount of time and an even greater level of skill to achieve the results that are the true reward for our efforts, ie to see our cadets achieve and go on to become remarkable citizens in their own right.  The many messages that I have received following the appointment, give me cause to reflect on a lifetime in our organisation and reminds me of many thousands of activities and of cadets, past and present; of lasting friendships and great people. The award is perhaps the ‘icing on the cake’, and adds to the real reward of the memories that I have of great people in our fantastic organisation”.

I am sure that all at Central and East Region offer their congratulations to Paul.