For ten young people the graduation parade in front of their parents and friends marked the culmination of all their efforts and the end of one phase of their training.
With each cadet having to march out from to receive their 1st class cadet certificate it allowed them to demonstrate, to an admiring audience, just how much their training had impacted on their confidence and bearing.
This particular intake again reflected last year’s change in the Air Cadet Recruitment policy as once again year 8 twelve year old youngsters were amongst their number. In the past young people had to have attained their 13th birthday before becoming eligible to join.
Following the award of their certificates individual awards were made to the Most Improved Cadet, Cadet Connie Bennett and Best Cadet of the Intake was Cadet Lucy Healy. The reviewing Officer for the graduation was Squadron Leader Mark Daffey an Air Cadet Staff Officer from RAF Digby.
Squadron Leader Daffy’s own daughter, Sarah, was a former member of Sleaford Squadron and last year was awarded the Air Cadet Movements Female Sports Cadet of the Year Trophy.
Squadron Leader Daffy said to the cadets and their parents: “Whether these young cadets join the armed forces or pursue a career in civilian life they will gain immensely from what they learn here. I think we would all agree that these fine young people who have graduated this evening would not have reached this high standard without the work of Flight Lieutenant Blackman and his dedicated team.”
At the end of the formal ceremonies the parents and guests were treated to refreshments followed by a tour of various training stands which illustrated what their offspring could look forward to in the coming months.
For the Squadron Training team the process has already begun again with twenty three young Sleafordians having attended their induction night on the previous Tuesday; thus begins Intake Flight 2/15’s journey of exploration, training and development.