Commendation for Region Officer

charlesCongratulations to Squadron Leader Charles Dicks from Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire Wing on the award of an Air Officer Commanding 22 Group’s Commendation in the New Years Honours List. His citation read as follows:
“Since joining the Air Cadet Organisation (ACO) in 1980, Squadron leader Dicks has continued to balance a busy personal and professional life whilst excelling as an officer within the organisation. From joining, he progressed steadily within the ACO taking on additional responsibility and taking command of a unit of his own. Additionally, he continued to broaden his experience within the ACO focusing on adventurous training activities and developing team building and leadership for the young people under his charge.
His leadership and training skills were identified at an early stage and Squadron Leader Dicks was soon at the heart of all adventurous training activities within the Wing. He was appointed as a junior Wing Staff Officer in December 1993 specifically to take charge of, and develop, shooting activities within the Wing.
In January 2001, his talents were recognised further with promotion to the rank of Squadron Leader.
Even with the ever-increasing demands that the ACO places upon him, Squadron Leader Dicks balances a busy family life, career as a Service Manager with Atlas, and yet continues to find scope to nurture and develop junior members of staff within the Wing. Throughout his time as a Squadron Leader he has been responsible as the sector commander for seven units within a challenging part of the Wing; with a particular focus for staff development and management, welfare, safeguarding, health & safety and morale. This has required his regular attendance at the units several nights a week, as well as sector based community events and meetings at weekends. He had ensured not only the continued presence of the ACO within many challenging community areas, but has also ensured that many unit have flourished allowing many young people to experience activities that would otherwise have been unavailable to them.
In addition, as a secondary duty, has been the Wing Adventure Training Technical Officer for over 18 years and is responsible for the development and governance of activity carrying a high level of risk and a level of activity requiring the utmost degree of professionalism and attention to detail. Flexibility being key, Squadron Leader Dicks provides timely and accurate advice to all units and staff within the Wing to ensure the maximum benefit can be achieved for all activities. He was recently instrumental in the planning and development of the inaugural visit by the ACO to Ascension Island in 2014 and accompanied a party of 12 cadets (and 5 Staff) on a life-changing visit. He has developed a training
team that continues to broaden the range of adventurous activities and levels of qualifications available to both staff and cadets within the organisation. He has personally provided opportunities for paddle sports providing regular training and assessment of around 100 cadets a year and the opportunity for expeditions in support of the Duke Of Edinburgh Awards scheme at the silver and gold levels. In addition to all the above, he has senior staff oversight of sports, where he has consistently supported the Wing Sports Officer, assisting staff and participating cadets at Wing and Region level sports events and competitions. This is a significant regular weekend commitment over and above his basic levels of commitment to the Corps and of his primary and secondary roles.
Squadron Leader Dicks is an officer of the highest calibre typifying all that is expected of one entrusted with the development of our cadets. He leads by example in all instances, and has received the trust and admiration from all that come into contact with him.”