The evening of Friday 8th November 2013 saw air cadets and members of staff from 1211 (Swadlincote) Squadron Air Training Corps descend on their Squadron Headquarters on Eureka Park, to take part in a Cadet Development and skills training weekend.35 of their most senior cadets and cadet non-commissioned officers (NCO’s) were personally invited by Squadron Officers to take part the weekend, which included training in the topics of practical leadership, effective communication and team building. In addition to developing skills, the objective for each cadet was to attempt to prove to members of staff that they were worthy candidates for future promotion.
Sergeant Robert Charlesworth and Cadet Warrant Officer Joy Wakeling (18) act as Directing Staff throughout the weekend.
The weekend started with a formal inspection to ensure each cadet on the course bought with them the correct kit and therefore were prepared for their tasks that lay head. This included the cadets preparing and cooking their own food using camping stoves and other cooking equipment throughout the whole weekend, thus encouraging independence and organisation.
To check their level of confidence and their communication ability, the first practical task of the weekend was for each cadet to stand up and speak to their peers and superior’s about themselves including their hobbies, likes and dislikes and what their future aspirations consist of with regards to achievements in cadets and outside of the air cadet organisation, within their civilian lives, at home and at school. Subsequent practical tasks included the cadets delivering formal presentations on a variety of topics, leading and taking part in outdoor leadership and team building exercises and participating in indoor group problem solving activities.
Throughout the weekend, each cadet was continually assessed by the course directing staff and senior cadets with regards to the possibility of being promoted to the first rank a cadet can achieve, a corporal (Cpl),Flight Lieutenant Rob Moore, Squadron Operations Officer says: “The 35 cadets on this course were chosen because they have all shown one or more qualities that we look for in our future junior leaders. Through this course we have trained each cadet in the knowledge and skills that are required to lead a group of cadets to deliver any task and because the calibre of cadets has been so high, the decision about who will be receiving a promotion is going to be a tough one. Regardless of who is promoted, the weekend has shown us that we have an enthusiastic and motivated group of cadets who will form the core of our Squadron as it continues to grow over the next few years. “
Cadet Daniel Loverock (16) addressing his peers during the communication styles excersises
The Cadet training and skills development weekend at 1211 (Swadlincote) Squadron is an annual event on the Squadrons calendar and also incorporates the Remembrance Sunday parade through the centre of Swadlincote and Poppy Appeal Collections in Sainsbury’s and Morrison’s. The aim of the weekend is to develop confidence and leadership skills in the current Cadet NCO Team and monitor the progress of those senior cadets with aspirations to climb the ladder within the NCO structure on the Squadron.