The Air Cadets offers as much to its adult staff as it does to the cadets themselves, but we think it’s best that some of our volunteers speak for themselves. Here’s just a taster of the air cadets’ ‘front line’.
Squadron Leader Mike Wadsworth
Mike joined the ATC in 1973 as a cadet with 2460 (Pontefract) Squadron, South & West Yorkshire Wing. There he gained Cadet Warrant Officer rank, the Staff Cadet Qualification and his Gliding Proficiency Certificate. He was also Drum Major of the Squadron Band and was named Cadet of the Year in 1976. Like many successful cadets Mike wanted to give something back. Employed by West Yorkshire Police, he’s a Police Trained Advanced Driver, qualified drugs investigator and trained family liaison officer. He also works as a Vulnerable Victims Co-ordinator dealing with issues around adult and child protection matters. You may be wondering how he finds time for his air cadet duties.
I only had a few short years away from the air cadets, returning as a Civilian Instructor at 2447 (Calder Valley) Squadron before a work posting took me to 2388 (Castleford) Squadron, where I was granted an Officer Commission. I’ve worked for a number of squadrons since then, all representing a fresh challenge.
I took an active interest in public relations, school liaison and recruitment, and took a principle role in increasing the profile of both units within the community. As the role took off, I began to develop more efficient methods of news distribution, using technology and the emerging improvements in the use of e-mail and digital photography. For this I was awarded the North Region Public Relations Award and appointed Wing Corporate Communications Officer for South & West Yorkshire Wing, and North Region Corporate Communications Officer – all in the same year! More recently I proudly received a Commandant’s Certificate of Meritorious Service.
The air cadets is a marvellous organisation, it gives so many opportunities to develop your skills as an adult, and seeing the faces of the cadets when they achieve something new is worth every moment. If you are going to volunteer for something then there’s nothing better.