Since the induction in 1859 of schools for flight throughout the United Kingdom, these schools were setup to protect the UK from attacks from overseas. Since the start of this training of cadets to protect the shores of the UK, there has been an opportunity for the youth of Britain to gain valuable life skills and the experience of flight.
Today’s RAF Air Cadets are made up of more than 40,000 members between the ages of 12 and 20. The organisation is sponsored by the Royal Air Force and challenges young boys and girls to develop themselves into productive adults within their future career. D A McCafferty, Commandant ACO explains “the very essence of the air cadet experience is enabling young people to learn about aviation and experience flight, be that in a glider or a light aircraft, with some lucky cadets achieving scholarships to go solo. Whilst much of the aviation experience is publicly-funded via the RAF, the provision of flight simulators relies entirely on local fundraising and grants from sponsors such as Service charities and Defence industry partners.
These programmes are run on the kind donations from the local community they support and the RAF and the kind donation of time from volunteers. It is very important for communities to help serve the basic training of the youth of their communities, as this will help with modern social problems the youth face and give the cadets the opportunity to set their future careers in the right direction.
As society looks for answers for the youth of today, The Air Cadets programme offers an excellent chance for the youth to better themselves and their communities. Programmes around the country are offering these young boys and girls this opportunity to be able to overcome the challenges of the modern world. The idea of gaining valuable discipline that will help young people face the challenges of the modern world has continued from the start of the cadet programme in the mid-nineteenth century up until our modern times. Sir Christopher Coville Air Marshal explains “Young people face an unstable world and an uncertain future. The Air Cadets help to make young people more resilient to the many challenges they will encounter throughout their lives, mainly through the medium of flying and aerospace, but also through the dynamics of teamwork, learning to live in harmony with others, many of whom come from widely differing backgrounds. Typically, cadets are tougher, physically and mentally, than their counterparts, and are less likely to fall prey to addictions, anti-social behaviour and poor attention in the classroom.”
In the UK and around the world, our communities need resources like the cadet programme that help provide discipline to the youth of our local neighbourhoods. It is very important for the future of stability in our world that the young boys and girls, no matter which country they come from, have the maturity, skillset and ability to live in a compatible society with each other In order to be able to produce the very best air cadets, the RAF Air Cadets and other international programmes like the Air Cadets, need volunteers that are qualified as an experienced pilot, engineer or aviation professional.
If you are in the UK, your local RAF Air Cadet Squadron is seeking your skillset to pass along to the future of your community and the aviation industry. If you have previous experience working with young people or have direct flying experience and have the time to help your local squadron, please visit https://www.raf.mod.uk/aircadets/wanttojoin/adultvolunteers.cfm. This will not only be rewarding to you by helping the local young boys and girls from your community, this could also allow for you to showcase your skills and ability that will give you the opportunity to rise through the ranks to as senior non-commissioned officer (SNCO). In Brookfield, we are keen to promote similar programmes from around the world that will help achieve this common goal in the global community and would be pleased to hear from any of the them.