Meet the NCO's

Flt Sgt Olley

I am Grace Olley, I am currently a six-form student studying biology, psychology, and philosophy. I have several hobbies, including the gym, hockey, and hospitality. I have a part time job as a kitchen assistant/ cook in a care home. This has given me the opportunity to listen to resident's stories which often have strong links to the RAF, which consequently has given me more insight and respect for being part of such an amazing organisation, The Royal Air Force Air Cadets.  

I joined cadets in 2017, and back then I was extremely shy and nervous. However, since then, Cadets has helped me gain confidence and teamwork skills through leadership exercises and completing activities I never thought I would take part in, like flying and shooting. My favourite part of cadets has definitely been the camps, my favourite being the wing multi-activity camp, where I took part in navigation exercises and my personal favourite, field craft, with members of the RAF Regiment.  

As I have progressed through the ranks, I have had many responsibilities. Now as a Flight Seargent, I alongside FSGT Cockburn run the NCO team and work closely with staff, helping to maintain discipline and plan fun activities. I also help support T-Flight through their first-class qualification and regularly check up on cadets' welfare, I am always happy to answer any questions or queries.  

 I am proud to be part of this organization and am thankful for everything it has helped me achieve. 

Flt Sgt Cockburn

I’m Jimmy Cockburn, a Flight Sargent at 1249 Dereham Squadron. Interesting things about me include I love Star Wars, I’ve read Lord of the Rings about 5 times, I am a Christian and I am doing what most would say is far too many maths based A-Levels.  

I with Flt Sgt Olley lead the NCO team and together we help the staff members run cadet night by teaching and leading drill (marching) planning nights and ordinary duties at the end of the night. I also help teach new cadets the Air Cadet progressive training syllabus and drill-from standing to attention to marching and saluting- amongst other things. 

I joined cadets originally because it felt like a natural progression after doing beavers, cubs, and scouts and as I enjoyed my time in these other organisations, the RAFAC just offered so much more. For example, I’ve learnt to lead and do drill, I’ve been flying, done my bronze and silver DofE and seen a huge amount of personal development in my own confidence and my skill in areas like teaching and leadership all through my time at cadets. 

Sgt Tooth

I joined cadets back in January 2017. At the time I was quite a shy person who barely saw the sun due to being in my room all the time. My squadron really helped me come out of my shell and discover new things that I had never thought to try before. I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in drill and leadership exercises.  

My Favourite memory from my last 4-5 years within cadets is my first time at wing field camp. This is a weekend long camp in which squadrons go head-to-head in various events. A few examples of the events are as followed: 

  • Raft Building 

  • Aircraft Recognition 

  • First Aid 

  • Archery 

Plus, many more. The bit I loved about the weekend specifically was the team spirit shown by everyone both within the squadron and outside of it. It felt like such an exciting, yet welcoming environment. The best example of this was shown during the raft building. Our raft fell to pieces almost instantly, yet we all had a smile on our faces and laughed about it. Other squadrons offered their help to at least get us away and it was a good time knowing everyone has each other's back. 

Sgt Blackburn

I first joined cadets in 2018, before I joined, I was a very awkward and quiet person. However, cadets has taught me how invaluable being able to communicate and convey my opinions and ideas to other is, alongside stressing the importance of these skills I have also been taught how to effectively utilise them within a team setting, either leading or acting as a team member.  

During my time in cadets, I have gained a lot of experience across several subjects, including things such as: avionics, leadership, team building, communication, and knowledge of space. My favourite activity to do whilst at cadets is leadership, this is because it was an area that I can continuously expand my knowledge and experience of. My leadership skills have also grown as I have progressed through the ranks of the ATC, now a sergeant I can confidently say that I can lead a team and assist them in completion of a task, as well as work within a team to achieve a given goal, this will be invaluable to me during my career in the RAF as I will constantly be working around others. 

Cpl Allan

I joined cadets in September 2018, my favourite activity so far is Fieldcraft which is great fun as you get to learn about movement in the field, and I recently did a night exercise which was amazing and quite eerie! I am currently working towards my senior cadet classification so I can progress in the ATC. Later this year I am also looking forward to completing my silver DofE and obviously getting a shiny new badge! I’ve made great friends in the Air Cadets and would recommend it anyone. 

Cpl Beale

I have been a cadet since September 2018, and my favourite thing that I have done so far, is the sports activities especially paddleboarding. It was great fun, and although I fell off many times, eventually I learnt a new skill! Cooking night is also great fun, seeing all the delicious and interesting things everyone comes up with is so exciting. I love doing the Remembrance Parade each year, representing the Squadron and paying my respects. Air Cadets really does offer something for everyone. It makes me feel really proud to be a part of this organisation. 

Cpl Woodhams

I joined cadets in September 2018, my favourite activity that I have done so far at cadets in going on camps such as Fairbourn. They are great fun getting to know new people and doing great activities such as going mountain biking and leadership activities. I also love having sports nights at the squadron as it brings us all together and it is great fun. I love being part of the squadron as I have made loads of friends and learn loads of new skills. 

Cpl Lyons

I’ve been at cadets since September 2018, my favourite thing about cadets has been Adventure Training and DofE. It really expanded my personal beliefs in my abilities to exceed my own expectations. I loved helping at race for life as I enjoyed supporting a great cause such as Stand Up to Cancer, this really made me proud to be a cadet. 

Cpl Blackaby

I have been at cadets since July 2017 originally at 1894 Sqn, 1249 made me feel at home immediately. My absolute favourite activity is Fieldcraft, it really changed the way I look at the world and has practical uses for a RAF future; being a part of a section gives a sense of family like no other. The parades paying our respects to all that came before us gives us all a sense of immense pride. 

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