J is for…

JNCO Course, Junior Leaders and Joint Service Activities!

Developing leadership skills is a key part of the air cadet experience. One such way is a Junior Non-Commissioned Officer (JNCO) Course. Held every two months, these courses (which are normally residential) develop the NCO’s of the future, teaching the skills required to be an effective Corporal. Throughout the weekend, sessions include leadership techniques, principles of drill, duties of an NCO, cadet welfare and much more. The performance of candidates is monitored throughout, with feedback on their effectiveness given at the end of the course. This allows the cadets to work on their areas for improvement on their route to becoming an NCO.

Considered the most arduous and prestigious course the Royal Air Force Air Cadets has to offer, Junior Leaders (JL) challenges its students both mentally and physically pushing them to their very limits. JL begins in September each year with a selection weekend for those who successfully make it through the application process. Selection consists of an RAF basic fitness test, a presentation, fieldcraft & navigation exam, group discussion and also leadership exercises, ensuring all candidates are well suited and capable of completing the course. Training is then carried out over 8 weekends spanning from September through March, covering presentation skills, the orders process, basic fieldcraft and infantry tactics and ultimately leadership, before culminating in a 10 day test phase of which 8 days are spent in the field. To round off the course, a formal graduation dinner takes place. Upon graduation, students are awarded a maroon lanyard as well as the coveted DZ flash – something very few cadets wear. Outside of the course, students are expected to develop their fitness, air power knowledge, presentation skills and also complete a fundraising activity for the John Thornton Young Achiever’s Foundation – a charity formed by the parents of an ex-Air Cadet and Junior Leader who was sadly killed in Afghanistan in 2008.

It is not only air cadet camps which cadets have the opportunity to participate in. Each year Durham Northumberland Wing Air Cadets is offered places at camp by Northumbria and Durham Army Cadet Forces (ACF). These camps offer air cadets the opportunity to fully integrate in a joint service camp, making new friends and learning new skills. Other joint activities happen throughout the year, including tri-service climbing competitions, parades and community events.

Do you fancy getting involved in any of these activities? Are you up for fun, adventure, incredible experiences and making new friends? Aged between 12 (and in year 8 ) and 17? JOIN AIR CADETS. We are recruiting now, send us a message to find out more and join us next week as we continue our #WhatWeDoWednesday articles.
North Region – Royal Air Force Air Cadets
Commandant Air Cadets

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