Seaham Cadet Becomes Junior Leader


CWO Tyler Low of 1338 (Seaham) Squadron has recently returned from test week of Junior Leaders after graduating course XV. Considered the most arduous and prestigious course the Royal Air Force Air Cadets has to offer, it challenges its students both mentally and physically pushing them to their very limits.

Junior Leaders begins in September with a selection weekend for those who successfully make it through the application process. Selection consists of an RAF basic fitness test, a presentation, ACP16 & 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 in RAF Honington Officer’s mess, the home of the RAF Regiment. 97 potential candidates attended selection, 71 passed and only 58 students graduated course 15 – the highest number yet, taking the number of Junior Leader graduates in 15 years to only just over 1,000. 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. CWO Tyler Low managed to raise a grand total of £761.85 after completing the Coast 2 Coast cycle in 2 and a half days from Whitehaven to Seaham. Because of his efforts and performance both on and off the course, CWO Tyler Low was fortunate enough to be awarded a bursary by Pete and Linda Thornton, John Thornton’s parents, to carry out charity work in Kenya over the summer with a charity called Patchworking Against Poverty.

As part of the training involved in the course, all students achieved a Level 3 award from the Institute of Leadership and Management – an excellent qualification which will stand them in good stead.

CWO Low said, “The Junior Leaders course is the epitome of leadership training in the Royal Air Force Air Cadets and it has to be the hardest yet most rewarding thing I’ve done to date. It really pushes you to your limits and teaches you a lot about yourself you didn’t know. Life begins when you are out of your comfort zone! To also be awarded the bursary was amazing – a trip I never thought I’d be able to go on. I alsohope to return to JLXVI and staff the course as a Qualified Junior Leader, mentoring the next generation of Junior Leaders.”

If you would like to know more about the Junior Leaders course, get in touch with your OC or Like and Follow Junior Leaders on Facebook and Twitter. |