Sgt Luddington Success on Junior Leaders XVI
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By 740 Sqn Website - 740 (Whitby) Squadron
Sgt Amelia Luddington from 740 (Whitby) is the first cadet from the squadron to ever be selected and complete the Air Cadets Junior Leaders Course. The Junior Leaders course is regarded as one of the toughest to pass within the Cadet Forces with graduates learning and developing skills such as navigation, fitness, weapons training, field craft and leadership as well as much more over an 8 month period.
Sgt Luddington started the course back in September last year when she attended a selection weekend at Buckingham TC near Grantham. From here she was selected along with 80 others to be on the course. After 8 more weekends of training and developing her skills, she attended a 10 day test phase at STANTA training area in Norfolk over the Easter holidays. Over this time she spent 7 days in a field environment carrying out attacks and patrols around the training area and covering a distance of over 100km whilst at the same time testing their skills of living in the field environment. During the week, the Junior Leaders are also tested on their roles as Section Commander, 2 IC and as a Subordinate.
Another section of the course was to raise money for the John Thornton Young achievers foundation. A Charity set up in memory of John Thornton a past cadet and Junior Leader who joined the Royal Marines and was sadly killed in Afghanistan. Sgt Luddington raised a staggering £650 with an extra £162.50 gift aid which added to the total amount raised by the course of £24,500.
At the end of the Test Phase time, the new Qualified Junior Leaders attended a Graduation Dinner at RAF Honington Officers Mess with the Commandant Air Cadets, Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty. For her efforts in the fundraising and doing so well on the course, Sgt Luddington was awarded one of 9 bursaries from the JTYAF to go on a funded expedition to Ghana in the summer where she will be involved in a jungle leadership course at the Ghanaian Jungle Warfare School and will be involved in a community project to refurbish a school.
Being one of only 59 to finish and pass the course, Sgt Luddington is now a Qualified Junior Leader and has been awarded the Junior Leaders DZ patch and Maroon Lanyard. She has also gained a Level 3 ILM in Leadership and Management and is one of under 730 people to pass the course over the 16 years its been running.
Sgt Luddington said ‘Initially when I got on the course, I didn’t realise how physically and mentally challenging it would be. The whole course was demanding with the 7 days in the field being something completely new but at the same time a challenge. I have really enjoyed the course and met some great people as well as having a lot of new experiences which I know will help me in the rest of my life. Grad. Dinner and wearing my lanyard for the first time were extremely proud moments. I cannot wait to go to Ghana in the summer and develop my skills in a new environment as well as having the opportunity to help less fortunate children by refurbishing their school. Junior Leaders is a very hard course but I would encourage any cadet to apply next year and push themselves to achieve it’.
For more information please visit the Squadron website