Staff testimonies – Officer
Flt Lt Kyle Aldridge RAFAC
Flt Lt Aldridge is the Commanding Officer of 485 (Harborne and Quinton) Squadron, as well as the Sector Commander for Sector Two. He went into uniform in May 2014, after a nine month period as a Civilian Instuctor.
Flt Lt Aldridge chose to go into uniform because…
“I have been involved in the RAF Air Cadets from 2006 as a cadet, Civilian Instructor and now as an Officer. Being a cadet, I have had so many experiences that I would not have been able to access outside of the organisation and have gained many skills and qualifications. When I was given the opportunity to go back into uniform, it was to give back to the RAF Air Cadets and to enable future cadets to gain the experiences I have had. I have also gone into uniform to continue to develop and access experiences open to staff, such as continuing to volunteer on at a Volunteer Gliding Squadron (VGS), shooting and overseas camps.”
What was your experience like on your Officer’s Initial Course?
“When becoming an Officer you are required to attend the Officer’s Initial Course (OIC) within 12 months of appointment. The course consists of a week at RAFC Cranwell learning about a variety of subjects such as defence writing, leadership, safeguarding and drill. OIC was a good way to meet other Officers from across the organisation, and it prepares you for elements of being in a squadron officer post. After becoming a Commanding Officer of a squadron you return to RAFC Cranwell for the Squadron Commander’s Course (SCC) where you go through management of volunteers, leadership, updates from HQRAFAC and policy.”
Flt Lt Aldridge enjoys being an Officer because…
“As an Officer I get to see cadets develop into respectful young adults, gaining leadership skills and new interests from the efforts of the staff and each cadet at the squadron. I have also been lucky enough over the past 6 years as an Officer to be part of many events, camps and projects such as visiting RAF Gibraltar, United States Air Force Base Ramstein (Germany), fly in many RAF aircraft and visit many UK bases. I am also part of a Volunteer Gliding Squadron (VGS) – I first joined 633 VGS at RAF Cosford when I was 16 and learnt to fly the Vigilant motor glider. After becoming an Officer I joined 644 VGS and now fly the Viking glider, learning to become an instructor. Flying and gliding is a unique selling point of the RAF Air Cadets and it is great to be involved with that part of the organisation getting to see cadets fly for the first time is really rewarding.”