Commanding a task
One of the unique ways in which the ATC develops leadership skills is through the use of command (or leadership) tasks. These activities are fun, but also a way for you to develop new skills in a safe, structured environment. From crossing shark infested custard to herding sheep in the dark, there a many challenges for you to overcome. Working as a team to achieve a goal is a great way to help the Squadron to work together.
Learning to lead
At some point during your time as a cadet, the Squadron staff may see that you are capable of leading and developing a group of younger, less experienced cadets. Being promoted to a Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) is based on merit, your turnout and how you interact with other cadets and the staff. Being an NCO enables you to be a role model and pass on your knowledge to less experienced cadets. This includes demonstrating the highest standards of uniform and how you conduct yourself around the Squadron. For more information on the promotion structure check out the cadet ranks page.
On gaining a promotion you will be given the opportunity to attend a number of courses to hone your leadership skills. These courses are often run at a wider level and provide you with a great opportunity to work with cadets from other units. As part of the assessment of your abilities you will receive course feedback on your strengths and how you can develop in other areas.
The longer that you stay with the ATC the more responsibility you can expect to be given. You may at some point be asked to assist in the planning of events or the creation of a Squadron training programme. These activities provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate ability to plan, delegate and work under pressure. These are a great way to gain insight into what the staff undertake to plan an event.
The ATC also offers a number of specialist leadership courses such as the Air Cadet Leadership Course at RAF Cranwell or the excellent joint cadet service courses at Frimley Park. Some cadets are even lucky enough to be selected to attend the Junior Leaders course.
The Junior Leaders course is designed to be challenging and is structured to test your confidence, leadership skills, physical fitness and mental capacity. Running over 8 months, you will develop a wide range of abilities including presentation skills, teamwork, fieldcraft training, and self-sufficiency and interview techniques.
On completion of the Junior Leaders course you will be presented with a maroon lanyard to wear on your uniform along with the JL “Drop Zone Flash” for your camouflage uniform. Candidates who successfully complete the course are also eligible for ILM (Institute of Leadership Management) qualifications.