Dave* is 13 years old. His goal was to join the Royal Australian Air Force Cadets. The Cadets aim is to run a youth-based program that develops life skills, leadership qualities, self-reliance, confidence, teamwork, and communication.
An example of some of the activities that Cadets get involved in are:
- Field craft
- Adventure training
- Firearms safety training
- Drill and ceremonial parades
- Service knowledge
- Navigation and
Source aafc.org.au as at 26 September 2017
If the Cadets were looking for a new poster teenager, Dave’s the man for the job! He loves the Cadets and everything about it. He went to a formal Cadet dinner recently and had a fantastic time. He took one of his workers as his plus one, Joanne.
The dinner was very formal and included many ceremonial aspects. Others on the table spotted Dave and Joanne as newbies and took them under their wing advising which cutlery to use when, which dignitaries and ranks to stand up in acknowledgment for, to keep eye contact as the flag went past and to turn your body in the direction of the flag as it went past you. There were so many new rituals, codes, and etiquettes to get a handle on. Dave loved it all!
Rumour had it that he may have spent up to three days ironing his shirt before the big night! YouTube was also consulted on how to tie his tie correctly. His shoes shone. Not a hair was out of place. Dave scrubbed up a treat. He kept asking his worker, “do I look alright?”
While Dave may have had pre-dinner nerves he certainly didn’t let it show. Towards the end of the night, the Cadets were asked to participate in a banter type of activity which was a playful mocking on some of the bloopers that the Cadets had witnessed. Joanne thought that Dave would enjoy this but he did more than that. He stood up and offered a few gaffes of his own to the room. He commanded the room. He owned it. He nailed it.
On achieving his goal of joining the Cadets, Dave summed it up beautifully,
“I now have a future. I feel proud of myself. I am worth something. I look great in my uniform. I feel important. I will be respected. I want to give to my country and help others. I cannot thank you all for believing in me and making it all come true”.
*Dave’s name has been changed to protect his privacy