The RAF Air Cadets is delighted to announce that Sophie Jade Hendrick from Dover Grammar School has been appointed the first SNCO (Senior Non-Commissioned Officer) since The Combined Cadet Force (RAF) incorporated into the six Regions of the RAF Air Cadets.
It’s an exciting time for the RAF Air Cadets and Sergeant Hendrick says she is honoured to make the history books.
This appointment is a huge achievement and I feel incredibly proud to be the first appointed CCF RAF sergeant. The whole experience feels very unreal as I wasn't aware till recently that I will be the first, but I feel incredibly honoured to have the chance to give back to the organisation that helped me build so much confidence in myself. This appointment has a huge significance in unifying the ATC and the CCF RAF and I feel honoured to be a part of it.
Sergeant Hendrick described how COVID-19 lockdown affected her time as a cadet. She took a year out to focus on her Aeronautical Engineering course at university and re-joined cadets as a CI in early September 2022.
I decided almost immediately upon re-joining that I wanted to apply to be a Sergeant instructor within the RAF section of the CCF as this option had become available very recently. I wanted a more direct role in the development and training of the cadets, but I also wanted to motivate the cadets to achieve more and experience the array of opportunities available to them throughout their time in cadets.
This is a landmark appointment and a first within the CCF (RAF) and our Region after this exciting SNCO route for uniformed service was announced. It opens up new roles and pathways for our adults and shows our cadets a different perspective. The mix of officers, SNCOs and civilian instructors gives balance to the cadet delivery.
As the appointments are new it also generates timely opportunities for greater integration with this established cadre across the community squadron.
We are excited by this and know others are in the pipeline…Welcome Sgt Hendrick.
Group Cpt Al Lewis
Regional Commandant for LaSER
The amalgamation of the CCF (RAF) and ATC will align the organisation better as a whole and enhance the ability to offer the widest possible range of air cadet activities, irrespective of whether they are school or community based. It will take time for the changes to be fully operational but significant progress has already been made.