After an extremely close competition, the winners of the Dacre Sword, ATC 75 Sword and Sir John Thomson Memorial Sword have been announced.
The 2023 winners are as follows:
- Dacre Sword awarded to the top ATC Cadet – Cadet Warrant Officer Charlie Edwards of 561 (Ardwyn, Aberyswyth, and District) Squadron, No 3 Welsh Wing
- ATC 75th Anniversary Sword for the 2nd placed ATC Cadet – Cadet Flight Sergeant Robert Johnson of 1159 (Edmonton) Squadron, Middlesex Wing
- Sir John Thomson Memorial Sword awarded to the top CCF(RAF) cadet – Cadet Warrant Officer Katie Bishop, Bury Grammar School
Air Commodore Tony Keeling, Commandant Air Cadets, said the quality of all the nominations had been exceptional.
"I was both humbled and inspired by the achievements of these remarkable young people, who were all the essence of our motto ‘venture adventure’ and outstanding role models for all Air Cadets," said Air Commodore Keeling.
It is planned to formally present the awards at the RAFAC’s annual Honours and Awards Ceremony at Royal Air Force College Cranwell later this year.
Please see pen pic below on each of the deserved winners.
Dacre Sword – Cadet Warrant Officer Charlie Edwards of 561 (Ardwyn, Aberyswyth, and District) Squadron ATC, No 3 Welsh Wing
An Air Cadet since October 2019, Charlie has sprinted through the ranks at a pace rarely seen. She twice attended the Junior Leaders Courses where she attained ‘Top Lead’ in the Course 22 assessments, and in August 2022 attended the Advanced Cyber Specialist Course, where she excelled in written and practical assessments earning her the Gold Cyber Badge. Keen to expand her knowledge and instructional repertoire, Charlie has also completed the Gold First Aid Instructor’s Course in February 2023 and is now supporting delivery of the Wing’s First Aid Training.
Charlie is a keen aviator, completing the Air Cadet Pilot Scholarship (ACPS) in April 2022, gaining her Silver Wings, and is now working towards achieving her Private Pilot’s Licence. Additionally in December 2022 she was awarded one of eight Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS) Scholarships from The Air League earning the UK Civil Air Authority Certificate of Competency for commercial Drone operations.
Currently serving in her second term as Lord-Lieutenant’s cadet for His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Dyfed, Charlie wishes to pursue a career in criminal psychology. With unrivalled resilience, commitment, and dedication to succeed, she puts the welfare and enjoyment of her fellow cadets at the heart of everything she does. Cadet Warrant Officer Edwards is held in the highest regard by her Squadron and Wing and has proven herself a fantastic ambassador for the Air Training Corps and the wider Royal Air Force.
ATC 75 Sword Winner – Cadet Flight Sergeant Robert Johnson of 1159 (Edmonton) Squadron ATC, Middlesex Wing
Robert joined 1159 (Edmonton) Squadron in 2018 as a 12-year-old, and the journey of personal development that has followed is remarkable with his sights now set on a career in aviation. Indeed, Robert is perfect example of how the Royal Air Force Air Cadets can have a hugely beneficial impact on the young people we serve.
He is a well-rounded cadet who recently completed the Silver Duke of Edinburgh award, St John Ambulance Activity First Aid Award, Gold Musician badge and performed with the Air Cadet National String Ensemble. He has also achieved Master Air Cadet classification, is an Instructor Cadet and has represented Middlesex Wing in target shooting competitions achieving the coveted Cadet 100 at the Inter Service Cadet Rifle Meeting held at the national Shooting Centre.
Robert was recently appointed as the Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet for His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London; this is no ordinary achievement having been selected from over 240 Sea, Army and Air Cadet units and many thousands of young people. Robert is particularly proud of the positive message this opportunity, and success with the Air Cadets, sends his culturally diverse local community.
While he admits to not always being a high achiever, it is clear that Robert has considerable academic talent; somewhat humbly, he put great emphasis on the volunteers of 591 (Edmonton) Squadron for the help and encouragement they have provided in helping him unlock that potential. Cadet Flight Sergeant Johnson is a superb ambassador for the Air Training Corps and the wider Royal Air Force
Sir John Thomson Memorial Sword Winner – Cadet Warrant Officer Kathryn Bishop Bury Grammar School CCF(RAF)
Katie is a tremendous Air Cadet and student, excelling at everything she pursues. Academically, she is incredibly strong gaining excellent GCSE results and this is expected to continue when she sits her A Level examinations this Summer. Katie is also Captain of House and Music in her school, a member of her local Scout troop, and competes with the Lancashire Schools Sailing Association.
After starting in the RAF Section in Year 10, Katie quickly rose through the ranks to Cadet Warrant Officer in recognition of her excellent team work and leadership skills. She has competed the Air Cadet Pilot Scheme where she flew solo, and has build on this achievement with an Air League Scholarshio, where she achieved full marks in the Air Law examination and again flew solo. Katie is also a Master Cadet and has also earned the Gold Leadership qualification, numerous Cyber awards and First Aid qualifications and the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.
On a day-to-day basis Katie runs the RAF Section and leads the teaching of various Air Cadet subjects. She has been pivotal to the success of a this newly formed section, which for a time she was the only member of in her year group; through her determined recruitment efforts has now doubled in size to over 60 Air Cadets.
Katie hopes to read Computer Science and further develop her pilot skills by joining the University Air Squadron, although her ambition is firmly focussed on the development of flight software. Cadet Warrant Officer Bishop is an excellent ambassador for Bury Grammar School, the Combined Cadet Force and the wider Royal Air Force.
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