News

June 18th 2015

ATC volunteer: “You are able to watch your child enjoy themselves away from home”

A father from Leicestershire has told of how he finds it rewarding to watch his son gain new experiences through the Air Training Corps (ATC).

Squadron Leader Adrian Utting, who serves as a Wing Staff Officer for South and East Midlands Wing ATC, has taken time out as Father’s Day approaches to reflect on his time in the Cadet Force with his son Ashley, who is a Cadet with 1461 (Wigston and District) Squadron ATC.

Working as a Paramedic with East Midlands Ambulance Service in his day-to-day life, Adrian previously joined the ATC as a Cadet in 1983 and explained that this has helped him to relate to his son’s activities within his Squadron.

He said: “Though I am not directly involved with Ashley’s Squadron as I want him to progress on his own merit, it is rewarding to be able to see him progress and make new friends, all whilst being able to share the knowledge and interest of the Cadet environment with him. It certainly gives us something to enjoy together.

“As a parent who is in the Cadet Force, you are able to watch your child enjoy themselves away from home and develop skills you might not be able to teach them, such as First Aid, target shooting, and increased self-discipline. By joining as an adult volunteer you are able to gain qualifications through the Cadet Vocational Qualifications Office (CVQO) as well as attending leadership training and First Aid courses which could enhance your civilian career.”

Adrian added that the experience of being in the ATC together has helped to strengthen his relationship with his son.

He said: “Before Ashley joined the ATC, I was often away through my role as an adult volunteer, and it is nice that he hopefully now understands that I was away on parade nights and camps that he too can enjoy.

Adrian’s son Ashley explained that joining the Cadet Force has seen him take part in a variety of activities, some of these with his dad.

Ashley Utting, aged 15, said: “Since joining my Squadron two years ago, I have been able to take part in shooting activities, flying and gliding, Duke of Edinburgh, as well as gaining a Youth First Aid and Foundation Amateur Radio qualification. I have done shooting and First Aid activities with my Dad and it was enjoyable to see him in a different environment.”

Ashely added that having a parent in the Cadet Force does not interfere with his enjoyment of being a Cadet, explaining that his dad does not supervise his Squadron’s activities.

He said: “Not many Cadets have a parent in their Cadet Force or at their Squadron but it is nice to be able to see my dad in a different environment. The benefit of being in the ATC with my dad is that he understands the kinds of training because he was once a Cadet himself.”

To find out more about joining the ATC as a Cadet or an adult volunteer, visit: www.raf.mod.uk/aircadets

“Not many Cadets have a parent in their Cadet Force or at their Squadron but it is nice to be able to see my dad in a different environment. The benefit of being in the ATC with my dad is that he understands the kinds of training because he was once a Cadet himself.”