Success For SCWO Matthew Whiteley of 293 (Cowbridge) Squadon


Success for CWO Matthew Whiteley 293 (Cowbridge) Sqn as he passes the Air Cadet Junior Leaders Course!

SCWO Whiteley Graduates JL13 ________________
Not for the faint-hearted, the Junior Leaders Course is physically demanding and requires real commitment and determination.
The course, which runs from September to Easter, involves nine weekend training camps and an assessment week. A big step up from the Cadet Leadership Courses, the Junior Leaders Course is aimed at older cadets. On successful completion of the course the candidate is awarded with a Level Two Certificate in Team Leadership from the Institute of Leadership and Management.
This is the toughest but most rewarding of our leadership courses.
Number 3 Welsh Wing are pleased to announce that SCWO Matthew Whiteley of 293 (Cowbridge) Squadron has successfully completed the gruelling course and now has the pride of wearing the Junior Leaders maroon lanyard which acknowledges the candidates successful completion of the course.
Plt Off R Thomas RAF VR(T), 293 (Cowbridge) Squadron expressed,

"CWO Whiteley is one of the most outstanding young people of his generation. His energy and drive is perhaps only matched by a fierce intellect and a readiness to help others to the very best of his ability. He is an instinctive leader and the Squadron staff know he can be trusted to carry out the most conceivable task to the highest possible standard. Matthew truly is an asset to 293 Cowbridge Squadron, 3WW and the Air Training Corps."

Below you will find an insight into what life has been like for SCWO Matthew Whiteley over the past eight months:
Junior Leader Course, No JL13____________________________________________________________

Over the last eight months, the Junior Leaders course has taught me that with enough drive and determination, you can achieve what you thought was out of your reach. In early winter, nearer the start of the course, I thought that I was never going to get through it. Every weekend was more than challenging, other students were dropping out and everything we did was under scrutiny from the directing staff.

As the course went on, we all formed strong bonds as colleagues and as friends. It was these bonds that really mattered during the gruelling, 9-day test phase; a field exercise on STANTA that made use of real enemy forces, two RAF Merlin helicopters and 60,000 rounds of blank ammunition. We all found that we could rely on our friends, and picked each other up when we were at our worst. In addition, the directing staff are excellent teachers. Some of them were current Air Cadets that had completed the last two courses, and they gave us all the advice we needed to shine when leading our men through the tougher parts of the course.

I managed to finish JL13 ranking second overall, one point behind the top student, whom I have a great deal of respect for they were a perfect example of a strong, determined commander who led by example and got the best out of his subordinates.  I only aspire to be as good a leader as him.

The biggest lesson that I took away from the course is to have faith in yourself and the people around you, and to take your challenge one hurdle at a time ignore the cold, the rain, the sleep deprivation, the tired muscles and aching feet: keep striving for your goals and you will achieve them.

What I would say to any cadet thinking of attending selection for JL14 in September is first of all, do it! This course was the single best experience of my time in the Air Training Corps, and I would recommend it to every other cadet. Secondly, I would tell them that success is not about chance. Give the course your absolute best effort, and you will succeed you will be surprised how much you can find within yourself. Some of the experiences that I had on JL13 will stay with me for the rest of my life, and I learned something from every single one. It is my wish that many more cadets from 3 Welsh Wing can do the same.

(left to right) SCWO Matthew Whiteley, Number 3 Welsh Wing & SFS Ruben Rees, Kent Wing, wearing their Maroon Junior Leader Lanyards with pride.
Article and Images very kindly supplied by: SCWO Matthew Whiteley, 293 (Cowbridge) Squadron
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