Longbenton Air Cadet Flight Sergeant Alex McGowan is on cloud nine after receiving two accolades in as many weeks.
After successfully completing the coveted Air Cadet Junior Leaders Course, Alex was selected as Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet for 2018.
The 18-year-old was officially welcomed into the role by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant Mrs Sue Winfield OBE at a ceremony held at Anzio House, the home of Newcastle’s Royal Marine Reserve unit.
Alex was appointed as Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet for Tyne and Wear from over 1000 cadets and he takes over the role from another Longbenton Air Cadet, Flight Sergeant George Binfield.
On his royal appointment, Alex said; “I’m really looking forward to performing the role and attending functions with the Lord Lieutenant when members of the Royal Family and other civic dignitaries visit the region.”
Alex was selected because of his hard work, high standards and personal qualities as a cadet at 2344 (Longbenton) Squadron and it was these characteristics that seen him through a gruelling 10 month leadership training course with the RAF.
Not for the faint-hearted, the Junior Leaders Course is physically and mentally demanding; requiring strong commitment and determination. The course involves nine weekend training camps culminating in an assessment week, which leads to a Level Three Certificate in Team Leadership from the Institute of Leadership and Management.
The Longbenton High School student told us “We were challenged at all times throughout the course; in our planning, lead, navigation, presentation and fitness.
“It was hard going, especially leading in the harsh, cold and snowy conditions, but I gained so much from it and I’m really proud of my achievement.”
Commanding Officer, Flight Lieutenant Gary Richardson said: “Alex truly deserves to be recognised for his Junior Leader achievement and on his appointment as Lord Lieutenant’s cadet.
“Last year, he gained his flying wings with us and he has continued to work hard and made the most of the opportunities offered. He is an outstanding ambassador for what we do.”
Alex is the seventh Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet in nine years to be a member of 2344 (Longbenton) Squadron and can now wear the purple lanyard having completed his leadership course. He now aims to achieve his Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
If you’re in Year 8 or above and interested in Longbenton Squadron, then please visit the squadron or go to www.2344.org.uk for more information.