Air Officer Commanding becomes Taskmaster for the night

For the cadets of 1279 (Melton Mowbray) Squadron, Royal Air Force Air Cadets, their recent virtual parade night was no ordinary evening. Whilst it promised to be a fun and challenging night for the cadets, they were joined by a special guest to make the evening that much more memorable.

After being put forward by their Wing Commander back in February to host a special guest during a virtual session, the squadron were informed in early March that they had been selected to host Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Richard Maddison OBE MA RAF. AVM Maddison is the Air Officer Commanding (AOC) 22 Group RAF, which is the part of the RAF that the Air Cadets comes under.

The AOC joined the squadron alongside Wing Commander Andy Pass RAFAC, Officer Commanding South and East Midlands Wing, to get to understand what activities are taking place around the organisation and to get a chance to interact with cadets, to hear their views. However, before the AOC was given the opportunity to take part in a question and answer session with the cadets – he took on a key role for the evening. The cadets were taking part in an Air Cadet/RAF themed ‘Taskmaster’ challenge evening so the AOC stepped in to be the ultimate judge and award the points for the cadets’ efforts throughout the night.

Cadets were put through their paces from finding the best aviation object in their house for the taskmaster; creating the tallest tower in RAF colours; recreating the Corps crest using items from around their house; and attempting to guess and draw the AOC’s favourite RAF aircraft. Whilst he is used to challenging decisions in his day job, this was a new form of the challenge for the Air Vice Marshal. However, the AOC was a tough Taskmaster and critically judged each round to give the cadets the chance to be crowned as the evening’s Taskmaster champion. The competition was tough and it ended up with the difference of one point between first, second and third place!

After the competition had finished, AVM Maddison took time to give the cadets an overview of his career as an RAF officer and helicopter pilot before taking part in a quick-fire question session following by a question and answer session with the cadets. A wide range of questions were explored including the AOC’s favourite postings in the RAF, his advice for those going into the RAF, where he sees the RAF going over the coming years and even which flavour starburst he enjoys!

Flight Lieutenant Dan McGlynn RAFAC, the squadron’s Officer Commanding, commented, “It was a real honour to host the AOC for the evening. He was fully involved in the activity and was an excellent Taskmaster throughout the night. The cadets really appreciated his feedback and involvement during the tasks. His answers during the Q&A session were very insightful and I know helped to inspire the cadets, giving them an insight into what the AOC does. I’m really proud that we’ve been involved in this event and truly proud to be able to show the AOC the incredible young people and volunteers that help to make this organisation.”