One Tree Hill local Pilot Officer (PLTOFF) Josh Sanders was one of 12 new officers who graduated from the New Zealand Cadet Force (NZCF) Officer Commission Course on 26 May 2012.
New Zealand Cadet Force and NZ Defence Force staff attended the graduation ceremony at RNZAF Base Ohakea.
Having been a part of the NZCF since 2005, PLTOFF Sanders was accepted to attend the commissioning course as a result of his years of commitment to the organisation. In his time with the NZCF, he has been a student on five promotional and leadership courses and returned as a staff member for a Senior Leaders Course.
Course Director Squadron Leader Bruce Sinclair says the course is designed to teach and test to produce the very best officers.
"Around 25 percent of students have come up through the ranks and are on the course to give something back to the organisation which has given them so much. The course reinforces our core values of discipline, respect, integrity and loyalty in a supportive but challenging environment."
PLTOFF Sanders says the hardest part of the course were the Leadership Exercises in Santoft Forest. Being tasked with leading a team across a ravine with limited resources has its own sets of challenges and communication to and from the team is vital. Despite this, creating new friendships with other officers from all over New Zealand and the whole military experience of being on base makes up for it all.
Outside of the NZCF he is an Advanced Paramedic Student at Auckland University of Technology.
PLTOFF Sanders says that the NZCF has allowed him to develop friends and community links and given him leadership and teamwork skills that will be invaluable throughout his life. These skills learnt will hopefully lead into aiding in a paramedic career and further a hopeful career as a medic and officer in the NZ Defence Force.
Following the course, the newly commissioned PLTOFF Sanders will return to his unit and take up the role of Basic Flight 2IC, which will see him working on administration work, planning future activities and camps for the first year students to his Squadron.
For more information contact Defence Communications Group, Todd O'Hara on 021 186 4111.
Background info about the New Zealand Cadet Force:
The New Zealand Cadet Force (NZCF) are for both boys and girls aged 13 to 18. They comprise the Sea Cadet Corps, the New Zealand Cadet Corps and the Air Training Corps. It is a voluntary, disciplined, uniformed youth leadership training organisation.
The organisation is not part of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), but is directed by the Chief of Defence Force, on behalf of the Minister of Defence, and is supported in partnership by the NZDF and the community.