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Napier Teen Graduates Top of Class

Brigadier Sean Trengrove presents CDTCPL James Hammond with the top of course award.

Brigadier Sean Trengrove presents CDTCPL James Hammond with the top of course award.

James Hammond has graduated at the top of his class of 30 New Zealand Cadet Forces cadets at RNZAF Base Ohakea.

The group graduated after a week long senior non-commissioned officer course on Friday May 3.

The 17 year-old William Colenso College student achieved top of his syndicate and top student on the course and was awarded the coveted Warrant Officer’s pace stick.

While friends were relaxing or working during the school holidays the cadets, all from the lower North Island and nominated by their units to attend, were immersed in lessons on leadership, efficiency and problem solving, and will now return with new skills to perform the duties of a cadet Senior NCO at unit level.

Cadet Corporal (CDTCPL) Hammond from 13 Squadron in Napier was named top of his syndicate on the course and also the top cadet.

He said he had joined cadets because his mother had once been a cadet too.

"The unit had an open night and it looked cool to join and it’s been everything I expected it to be.

"It’s taught me a lot about leadership and how to get along with everyone."

CDTCPL Hammond is currently deciding whether to join the Air Force straight away or go to Otago University to study medicine first.

A few spots of rain didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of a small crowd of family and friends who watched the graduation parade.

Brigadier Sean Trengrove, Director General Reserve Forces and Youth Development, described the group as inspirational young leaders of New Zealand.

"Parents and unit commanders should be very proud of the environment they have created and the support they have given to these future leaders," he said.

ENDS

For more information, contact Todd O'Hara, Defence Communications Group on 021 626 578.

Background Info:

The Air Training Corps is the Air branch of the New Zealand Cadet Forces (NZCF). The NZCF are for young people 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.

For more information visit http://cadetforces.mil.nz

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