International Women’s Day 2018

As we celebrate International Women’s Day I realise have been in the RAFAC for over 5 years.  Throughout those years I have noticed and admired that the Air Cadets is an organisation that heavily embraces gender equality.

From the early 1980’s girls have been allowed to join the Air Cadets and the opportunities we have been offered have only continued to grow since. As the Armed Forces acknowledge that it has been 100 years since women were first allowed in service (As well as recently allowing women to fulfil roles within RAF Regiment from 2017)  it becomes clear that the women’s role within military organisations has become increasingly prominent and rightfully recognised in modern time.

148 (Barnsley) Squadron is a prime example of equality within the RAFAC. All cadets within our Squadron are appraised by ability by merits and nothing more.  All cadets are offered the same opportunities and equal status, where no one will be oppressed because of their gender. It is certainly an organisation where women are free to thrive, progress and succeed.

The last three senior cadets at 148 (Barnsley) Squadron have been female, including myself.  Furthermore, multiple key roles within the Squadron are managed and carried out by women; the adjutant, training officers for both the training syllabus and recruitment, media, flying/gliding, AT, first aid and more! Equal respect and acceptance has enabled our Squadron to run efficiently and effectively, enabling our cadets to progress.

Through the support of my Squadron, all female cadets that have been a part of us have achieved so much throughout their cadet careers and continue to do so. Personally, I have achieved things like Gold DofE, ACPS, 13 camps, National Marching Band and I have been selected for IACE Israel later this year. There is really no end to the opportunities that the RAFAC can offer women!

International Women’s Day is an amazing opportunity to recognise the work done to fight against gender inequality and here, women can be acknowledged, recognised and respected.  It can be said that I am incredibly proud to be woman in 148 (Barnsley) Squadron!

By CWO Shannon Copeland