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Commander of RAF inspires new generation of leaders

October 8th, 2014
Haberdashers' School Head teachers and CCF meet Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford
Haberdashers' School Head teachers and CCF meet Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford
Haberdashers' School Head teachers and CCF meet Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford
Haberdashers' School Head teachers and CCF meet Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford
Haberdashers' School Head teachers and CCF meet Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford
Haberdashers' School Head teachers and CCF meet Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford

A lucky team of cadets has become the first ever CCF to be visited by the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford.

The Head of the RAF gave a profound speech on leadership to students at Monmouth School just 24 hours after RAF jets completed a second round of air strikes against ISIS targets in Iraq.

During his visit, Air Chief Marshal Pulford also visited stands set up by the different cadet forces, which included members from Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls.

He listened to a presentation by Head of Monmouth School’s RAF section, Flight Sergeant Ashley Hunter, and a talk by Corporal Danny Schofield about the Army cadets.

The momentous event was part of Monmouth School’s 400th Anniversary celebrations.

Speaking to almost 200 cadets, Air Chief Marshal Pulford said he was delighted to be visiting them, and congratulated all of the staff and volunteers who deliver the “Monmouth School experience”.

The first helicopter pilot to become professional head of the RAF, Air Chief Marshal Pulford talked to the CCF about his career in the Royal Air Force, including his service in the Falklands War.

Alongside fascinating stories of his personal experiences which had cadets gripped, Air Chief Marshal Pulford talked about the importance of respect, integrity, service and excellence.

He encouraged the pupils to seek excellence in everything they do, and to be tolerant of people from all walks of life.

Air Chief Marshal Pulford presented several awards to cadets after his speech on the day, as well as announcing Cadet Ashley Hunter’s promotion to Flight Sergeant and presenting him with his new rank slides.

Ashley said: “Having the presentation in front of my peers made the whole ‘once in a lifetime experience’ even better as I got to share it with my friends.

“Today has given me a much greater insight into what it will be like when I join the RAF, so it has made me much more certain that this is the correct life for me and has given me more determination to achieve this goal.”

Cadet Corporal Sapphire De Sousa Stayton, who is in Year 13 at HMSG, spoke to Air Chief Marshal Pulford about her hopes of becoming a helicopter pilot in the Navy.

“It was very inspirational and made me want to be in the Navy even more, especially because Air Chief Marshal Pulford is a helicopter pilot and that’s what I want to do,” she said.

Headmaster of Monmouth School, Dr Steven Connors, thanked Sir Andrew for his extraordinary presentation, adding: “The cadets heard in a very profound way how leaders are formed.

“I have heard many speeches about leadership in over 30 years in education, but that was the most profound and sincere address I have ever heard and all the more powerful as it came from a gentleman who leads one of the most famous and respected organisations in the world – the RAF.

“Thank you for talking from the heart.

“I know this day will stay with the cadets for many years to come.”

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