A WOKINGHAM man is being celebrated for his service as an Air Cadet.
Flight Lieutenant and Officer Commanding, Luke Baker was presented with the Lord Lieutenants Certificate of Meritorious Service for his achievements as an Air Cadet at 153 (Slough) Squadron, Air Training Corps.
The Lord Lieutenants Certificates of Meritorious Service afford recognitions to members of the reserve and cadet forces whose efforts are not recognised by the twice-yearly Queen’s honours lists. This award ranks second to a Queen’s honour.
Flight Lieutenant Baker first joined the Air Training Corps as a cadet where he progressed to cadet warrant officer and then on leaving in 2012 joined as a sergeant instructor.
He was commissioned in 2015 and took command of 153 Squadron in 2017.
“I have been in the cadets since 14, when I saw a stall in the local fete,” said Flt Lt Baker.
“I wanted to try something new that would teach me new skills, make new friends and give me a new adventure, and as they say the rest is history.”
In his short period of command, Flt Lt Baker turned the Squadron around, increasing numbers of cadets to 75 and adult volunteers to 15.
“This year we were awarded the Thanes Valley Wing and the South West Region award for the most improved Squadron over a 3 year period, making 153 one of the top six most improved Squadrons in the country,” said Flt Lt Baker.
“We have started the formation of a Squadron band and have engaged with the community at events such as the horticultural show and poppy appeal events, working particularly close with the mayor’s office,” he said.
“The biggest enjoyment comes from watching the young people grow as people, grow in confidence and achieve things they never would’ve been able to achieve if they weren’t in the cadets.
“My proudest achievement was being the regional winner of the Marshall Trophy as it showed recognition to the whole Squadron to their hard work and efforts over the years.”
Flt Lt Baker also instructs on the Heart Start and Mental Health support and plans military commemorative events with Slough local Authority.
He was awarded the Lord Lieutenants Certificates of Meritorious Service on Thursday, October 24 at Bradfield College.