Air Force Cadets regularly stand or march on parade throughout the year – Australia Day, Anzac Day, promotion courses, end-of-year awards days to mention just a few – but only a privileged few are invited to form a Guard of Honour for a member of the Royal Family.
CAPTION: HRH Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex accompanied by Hieu Van Le, Governor of South Australia, pass CCPL Simon Russell, 604 Squadron, in the Guard of Honour.
This month His Royal Highness Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex was in Australia for the Commonwealth Games and visited Adelaide, taking the opportunity to present badges and certificates in a Gold Award Ceremony to South Australian participants in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award International Award.
Prince Edward is the youngest child, and third son, of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award was founded in 1956 by HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
In 2017 the Earl of Wessex assumed many public engagement duties from his father, and now represents Prince Philip as Patron of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme.
Significantly, among the cadets who formed the Guard of Honour for the Earl of Wessex, four were already wearing Award badges – CSGT James Marchant, 622 Squadron and CCPL Simon Russell, 604 Squadron (Silver Award); and LCDT Fabian D’Mello, 609 Squadron and LCDT Ana Ribeiro Dos Santos, 613 Squadron (Bronze).
Current active award participants included: CFSGT Casey Dibben, 608 Squadron and CSGT James Marchant (Gold); CCPL Alexander Barrott-Walsh, 619 Squadron (Silver) and LCDT Lachlan Willsmore, 602 Squadron (Bronze).
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is available to all 14 to 25 year olds regardless of their background and comprises three levels, each progressively more challenging: Bronze, Silver and Gold.
Participants are required to complete four sections within each level: Service, Skill, Physical Recreation and an Adventurous Journey.
Gold level participants also complete a Residential Project.