Stratford's No 48 Squadron Air Training Corps has been awarded a national honour.
The unit has been named the 2018 recipient of the New Zealand Cadet Forces national trophy for endeavour, the MacPherson trophy.
The trophy is presented annually to the ATC unit which has made the greatest improvement in efficiency and performance despite minimal amenities.
In his letter to Stratford cadet unit commander Flight Lieutenant Sharon Clarke, Lieutenant Colonel Grant Morris, commandant of the New Zealand Cadet Forces, says the award also recognises the strong relationship No 48 Squadron has developed with the Stratford community.
"This year, the trophy recognises the overall improvement and maintenances in your unit's performance, and the work that has occurred on the facilities utilised by No 48 Squadron over the last year. It has been particularly pleasing to note the increase in cadet numbers and the strong relationship that you have developed with the Stratford community".
Cadets from the unit are often seen volunteering at local community events.
Sharon says receiving the award is "awesome", adding it's the icing on the cake after 13 months of hard work.
"I'm a very happy unit commander right now."
The nomination identifies the unit's challenges, with the transient nature of the surrounding community affecting cadet numbers.
"48 Squadron has come through some trying times over the last 13 months, where lesser squadrons would have had difficulties with what had happened and may have gone down the route of recessing the unit." The Squadron welcomes new members and meets at the ATC training hall on Tuesday from 6.30pm, term time.