Stratford's Air Cadet unit has a new Commissioned Officer.
When Tyler Turpie was 13, he joined the No 48 Squadron Air Cadet unit in Stratford because he wanted to be a pilot when he left Stratford High School.
Now, at 22, while his career choices have changed he is still actively involved with the Cadet Force.
Tyler recently completed a New Zealand Cadet Forces Commissioning course at RNZAF Base Ōhakea, and is now an Acting Pilot Officer with the Air Cadets.
Unit Commander Flying Officer Sharon Clarke says Tyler's commissioning means the unit can do even more with the 19 cadets they have.
"Now if Tyler plans an activity I don't have to be there as well. He has the knowledge to be aware of what is expected from both cadets and officers to maintain the code of conduct and reputation of the New Zealand Cadet Forces."
Sharon says Tyler is an asset to the unit, bringing enthusiasm to his role.
Tyler's commissioning means the unit now has two officers, as well as five supplementary staff. Sharon says she couldn't keep the unit going without that support.
Tyler says he has always enjoyed the challenges the Cadet Force has given him.
"As a cadet I enjoyed the challenges and how it taught me to overcome them. As I moved up the NZCF rank structure, each promotion added a new set of challenges with greater responsibilities and accountability."
He is looking forward to his new role as a training officer at the squadron.
"In particular, encouraging and mentoring cadets towards the New Zealand cadet forces core values of courage, commitment, comradeship and integrity in young New Zealanders."
Tyler says he recommends joining Air Cadets to any young person, saying for him particular highlights would be the chance to fly aircraft, both gliders and planes, as well as meeting people from all over New Zealand while attending various courses.