As an enthusiastic member of Longridge Air Cadets in his teens, Mike Kuerschner took advantage of all there was to offer, also completing his bronze and silver Duke of Edinburgh awards, and all of his gold award, except the expedition.
A family move took him away from Longridge for a number of years, but when Mike was in his early 20s, they got the chance to move back to town and he re-joined the 143 Longridge Squadron, this time as a staff member.
He said: “Because I had benefited from the Air Cadets with all the opportunities they provide, I thought it would be nice to go back and pass on my knowledege to the new cadets.”
He re-joined as a civilian instructor, has been promoted through the ranks and is now an adult sergeant in uniform and also the squadron D of E officer.
Also on re-joining, Mike had set about finishing his gold award expedition, completed with a week to spare before the deadline of his 25th birthday last September, and last week, he was was presented with this by Prince Edward at St James’ Palace, also meeting Carol Vorderman, who is honorary group captain.
Accompanied by his mum and dad, Susan and dad Karl, Mike, who is currently in his last year studying for a motor sport engineering degree at UCLan, describes the occasion as “fantastic”.
Mike had chosen canoeing to complete the expedition, and said: “It was trying something different...learning a new skill and meeting new people,” adding it had involved training and a practise expedition in the Lakes prior to the final, four-day, three night camping expedition, paddling 90km of Scotland’s Caledonian Canal.