This week I met with the ACO (Area Cadet Officer) Air and signed a 324, transferring me to #19 Stratford Air Cadet Squadron and beginning the transition towards me taking command.
The drive to and from cadets these past years has been getting, well, tiring. An hour and a quarter each way means I'm spending as much time in the car trying to stay awake as I am with the cadets. It wasn't so bad when I was at the Buy Food store. I'd already be clean so it was just eat, change and grab my stuff and be out the door by around 1700-1710. Plus I usually had Wednesday's off so getting home late wasn't a worry.
Being back in manufacturing it's now shower, shave, eat, change, grab my gear and try and be out the door by 1700-1710. And then it's home after bedtime but still needing to unwind from the drive. The next morning is pretty rough. This was also making it very hard to take on the increased responsibilities of my rank let alone take command. It was also making cadets not so fun.
So once my friend stepped down from command I really started to rethink my situation and started some networking with my CIC contacts.
The local Army unit was full for staffing, but the Air unit was hurting for officers as retirement forced several out. They were facing the prospect of having a lone 2Lt and some civilian volunteers to run things come the fall. So I contacted the ACO Air and offered my services. He offered me the command. 80% of the Cadet program is common to all three elements so it shouldn't be too hard. Besides I like all the aerospace content and they get to launch rockets. So that should be pretty cool.
I've met my new staff. The ACO brought in another officer, so I've got two young eager 2Lts who already have a rapport from taking a course together. I'm going to enjoy working with them a lot I think. But mostly I'm excited to be working in my own community with a 5 minute drive and in good weather I can walk to cadets!