Major General Robert Magowan CBE, Commandant General Royal Marines has returned to his roots, at a LASER Air Cadet squadron. 36 years ago, 13 year old Faversham teenager Robert Magowan joined his local Air Cadet squadron in Faversham. On Tuesday 18th July, his old cadet unit, 1242 (Faversham) Squadron welcomed him back as reviewing officer of their annual inspection in a night the cadets and staff of the unit will never forget.

Flight Sergeant (ATC) Alan Sime, the current Officer in Command of 1242 Faversham squadron said “We were really excited to be welcoming an ex cadet back to the squadron. Today, just as 36 years ago the RAF Air Cadets welcomes teenagers with an interest in aviation. Our role as volunteer instructors is to inspire the cadets and teach useful skills from first aid to navigation. The RAF Air Cadets is also a great resource for teaching the skills that aren’t so easy to do in a school classroom. We have a range of course and activities focused around developing leadership skills.”

As a Major General, Robert Magowan is now one of the most senior officers in the Armed forces and head of the Royal Marines. After joining the Royal Marines in 1989, he served in both Iraq and Afghanistan in operations before becoming Commandant General in June 2016. “I’m honoured to be asked to return to my Air Cadet squadron for the annual inspection”, said the Major General. “I’ve enjoyed meeting the current generation of cadets at Faversham to see how things have changed since I was there.”

A day to remember

Also present at the inspection was former 1242 Squadron commanding Officer John Gerrard. John was in charge when Robert was a cadet. Robert’s former head teacher at Queen Elizabeth School, John Blackford was also in attendance.

After inspecting the Squadron, Robert Magowan then went on to present trophies to cadets Frazer McShane for Best new cadet. Alexander Whitehead was awarded a trophy for Best NCO, and Daniel Davies for Cadet of the Year. Blue flying wings were presented to cadets Connolly and Goodridge.