As an enthusiastic member of Longridge Air Cadets in his teens, Mike Kuerschner took advantage of all there was to offer, also completing his Duke of Edinburgh awards – with the exception of the expedition for the gold award.
A family move took him away from Longridge, 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.
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 new cadets.”
He rejoined as a civilian instructor, has been promoted through the ranks and is now an adult sergeant and also the squadron D of E officer.
Also on rejoining, Mike had set about finishing his gold award expedition, completed with a week to spare before the deadline of his 25th birthday.
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 Susan and dad Karl, Mike, who is 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 paddled 90km of Scotland’s Caledonian Canal.