First Battle Won for Taumarunui Local

7 June 2012

Graduates of the NZCF Officer Commissioning Course stand in front of the new NH90 helicopter at RNZAF Base Ohakea. 2LT Stent first on right

Taumarunui local Second Lieutenant (2LT) Cheryl Stent was one of 12 new officers who graduated from the New Zealand Cadet Force (NZCF) Officer Commission Course on 26 May 2012.

New Zealand Cadet Force and NZ Defence Force staff attended the graduation ceremony at RNZAF Base Ohakea.

Originally joining the NZCF as a parent support staff member for her two children who are in the unit, 2LT Stent decided to join as an officer in 2011 and take the next step. Wearing the uniform was in 2LT Stent's family's blood, as her children's great great grandfather was awarded the Victoria Cross in 1918.

Course Director Squadron Leader Bruce Sinclair says the course is designed to teach and test to produce the very best officers.

"Around 25 percent of students have come up through the ranks and are on the course to give something back to the organisation which has given them so much. The course reinforces our core values of discipline, respect, integrity and loyalty in a supportive but challenging environment."

2LT Stent says the hardest part of the course was being away from home and family and out of my comfort zone. Despite this, meeting other people with the same goals and helping our future generations to achieve made up for it all.

Outside of the NZCF she works as case manager for Work and Income.

Following the course, the newly commissioned 2LT Stent will return to her unit and take up the roles of a unit officer working on administration work, planning future activities and camps for the students in her unit.

2LT Stent says that the NZCF has allowed her to support her children and develop their interests in history and heritage as well as build essential life skills.


For more information contact Defence Communications Group, Todd O'Hara on 021 186 4111.


Victoria Cross Background:

24/1699, Sergeant, D.C.M., M.M.
1st Battalion, Auckland Infantry Regiment, N.Z.E.F.
Bapaume, France - 26 August, 1918

Northland-born Reginald Judson was one of New Zealand’s most decorated soldiers of the First World War. The Auckland boilermaker won three gallantry awards within a month in 1918. After winning the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) and Military Medal (MM), Judson was awarded the VC for his leadership of a bombing party in an attack on German positions near Bapaume. While working his way along an enemy trench-line Judson ran into a dozen German soldiers and ordered them to surrender. When they fired on him he threw a hand grenade amongst them. Two Germans were killed and the others retreated, leaving behind two machine guns.

Background info about the New Zealand Cadet Force:

The New Zealand Cadet Force (NZCF) are for both boys and girls aged 13 to 18. They comprise the Sea Cadet Corps, the New Zealand Cadet Corps and the Air Training Corps. It is a voluntary, disciplined, uniformed youth leadership training organisation.

The organisation is not part of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), but is directed by the Chief of Defence Force, on behalf of the Minister of Defence, and is supported in partnership by the NZDF and the community.

This page was last reviewed on 7 June 2012.