Timaru Local Rises to New Heights

7 June 2012

Graduates of the NZCF Officer Commissioning Course stand in front of the new NH90 helicopter at RNZAF Base Ohakea. PLTOFF Burgess second from left.

Timaru local Pilot Officer (PLTOFF) Rick Burgess, 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.

Having been a part of the NZCF since 2011, PLTOFF Burgess joined as a direct entrant officer in order to get back into youth work in his community. The NZCF runs in the family with Rick's grandfather serving as a cadet at Otahuhu College when he was young and now Rick's son a cadet in his own unit.

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." 

PLTOFF Burgess says the hardest part of the course was being back in a classroom. I am a hands on type of person so this was an experience I hadn't had to go through for some time. Despite this, meeting the new officers on the course and establishing new friendships was the best part of it all. The Leadership Exercise (EX Endurance) at Ramai Range is where we got to put into practice what we had learnt in the class. It was stressful but such an awesome experience and I would encourage anybody to give it a go."

Outside of the NZCF PLTOFF Burgess works as a Side Loader Operator for Hilton Haulage Ltd and is a keen hunter who looks forwards to passing on marksman principles to the shooting team .

PLTOFF Burgess says that the NZCF has allowed him to develop friends and community links, and provides a valuable channel for him to give back to his community through youth work.

Following the course, the newly commissioned PLTOFF Burgess will return to his unit and take up the role of Stores Officer, managing the units clothing and equipment inventory


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


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 11 June 2012.