ONE of the military’s most senior figures has given his backing to an organisation which trains the next generation of recruits.
Air Marshal Sir Dusty Miller KBE has agreed to become a patron of MPCT, which runs 35 military training colleges across England and Wales.
And the patronage will enable around 2000 young people a year to benefit from Sir Dusty’s unparalleled life and career experience.
MPCT’s colleges use military training techniques to give those aged from 16-19 the practical and academic skills they need for civilian or military careers.
Along with training in physical fitness, the courses – whose instructors are all ex-British Armed Forces personnel – help learners achieve qualifications in English and Mathematics and become proficient at problem solving, public speaking, leadership and communication.
Like the majority of MPCT recruits, who join after taking their GCSEs, Sir Dusty left school after his O levels and became an RAF apprentice at the age of fifteen.
He qualified as an airframe fitter, before being selected for commissioning and entry into flying training – heralding the start of an illustrious and highly decorated career with the RAF.
He credits much of his later success to those who saw potential in him at a young age and gave him the opportunity, instruction and guidance to develop – which is why he supports the ethos of MPCT.
“While the overriding majority of youngsters need little more than the encouragement and guidance of their parents to find their way to becoming happy, well-adjusted young adults,” he said, “a substantial minority need a great deal more help and support to develop the self-confidence and motivation that enables them to spot and then seize the opportunities that lie all around.
“From my own experiences as a boy, admittedly a long time ago, I am struck by the need to help youngsters navigate the periodically troubled waters that lead from childhood to adulthood.
“Having witnessed at first hand the work of the MPCT, no single fibre of my being could refuse the generous invitation to become a Patron and I wholeheartedly and enthusiastically look forward to working with such a highly motivated, professional and caring team.”
Since retiring from the RAF in January 2008, Sir Dusty has taken numerous appointments, including a commission as a flight lieutenant in the RAFVR(T).
He is a Director of the Honourable Company of Gloucestershire, and is the Branch President of the Cheltenham Royal Air Forces Association, Vice-Patron of the RAF Halton Apprentices Association, Honorary President of the Tangmere Military Aviation Museum, Honorary President of the Gloucestershire Outward Bound Association, and Honorary President of 125 (Cheltenham) Squadron RAF Air Cadets.
MPCT CEO, Huw Lewis said:
“We are delighted and honoured to have Air Marshal Sir Dusty Miller KBE as a patron and to be announcing his appointment in the year of the 21st anniversary of MPCT.
“It is a fitting way for us to celebrate the military connection, our commitment to a formal relationship with the RAF and the heritage of our organisation.
“He has been a supporter of MPCT Gloucester for some time and it is an enormous honour that he has accepted the position of Patron.”
To find out more about the Military Preparation Colleges, prospective learners and parents and guardians can visit www.mpct.co.uk or call 0330 111 3939.