Commandant of the RAF Air Cadets, Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty has been made a CBE at an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
Air Commodore McCafferty received her CBE medal from HRH The Duke of Cambridge.
She said: “I was genuinely thrilled to visit Buckingham Palace with my family to receive this award, which I see as national recognition of the RAF Air Cadets, which I have been so proud to command for the last five years.
“It is truly humbling to be presented with such a significant state award for doing a job I thoroughly enjoy and where I find myself surrounded by the most inspirational cadets and adult volunteers you could ever hope to find. I dedicate this award to each and every one of them.”
Air Commodore McCafferty served as an RAF officer in the Personnel Support Branch for 23 years and has since completed another five years as a Full Time Reserve Service (FTRS) officer.
Based at HQ RAF Air Cadets, RAF Cranwell, Lincolnshire, she currently commands an organisation of 40,000 air cadets aged 12-19 across the UK and abroad and 15,000 adult volunteers.
The volunteers, supported by a small team of permanent staff, deliver a comprehensive training programme at 950 Air Training Corps squadrons and 210 school-based Combined Cadet Force (RAF) units.
She is also in charge of No. 2 Flying Training School at RAF Syerston, Nottinghamshire, which has 11 Volunteer Gliding Squadrons around the UK which deliver gliding to the cadets.
Air Commodore McCafferty was previously a leading light in the establishment of the RAF Families Federation and worked with the Royal Air Forces Association for five years representing the interests of RAF families to government and the senior echelons of the RAF.
She received the CBE for her services to the RAF Air Cadets.
Dawn was born in Wales and grew up in Leicester and Kettering where she attended Southfield School for Girls before joining the RAF aged 19 to follow her dream of taking responsibility for and working with like-minded people in the Armed Forces.
*CBE is Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.