Grangemouth cadet could become best of the best

Mark Hutton could be named UK's top cadet
Mark Hutton could be named UK's top cadet

A local lad will travel down south to compete with the best of the best in a effort to become the top cadet in the United Kingdom.

Mark Hutton (16), of Grangemouth 1333 Squadron Air Cadets, is the first youngster from the area to have made it to the final stages of the Duke of Westminster Award.

The St Mungo’s High School pupil has been in the squadron for four years - joining after he heard about the great times his pal had been having.

He said: “I just heard about all the experiences you have and I’m really into gliding and flying. You also learn discipline and how to work together as a team.”

Now a corporal, Mark is a shining example to younger cadets.

Instructor Gary Millen said: “He has shown great potential ever since he came to the cadets - what we were really impressed with was the way he helps and looks out for other cadets.

“He shows great leadership skills.”

Put forward for the Duke of Westminster Award by 1333 Squadron leader Flight Lieutenant Tom McMorrow, Mark only found out about it when he received a letter stating he had made it into the final 40.

After answering a series of written questions, Mark then discovered he had made it into the final 21 - joining the cream of the cadets from Army, Sea and Combined Units from all over the UK.

He will now be heading down to Somerset - himself - in April for three days of challenging activities and tests.

“I’m quite nervous about it. I’m representing the squadron down there. It will be a great experience though and absolutely brilliant if I win.”

Mark’s parents Karen and Michael praised their son and the squadron.

Karen said: “We would like to thank Flight Lieutenant McMorrow and the staff of 1333 Squadron for their belief in Mark. We were so shocked and happy he got down to the final 40 - but then he got down to the final 21 out of 250 cadets.

“Joining the cadets has been so rewarding for Mark and we are so proud of him.”