A Transcript of Air Marshal Garrod’s Speech.
This is a transcript of the image of Air Marshal Garrod’s Speech in the Ernie’s War blog.
Speech by Air Marshal Garrod, C.B., O.B.E., M.C., D.F.C.
“Cadets of the Air Training Corps, I bring you hearty greetings from the Air Council, and I bring the Air Council’s special congratulations on the splendid way in which you have answered the appeal for the Air Training Corps. You have taken the first step along the Royal Road to the Royal Air Force, and I want to wish you the best of luck on your journey. In the Air Training Corps we are trying you with the earliest parts of your training so that when you come into the Service you will find that you are already well on the way. Your task will be simpler then and you will be ready all the sooner to play your part.
The Air Training Corps has been formed primarily for air crews, but we wanted also to give training for all branches of the Royal Air Force. I have no doubt that it is the ambition of most of you to become pilots, observers, wireless operators or air gunners. That is a grand ambition to have and there will be room for all of you who can qualify for these duties. But aeroplanes cannot be kept in the air without a ground staff. Those who fly in the aeroplanes will be the first to stress the importance of the work done by the ground staff, for their own lives depend on this work. For this reason, we require men with high qualities of intelligence and akill and character for our maintenance work. This work is just as important as that of the men who fly. It is up to the mechanics to see that each aeroplane is mechanically perfect before it leaves the ground. Work in the Air Force, whether in the air or on the ground, is more individual and and supervision is less close and constant than in most other walks of life. Each of you must have the highest individual standards of personal efficiency, both in your training and in your general habits. Each of you must be fired with enthusiasm to maintain and raise the standards; the prompting must come from within you. We do not want men who have got to be constantly urged on by others. There may be times when you feel tired and you will be tempted to say, “What I have done is good enough; I will take a chance on the rest.” Such an attitude of mind, whether in an air crew or in a maintenance crew, is not only useless; it is dangerous, for it may risk the lives of others. If you want to be an airman, you must make up your mind that you will never be content with anything less than the best you can give. In the Royal Air Force this ideal comes first before any thought of your own comfort or your own safety. You cannot do this without training and hard work. The Royal Air Force wants the best. Our standards are high, and we want to see you all make the grade; that is why we started the Air Training Corps, so don’t be afraid of hard work; whether it is of drill or lectures or practical training, the goal is worth the effort.
I welcome you to the Air Training Corps. There is an equally warm welcome waiting for you in the Royal Air Force when the time comes. We are a Service of volunteers, enthusiasts and of pioneers. The Royal Road is open. Good luck to you in your great adventure!”