Family pride and a need to have a sense of purpose in his career motivated Lucas Richardson to join the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF).

He has just graduated from the 14-week recruit training at RNZAF Base Woodbourne and will begin avionics trade training in 2021. 

Aircraftman Richardson, 19, said the main driver for joining was the pride he had in his father.

“To put it simply, my dad was in the Royal Air Force and growing up seeing him in his uniform every day gave me a sense of pride, to be able to say “my dad is in the Air Force”.

“Delving into that, I guess I want that same pride for myself in who I am, and what I do for a living,” he said.

Aircraftman Richardson was born in Britain but lived in Auckland as a child.

His family returned to Britain when he was a teenager and he finished his high school education there. 

“But I wanted to come back home to New Zealand, having spent the majority of my adolescence here. I set out working various small jobs to get enough money to get myself back here. 

“At 17 years old I took off by myself around the other side of the world to start the application process to join the RNZAF.”  

For now his career aspirations are to complete his trade training and see where that leads.

“I want to move up the ranks, and maybe even have the chance to be part of the staff at Command Recruit Training Squadron and instruct a course or two,” Aircraftman Richardson said.

He advised anyone wanting to join to go into it with a strong sense of purpose.

“Knowing why you are here and what you will achieve in this organisation will make the whole experience an amazing one.”

To find out more about a career in the Air Force visit www.defencecareers.mil.nz(external link)

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