A nearly 30-year dream to join the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) has come true for Auckland mother-of-four April Sherman. 

She has just graduated from the 14-week recruit training course at RNZAF Base Woodbourne and will begin Safety and Surface trade training in 2021.

Safety and Surface Technicians are responsible for keeping our aircraft equipment in peak operational condition and have one of the most varied roles in the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF).

Aircraftman Sherman, 46, spent the past 8-1/2 years in Australia doing various jobs, including working in the mines in Western Australia.

Family brought her back to New Zealand in 2019, and a chance sighting of an Air Force P-3K2 Orion re-ignited a life-long career dream.

“I lost my dad suddenly at the beginning of last year to cancer, so my priority was to find a job back in New Zealand and take care of my mum,” she said. 

“I was too shy as a school leaver back in 1992 to join. But I saw an Orion flying above Hobsonville one day after work last year and that rekindled the desire to look at the Air Force,” Aircraftman Sherman said. 

She has a number of connections with the NZDF, mainly with the New Zealand Army, including a connection to the 28th (Māori) Battalion on her mother’s side of the family.

She said she was determined to become an expert in her trade and inspire her children.

“I begin my trade training for Surface and Safety in January and am really excited to learn the different skills of my trade.

“I hope I can inspire my two younger children into the Air Force in the not too distant future.”

Aircraftman Sherman said her experience showed it wasn’t too late for anyone looking at joining the military and that being mentally and physically prepared was the key.

“Bring your game face so when it’s tough you can work through it. As much as you come into this environment not knowing anyone it is the people around you who also pull you through.

“If you’re willing to embrace lessons, make sacrifices, swallow your pride, be patient when others struggle and continue to give everything you will eventually overcome each obstacle,” Aircraftman Sherman said.

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

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