Press Release – Cpl Katie Devenney Award

RAF Reservist Sets Academic Pace

A RAF Reservist has been awarded a Master’s Degree in Air, Space and Cyber Power, a unique distinction for a spare-time member of the RAF Reserve.

Corporal Katie Devenney won a Dowding Scholarship in the Chief of the Air Staff’s programme to encourage members of the Royal Air Force and RAF Reserves to pursue study and personal development.  Katie chose to study the opportunities, threats and challenges in the Defence sunrise capabilities of Air, Space and Cyber, all key areas of rapid development within the RAF.

Katie said: “This has been a really interesting course and a world away from my civilian work and something I would never have dreamed of having the chance to do 5 years ago!”  In her “day job” Katie works for the North United Communities charity providing support for families and young people.

Katie joined 602 City of Glasgow Squadron, a Royal Auxiliary Air Force squadron which is always looking for enthusiastic people to bring their civilian skills to support the RAF and learn new skills.  She said “There was no family history of military service but I have always been quite adventurous, I love to travel and I saw an advert inviting people to a recruitment day, so I went along. I liked what I saw so I applied and was accepted as a trainee Intelligence Analyst”.

Since joining the Squadron, Katie has thrown herself into a whole range of tasks and activities.  “I love the diversity of the people I work with, all the different experiences they bring to the unit, I have been on overseas expeditions, involved myself in sports events and even been mobilsed for 6 months to work with a RAF Cyber Safeguarding Awareness flight.  The training is great fun but to actually go and do the job in a real operational environment is really fulfilling.” Said Katie.

During lock-down the RAF sent all personnel details of academic opportunities they could apply for as part of the Chief of the Air Staff’s Fellowship scheme.  Katie said: “I saw that note and thought this sounds great I’ll pop in an application and see if I get anywhere.  I was surprised and absolutely delighted when I got a letter saying that I had been accepted and that I could work for a Masters Degree – what an opportunity!  It was challenging but once I got into my stride I was given the chance to contribute to conceptual events and participate in regular forums, the course was well designed.”

Cpl Devenney was clearly well suited to the challenge as she graduated with a Merit which she attributes to the RAF giving opportunity to ordinary citizens to join Reserve Squadrons like hers and fulfil their potential.  “It’s been amazing!”  Katie said, “Any time I’m away with the unit I come back smiling.  It takes effort to balance civilian life and RAF life but you get such a buzz out of being part of it and I have learned a lot about teamworking and leadership.  Most of all though I work with some amazing people and have made strong friendships.”

Squadron Leader James Martin, Officer Commanding 602 Sqn said: “Cpl Devenney was selected via a highly competitive application process, She has applied extraordinary dedication over the last 3 years to successfully complete her studies. To have done this on its own is impressive; but to have completed it whilst also maintaining both her civilian role and RAF Reserve duties makes her achievements all the more special. The Squadron and I are very proud of her achievement.”

Note to editor:  For further details please contact Wg Cdr Howard Leader

Posted in Press Releases.