British business supremo Sir Stuart Rose is
flying in to help the Air Cadets!
Sir Stuart has agreed to become the ACO’s
first ever honorary vice-patron and will bring his astute business sense to the
A keen supporter of the organisation and
Royal Air Force, he is the former executive chairman of Marks & Spencer..
He said: “I
am delighted to be involved with the Air Cadets. It is a fantastic organisation
and I look forward to getting involved.”
Commandant Air Cadets, Air Commodore Barbara
Cooper has been liaising with Sir Stuart over the last 12 months and is
delighted that he has agreed to take on the role.
She said: “It is fantastic for the Air Cadet Organisation that Sir Stuart
has agreed to come on board. He has an illustrious background in the retail
industry and I’m certain that we will benefit greatly from his involvement with
the Air Cadets.”
Born in 1949 in Gosport, Sir Stuart’s early
years saw him living with his family in a caravan in Warwickshire until his
father received a posting with the Civil Service in Tanzania. He was educated
at Bootham School in York from the age of 11 and began his working life at the
BBC, where he held an administration assistant role.
Sir Stuart first joined Marks and Spencer in
1972 as a management trainee and remained with the British retailer until 1989.
He joined Debenhams in 1989 and became a director of The Burton Group in 1994.
In 1997, he joined Argos as Chief Executive, before joining the Arcadia Group
in 2000 as Chief Executive, where he turned around its fortunes, selling the
group for over £800m.
Sir Stuart returned to Marks & Spencer in
May 2004, this time as chief executive. Two years later he was named 2006
Business Leader of the Year by the World Leadership Forum for his efforts in
restoring the fortunes of M&S. In 2008 he was knighted in the New Year
Honour’s List, before being appointed Chairman of the Business in the
Following his knighthood, Sir Stuart became
executive chairman of Marks & Spencer, a role which he relinquished in
Earlier this year Sir Stuart, who’s father
served with the Royal Air Force, was invited to visit a typical Air Cadet unit,
where he was able to see first-hand what cadets do on their weekly parade
Once at 78 (Wembley) Squadron Air Training
Corps, cadets put him through his paces. The squadron’s dedicated flight
simulator proved to be particularly appealing for Sir Stuart, who holds his own
Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL).
Sir Stuart spent time talking with cadets and staff and also proved to be a hit
on the target shooting range, where he achieved a bull’s-eye using the cadet
No.8 rifle with one of his opening shots.
Sir Stuart will be visiting more air cadet
units in the future, with visits to 1475 (Dulwich) & 282 (East Ham)
Squadron’s having already taken place [Stuart has visited Dulwich and East Ham