Air Training Corps

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Air Training Corps
A heraldic badge of the Air Training Corps. Its motto, 'Venture Adventure' is contained in a stylised scroll at the foot of the badge.
Air Training Corps badge
Active5 February 1941; 83 years ago (1941-02-05)[1]
Country United Kingdom
BranchRoyal Air Force Air Cadets (RAFAC)
TypeVolunteer youth organisation (sponsored by the Royal Air Force)
RoleYouth development, military aviation education and training
Size952 squadrons
26,040 cadets[2]
Headquarters Air CadetsRAF Cranwell, Lincolnshire, England
Motto(s)Venture Adventure
Commandant Air CadetsAir Cdre Tony Keeling OBE[3]
RAFAC Warrant OfficerWO Donna Hall
Honorary Ambassadors
Aircraft flown
TrainerTutor T1
Viking T1

The Air Training Corps (ATC) is a British volunteer youth organisation of the United Kingdom; aligned to, and fostering the knowledge and learning of military values, primarily focussing on military aviation. Part of the Royal Air Force Air Cadets (RAFAC), the ATC is sponsored by the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the wider Ministry of Defence (MoD). The majority of Air Training Corps staff are volunteers, though some staff are paid for full-time work;[5] including Commandant Air Cadets, who is a Royal Air Force officer as part of a Full Term Reserve Service commitment.[6]

Members of the Air Training Corps are known as Air Cadets, which is often interchanged with the term 'ATC cadets'. Although many ATC cadets subsequently go on to join the Royal Air Force, or the other branches of the British Armed Forces (or have the desire to do so), the ATC is not a recruiting organisation for its parent service (the Royal Air Force).[7]

Activities undertaken by the Air Training Corps include sport, adventure training (such as walking and paddle-sports), ceremonial drill, rifle shooting, fieldcraft, air experience flights in both powered aircraft and sail-plane gliders, and other outdoor activities, as well as educational classification training. Week-long trips, or 'camps' to RAF stations, along with other camps offering adventure training or music, allow the opportunity for cadets to gain a taste of military life, and often some flying experience in RAF gliders and RAF training aircraft such as the Grob G 115, an aerobatic-capable elementary flying training aircraft, known in UK military service as the Tutor T1.

Tail of the Grob Tutor T1 'Kilo-Golf' aircraft as used by members of the Air Training Corps. ATC cadets would normally wear a flying suit, a helmet, and a parachute; in some cases, a life jacket is also required.
The Tutor T1 is used to provide Air Experience Flights to ATC cadets.

Cadet membership can begin when cadets are 12 years old and in school Year 8(England and Wales), or equivalent in Scotland and Northern Ireland. New members will join with a rank of Cadet and can earn positions of increasing responsibility in a military rank structure, as well as having increasing skill and competence recognised in a classification scheme (joining as a Second Class cadet then First Class, Leading, Senior, Master). As a cadet becomes more experienced with camps and activities, the skills they will acquire will be rewarded with a corresponding badge according to the skill achieved and how advanced the cadet is at that particular skill (e.g. drumming, shooting, leadership, first aid).

Service as a cadet in the Air Training Corps may end at the age of 18, although cadets over the age of 18 can be extended until the age of 20 if appointed as a Staff Cadet.

As of 1 April 2022, the ATC strength is 26,040 cadets (29% female) and 9,570 adult volunteers (30% female).[2]

Together with the RAF contingent (or RAF section) of the Combined Cadet Force (CCF), the Air Training Corps form the Royal Air Force Air Cadets (RAFAC), previously known as the Air Cadet Organisation (ACO), and is now part of the British Government's Community Cadet Forces.



Air Commodore Sir John Chamier is affectionately known as the 'father of the air cadet movement'.[8] He joined the Royal Flying Corps (RFC), the forerunner of the Royal Air Force, where he served as a pilot in World War I. He transferred to the Royal Air Force (RAF) upon its formation in 1918. After retiring from the service in 1929, Chamier became Secretary-General of the Air League; an organisation made up of people who wanted to make the British public aware of the importance of military aviation. With the clouds of war beginning to form over Europe, and the personal memory of how young men with only a few hours of training had been sent into air combat only to fall victim to well-trained enemy aviators, he conceived the idea of an aviation cadet corps.

Air Defence Cadet Corps[edit]

Air cadets learn the basics of flight at RNAS St Merryn in Cornwall, February 1944.

The purpose of the Air Defence Cadet Corps (ADCC), set up in 1938 by Air Commodore Chamier, was to train young men in various aviation-related skills.[9] The ADCC proved popular, with thousands joining up. In 1941, to provide the means of giving part-time air training to teenagers and young men who might later join the Royal Air Force, the ADCC was formally established as the Air Training Corps by Royal Warrant.

Air Training Corps[edit]

Slingsby Cadet TX.3 glider used by the ATC from 1953 to 1986.

On 5 February 1941; 83 years ago (1941-02-05), the Air Training Corps (ATC) was officially established, with King George VI agreeing to be the Air Commodore-in-Chief, and issuing a Royal Warrant[1] setting out the Corps' aims. Within the first month of its existence, the size of the old ADCC, now the ATC, virtually doubled to more than 400 squadrons, and continued to grow thereafter. A new badge was designed for the ATC and, once approved by the King, was distributed in August 1941. The motto 'Venture Adventure', devised by Air Commodore Chamier, was adopted by the ATC and incorporated into the badge.

The new ATC squadrons adopted training programmes to prepare young men for entry into the Royal Air Force. Squadrons arranged visits to RAF and Fleet Air Arm stations as part of the cadets' training, where a flight might be a possibility. Such opportunities were not widely available, however, and many cadets were disappointed. One solution was to introduce opportunities for flying, as a way to allow a cadet to get the feel of an aircraft in flight and to handle an aircraft's controls whilst airborne. After the end of the Second World War, gliding lessons became available.[10]

Before the 1980s, females were unable to join the ATC, although they were able to join an attached unit of the Girls Venture Corps (GVC) which had been formed in the early years of the Second World War, if one was available at their location.[11] As of 2013, the GVCAC still exists, although in greatly reduced numbers due to competition from the ATC, and the two organisations no longer share a site.

Before May 2008, cadets would spend a lot of time in the classroom before obtaining First Class classification, studying the following subjects: The Air Training Corps, The Royal Air Force, History of Flight, Initial Expedition Training, Basic Communications, and Airmanship I. After many lectures, and when the cadet felt ready, they would take a multiple choice examination, either on paper or on a computer. Some wings ran courses that would involve the cadet spending a few days learning, and then awarded the appropriate classification if successful in their exams. In May 2008, HQ Royal Air Force Air Cadets (RAFAC) decided to change the training programme for junior and second class cadets, sensing that recruits were being deterred by exams. In March 2016, after a review of the then current training syllabus, the new 'Progressive Training Syllabus' was introduced, which provided for four levels of each badge (blue, bronze, silver, and gold).[12][13]

Investigation into sexual abuse[edit]

RAF Air Cadet Progressive Training Syllabus.

In 2012, payouts made to victims of sexual abuse by the MOD, across all Cadet Forces, totaled £1,475,844. In 2013, payouts totalled £64,782, and in 2014 payouts totalled £544,213.[14]

In 2017, a BBC Panorama episode entitled 'Cadet Abuse Cover-Up' highlighted sexual abuse cases in the British Cadet Forces.[15] In the years 2012 to 2017, there were 134 allegations of sexual abuse made against ATC volunteers, including historical allegations; 96 cases were referred to the Police for investigation, and 9 offenders were dismissed.[15]

Air Cadet Organisation[edit]

Until October 2017, advertising material such as leaflets and official websites branded the Air Training Corps and Combined Cadet Force collectively as the Air Cadet Organisation (ACO). This term was replaced by the Royal Air Force Air Cadets (RAFAC).[16]

Structure and organisation[edit]

The Air Training Corps includes three parts; the officer and staff cadre (which comprises uniformed and civilian instructors), the Civilian Committee, and the Chaplaincy.

The United Kingdom is split into six regions (akin to the former geographic groups of the RAF), each commanded by a Full-Time Reserve Group Captain[17] in the RAF Reserves, and having a Regional Chairman and Regional Chaplain. Each region is sub-divided into many wings. There were historically six wings per region, however, as of 2013 there were 34 wings, most named after the one or two counties of the United Kingdom that they operate in. Wings are further sub-divided into sectors. Within the sectors lie squadrons, and it is the squadron that is the focal point for the majority of members of the Corps. As of 2019, there were 952 ATC squadrons and detached flights, each assigned to a wing.

The Air Training Corps is the largest part of the Royal Air Force Air Cadets (RAFAC), along with the RAF sections of the Combined Cadet Force (CCF).


  • Central & East Region[18]
  • London and South East Region (LaSER)[19]
  • North Region[20]
  • Scotland & Northern Ireland Region[21]
  • South West Region[22]
  • Wales & West Region[23]
Air Training Corps, Rothes.
Albion Road, London N16 – Air Training Corps, Army Cadet Force. These premises have been used by the Air Training Corps (ATC) and Army Cadets for training since at least 1940.
The HQ of 1465 (Gwynedd) Air Training Corps in Dale Street.
ATC 300 (Axholme) Sqn. The ATC training centre is located in the grounds of Axholme school, on Wharf Road.


Wings of the Air Training Corps by Region
Central & East[18] London & South East[19] North[20] Scotland & Northern Ireland[21] South West[22] Wales & West[23]
Bedfordshire & Cambridgeshire Wing London Wing Central & East Yorkshire Wing North Scotland Wing Bristol & Gloucestershire Wing Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing
Hertfordshire Wing Kent Wing Cumbria & Lancashire Wing South East Scotland Wing Devon & Somerset Wing No. 1 Welsh Wing
Norfolk & Suffolk Wing Middlesex Wing Durham / Northumberland Wing West Scotland Wing Dorset & Wilts Wing No. 2 Welsh Wing
South & East Midlands Wing Surrey Wing Greater Manchester Wing Central Scotland Wing Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wing No. 3 Welsh Wing
Trent Wing Sussex Wing South & West Yorkshire Wing Northern Ireland Wing Plymouth & Cornwall Wing Staffordshire Wing
Essex Wing Merseyside Wing Thames Valley Wing West Mercian Wing



Headquarters Royal Air Force Air Cadets (HQ RAFAC, formerly Headquarters Air Cadets or HQAC) is based at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire, England. There are subordinate headquarters at region and wing levels, staffed by RAF and RAFAC officers[note 1] and civil servants. HQ RAFAC controls two National Air Cadet Adventure Training Centres (NACATC): at Fairbourne, Gwynedd, Wales; and Windermere, Cumbria, England. These NACATCs provide a range of adventure training courses and accommodation for squadron and wing expeditions. HQ RAFAC also controls (as of 2023) twelve Volunteer Gliding Squadrons (VGS) around the UK, through the Air Cadet Central Gliding School at RAF Syerston.


ATC squadrons are established in most large towns in the United Kingdom. There are also ATC units in Cyprus, Germany, Gibraltar, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man. In towns not large enough to sustain a squadron of 30 cadets, or as a supplement to an existing squadron in a larger town or city, a Detached Flight (DF) may be formed. A detached flight operates much like any other unit, but is a component part of a nearby, larger squadron. As of April 2019, there were over 912 ATC squadrons and 40 detached flights.[24]

An Officer Commanding (OC) a squadron is typically a flight lieutenant (RAFAC). If a squadron commanded by an SNCO, warrant officer, pilot officer, or flying officer, they are referred to as Officer in Charge (OIC) (unless they have completed their Squadron Commanders Course at RAF Cranwell, then they retain the title of Officer Commanding). Officers were previously appointed in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (Training Branch) RAFVR(T), but now receive a Cadet Forces Commission, introduced in 2017.[25] The OC has a good deal of autonomy in running their ATC unit, albeit with the responsibility that goes with it. Where a unit has other members of staff, the OC usually allocates duties and provides recommendations on appointments, retentions, and promotions. The OC of an ATC squadron can appoint cadets up to the rank of cadet flight sergeant (Cdt FS) without any external approval. Further cadet promotion to the rank of cadet warrant officer (CWO) requires recommendation being sent to their squadron's wing HQ.

The squadron warrant officer (Sqn WO) commonly holds the rank of warrant officer, or may be a senior non-commissioned officer (SNCO) if no warrant officer is available, and will typically have spent many years working within the squadron or the ATC.

The establishment of officers, WOs, senior NCOs, and Cadet NCOs, is dependent on the size of the squadron or detached flight, and this basic structure has many permutations; varying with the number of cadets and staff, accommodation and facilities. A typical small detached flight may consist only of the Officer Commanding and fifteen cadets, while a large squadron can consist of upwards of 120 cadets and numerous staff.

Civilian committees[edit]

A Civilian Committee (or 'CivCom') underpins all local funding that the RAF centrally cannot provide beyond core services for an individual squadron.[26] Each is an independent charity, and operates to meet the funding needs of the local squadron. Since the Cadet Forces Adult Volunteers (CFAV) and civilian instructors (CI) in the ATC have no financial responsibilities, but still need money to manage and support cadet activities such as annual and overseas camps and adventure training, the funding responsibilities lie with the Civilian Committee. Serving as trustees, they are volunteers who support the cadet activities financially.

The RAFAC (ATC) is itself not a charitable organisation, and is not itself a legal entity, and so has no official legal status. That defers to the MOD. For this and other reasons, the trustees within each Civilian Committee are required to be responsible for, and accountable for, the charitable fundraising of the squadron. As with any charity, three officers (Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer) are elected at an annual general meeting (AGM), possibly with the addition of a deputy chairperson, and then exist as an independent group[27] to raise and manage funds in a lawful manner in accordance with the Charities Act. They do this under the status of an 'excepted charity', which requires that they conduct themselves wholly to the Charities Act 2011, but are excepted from sending in annual reports to the Charity Commission.

The squadron commander and chaplain are ex-officio members of their civilian committee, and have no voting rights, however common-sense determines they may advise in squadron-related matters. While co-operation between the squadron and the civilian committee is desirable at all times, there is no line of command or authority of anyone other than the trustees of the Civilian Committee. This includes any uniformed personnel up to, and including, the Commandant Air Cadets.

A Civilian Committee is responsible for overseeing the initial unit formation and direction, and will monitor the welfare of cadets. Civilian committees often include parents of cadets and retired ATC staff. Many squadron charities decide to operate against the RAFAC document known as ACP-11,[28] which has been the traditional constitution. However, there is no requirement to do so, as long as the civilian committee establishes a constitution with acceptable charitable object statements; these may be similar to those in ACP-11. The Charity Commission produced model constitutions[29] of which the 'Model Constitution for a Small Charity' is used for the purpose of registering a charity at squadron level, and this has been the route required for all squadrons in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Any civilian committee in England and Wales that has an annual income that exceeds £5,000 in any one year, may register their charity with the Charity Commission. The charity commissions of Scotland and Northern Ireland require committees located in those countries to register and have done so for several years.


Aims and motto[edit]

Cadets from the Air Training Corps and Army Cadet Force during Remembrance Sunday, 2006.

The aims of the Air Training Corps, as set out in the Royal Warrant and approved by Elizabeth II, are:

  • To promote and encourage among young men and women a practical interest in aviation and the Royal Air Force (RAF);
  • To provide training which will be useful in both the Armed Forces and civilian life;
  • To foster a spirit of adventure and to develop the qualities of leadership and good citizenship.[30]

The corps' motto is 'Venture, Adventure'.[8]

In December 2015, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh resigned from his role as honorary Air Commodore-in-Chief, having served in this role since 1953. On 16 December 2015, Prince Philip was succeeded as honorary Air Commodore-in-Chief by the then Duchess of Cambridge.[31]


Upon enrolment into the Air Training Corps, every cadet has to make the following promise, usually at a ceremony presided over by the unit's padre or commanding officer:

"I, *Full Name*, hereby solemnly promise on my honour to serve my Unit loyally and to be faithful to my obligations as a member of the Air Training Corps. I further promise to be a good citizen and to do my duty to (God and^) the King, my Country and my Flag."[32]

The promise has recently[when?] been rewritten to accommodate everyone, whether or not they are religious, by allowing the option to drop the 'God and' from the oath. The promise was formally recorded by the cadet's signature in the cadet's Cadet Record of Service Book (RAF Form 3822).


Air Training Corps Ensign.

The Air Training Corps Ensign is hoisted for every parade in the summer, and hauled-down at dusk. It is treated with the same respect and dignity afforded to the Royal Air Force Ensign. In the event of poor weather conditions e.g., heavy rain or snowfall, the ensign would not be raised. If poor weather conditions are present whilst the ensign is raised, it would be hauled down at the soonest possible point. This is to avoid damage to the ensign and also as a mark of respect and discipline.

The ATC ensign is raised and lowered by a nominated member of the squadron, sometimes a cadet non-commissioned officer (NCO), member of staff, or simply a cadet who has been chosen, with the salute being taken by any commissioned officer, normally the squadron's Officer Commanding. All officers within view or earshot of the ensign salute during the hoisting and hauling down.

Most ATC wings and squadrons also have a banner, in addition to an ensign, which is paraded on formal occasions. The ATC also has a Corps Banner, which is afforded the same courtesies as an RAF Squadron Standard or the RAF King's Colour, although its status is different.


Parade and church service in Saint Peter Port, featuring ATC and CCF cadets, Guernsey, 16 September 2012.
ATC cadets in the Lord Mayor's Show in the City of London, in 2006. Most wear Woodland Pattern DPM, with one wearing a flight suit.

All cadets are issued with a uniform that is derived from that worn by RAF personnel, and are regulated by dress regulations known as ACP 1358.

Cadets primarily wear one of three uniforms:

  • No. 2 (Full) Service Dress -AKA 'Blues'— consisting of a light blue (Wedgewood) shirt and black tie, a blue V-neck wool jumper, a brassard, blue-grey trousers or skirt / slacks, and an RAF blue beret with an Air Training Corps cap badge. The jumper is removed in variation No. 2A (Long Sleeved) Service Dress.
  • No. 2C Service Dress — AKA 'Dark Blues'- as above, but replacing the light blue shirt and tie with a dark blue shirt, worn with the top button undone. May be worn with or without the jumper.
  • No. 3 Service Dress - Field Clothing — AKA 'Greens'- consisting of either CS95 or PCS-MTP field clothing.

Other cadet uniforms do exist, such as mess dress and warm-weather service dress for overseas squadrons, however these are not issued to cadets unless the need arises.

Some squadrons differentiate themselves from each other at a local level. One such example would be different coloured pieces of cloth behind the cap badges on the beret, allowing cadet NCOs and CFAVs to distinguish between cadets of differing flights. However, this is an unofficial practice, and not permitted on official parades. All No.2 uniform, except black parade shoes and combat boots are provided at the expense of the Ministry of Defence (MoD). No.3 uniform 'Greens' are not funded by the MOD for air cadets and must be purchased privately.

Squadron insignia[edit]

The first fifty Air Training Corps squadrons that were formed retain an 'F' to show they are 'founder' squadrons, e.g., 10F (Luton) Squadron, 48F (Hampstead) Squadron, or 1F (City of Leicester) Squadron. Only thirty of the original F squadrons are still in existence; the other twenty have disbanded over time. Some founder squadrons have reformed under Roman numerals, having been refused permission to re-assume their F; the first squadron to do so was XIX (19 Crawley) Squadron, Sussex Wing. Although Brooklands Squadron was the first actual squadron to be established, it was given the squadron number of 11F due to a clerical error.

A Detached Flight uses its parent squadron number followed by the letters DF, to show that it is a detached flight, e.g., No 1408DF for No 1408 (Cranleigh) Detached Flight, raised by No 1408 (Dorking) Squadron.


Grob Viking T1 gliders of the Air Training Corps.

There are also opportunities for band music, and many camps offer teenagers the chance to spend a week away from parents, practising fieldcraft or receiving instruction in gliding and other outdoor pursuits. Many of these activities, including gliding, have a well-defined scale of achievement that a cadet can work to build up; this includes the leadership qualities reflected in an NCO structure.

Annual camps[edit]

An Air Training Corps marching band from City of York Squadron.

The Air Training Corps runs numerous annual camps each year, run on RAF stations so that cadets may get a taste of Royal Air Force life. Annual camps are organised at Wing level, with place for all squadrons, so that every cadet who wishes to and who has achieved at least the First Class qualification may take part. Cadets usually stay in RAF barrack blocks, and eat in the station's mess facilities. The itinerary includes typical ATC activities, such as drill, air experience flying, shooting, and adventure training. Cadets also have the opportunity to visit various sections of the station, and meet the people who work there. Cadets may also have the opportunity to attend other sorts of annual camp, such as a locally (i.e. wing- or squadron-) organised camp based around adventure training or fieldcraft, or as guests on a camp run by one of the other cadet forces such as the Army Cadet Force or the Sea Cadet Corps. There are also Music camps for band members.

An Air Training Corps formation of former and current aircraft used to provide Air Experience Flights to cadets, RIAT 2011.

One large annual camp is the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) camp held annually in July for the major airshow at RAF Fairford. Each year, cadets aged above 16 years and their staff spend between one to three weeks, carrying out essential work in the preparation, and the subsequent taking-down of the infrastructure for RIAT.[33] On air display days, cadets have jobs to do, and after the show weekend they are able to meet the crews and see the aeroplanes at close range.

Air Cadets stall at the 2009 Southport Air Show, Merseyside, England.

Work experience camps[edit]

Another option for more senior cadets are work experience camps. Whilst annual camps aim to give cadets a general taste of service life, the work experience camps cater for cadets who are interested in a specific trade, such as the RAF Regiment or RAF Police. However, in recent years, the opportunities for work experience placements have decreased. Cadets can, however, contact their local Armed Forces Careers Office (AFCO).

Overseas camps[edit]

For older and more experienced cadets who have achieved the Leading Cadet qualification and have attended at least one UK Annual Camp, the Air Training Corps also offers overseas camps. These are generally more relaxed, and seen as a reward for hard-working and long-serving cadets. Since the end of the Cold War, and the closure of RAF stations in Germany, the number of overseas camp opportunities has decreased. As of 2007 the destinations for overseas camps are:

Former RAF bases that hosted overseas camps included RAF Bruggen, RAF Laarbruch, RAF Gütersloh, and RAF Gatow.

Corps-wide trophies[edit]

Air Training Corps squadrons each have a chance annually to win the two most prized trophies in the corps. The Sir Alan Lees trophy is awarded by the commandant Air Training Corps to the squadron with the best statistics and overall impression when inspected. The Morris Trophy is awarded to one of the six regional candidates upon inspection by the commandant.

Sir Alan Lees Trophy
year winning ATC squadron ATC wing Officer Commanding
1952 No. 187 (Worcestershire) Squadron West Mercian Wing Sqn Ldr Charles Baynton-Hughes MBE RAFVR(T)
1971 No. 187 (City of Worcester) Squadron West Mercian Wing Sqn Ldr Charles Baynton-Hughes MBE RAFVR(T)
1976 176 (Hove) Squadron Sussex Wing Flt Lt F P Le Duc MBE RAFVR(T)
1979 93 (City of Bath) Squadron Somerset Wing Sqn Ldr Brian T Higgins RAFVR(T)
1980 1084 (Market Harborough) Squadron South Midlands Wing Flt Lt Donald Edge RAFVR(T)
1981 2427 (Biggin Hill) Squadron Kent Wing
1982 93 (City of Bath) Squadron Somerset Wing Sqn Ldr Brian T Higgins MBE RAFVR(T)
1983 93 (City of Bath) Squadron Somerset Wing Sqn Ldr Brian T Higgins MBE RAFVR(T)
1984 444 (Shoreditch) Squadron London Wing Flt Lt Ronald S Frewin MBE RAFVR(T)
1985 866 (Immingham) Squadron Central & East Region Flt. Lt Tony Lark MBE RAFVR(T)
1993 No. 424 (Southampton) Squadron Hampshire & Isle of Wight Sqn Ldr A Jones MBE RAFVR(T)
1994 No. 111 (Sunderland) Squadron Durham & Northumberland Wing Flt Lt David Harris RAFVR(T)
1995 No. 1145 (Dunfermline) Squadron Dundee & Central Scotland Wing Flt Lt Ross Mitchell RAFVR(T)
1996 No. 2152 (North Bristol) Squadron Bristol & Gloucestershire Wing Flt Lt David Cox RAFVR(T)
2000 No. 230 (Congleton) Squadron Staffordshire Wing Flt Lt Rod Goodier RAFVR(T)
2001 No. 215 (City of Swansea) Squadron No.3 Welsh Wing Sqn Ldr Phillip Flower MBE RAFVR(T)
2005 No. 215 (City of Swansea) Squadron No.3 Welsh Wing Sqn Ldr Phillip Flower MBE RAFVR(T)
2007 No. 1145 (Dunfermline) Squadron Dundee & Central Scotland Wing Flt Lt Ross Mitchell RAFVR(T)
2008 No. 241 (Wanstead and Woodford) Squadron London Wing Sqn Ldr Jerry Godden RAFVR(T)
2009 No. 610 (Chester) Squadron Merseyside Wing Flt Lt John Kendal RAFVR(T)
2010 No. 1475 (Dulwich) Squadron London Wing Sqn Ldr Kevin Mehmet MBE RAFVR(T)
2011 No. 215 (City of Swansea) Squadron[34] No. 3 Welsh Wing Sqn Ldr Phillip Flower MBE RAFVR(T)
2012 No. 2160 (Sleaford) Squadron Trent Wing Flt Lt Mel Walker RAFVR(T)
2013 No. 2344 (Longbenton) Squadron[35] Durham & Northumberland Wing Flt Lt Gary Richardson RAFVR(T)
2014 No. 1349 (Woking) Squadron Surrey Wing Flt Lt Ben White RAFVR(T)
2015 No. 56 (Woolwich) Squadron London Wing Flt Lt Mark Bird RAFVR(T)
2016 No. 31 (Tower Hamlets) Squadron London Wing Flt Lt Rex Nicholls RAFVR(T)
2017 No. 187 (City of Worcester) Squadron West Mercian Wing FS (ATC) Karl Nicholson
2018 No. 2480 (Holywell) Squadron Number Two Welsh Wing Flt Lt D Anglesea RAFAC
2019 No. 111 (Sunderland) Squadron Durham & Northumberland Wing Flt Lt James Yeo RAFAC
2022 No. 241 (Wanstead and Woodford) Squadron[36] London Wing Sqn Ldr Jerry Godden RAFAC
2023 No. 230 (Congleton) Squadron Greater Manchester Wing Flt Lt Kate Clarke RAFAC
The Morris Trophy
year winning ATC squadron ATC wing Officer Commanding
1978 176 (Hove) Squadron Sussex Wing Flt Lt F P Le Duc MBE RAFVR(T)
1983 444 (Shoreditch) Squadron London Wing Flt Lt Ronald S Frewin MBE RAFVR(T)
1997 No. 2465 (Icknield) Squadron[37] Beds and Cambs Wing Flt Lt P R Smith RAFVR(T)
2006 No. 2409(Halton) Squadron[38] Herts and Bucks Wing Sqn Ldr Jerry Davies RAFVR(T)[38]
2008 No. 1855 (Royton) Squadron East Lancashire Wing Flt Lt Mark Hamilton RAFVR(T)
2009 No. 1211 (Swadlincote) Squadron South and East Midlands Wing Flt Lt Alyn Thompson RAFVR(T)
2010 No. 126 (City of Derby) Squadron South and East Midlands Wing Sqn Ldr Ian Marshall RAFVR(T)[39]
2011 No. 1855 (Royton) Squadron[34] East Lancashire Wing Flt Lt Mark Hamilton RAFVR(T)
2012 No. 633 (West Swindon) Squadron Dorset & Wiltshire Wing Flt Lt Helene Woodham RAFVR(T)
2013 No. 2516 (Droitwich) Squadron[40] West Mercian Wing Flt Lt Paul Wilde RAFVR(T)
2014 No. 184 (Manchester South) Squadron Greater Manchester Wing Flt Lt Tom Warner RAFVR(T)
2015 No. 1271 (Bathgate) Squadron West Scotland Wing Flt Lt Margaret Greer RAFVR(T)
2016 No. 126 (City of Derby) Squadron South and East Midlands Wing Sqn Ldr Ian Marshall MBE RAFVR(T)
2017 No. 1211 (Swadlincote) Squadron South and East Midlands Wing Flt Lt Ruth Morgan RAFVR(T)
2018 No. 7 Overseas (Jersey) Squadron Dorset and Wiltshire Wing Flt Lt Victoria Atherton MBE RAFAC
2022 No. 2344 (Longbenton) Squadron[41] Durham & Northumberland Wing Flt Lt Gary Richardson RAFAC

The Foster Trophy is awarded to the cadet who has achieved the highest academic results in the entire corps over their time in the Air Training Corps, after finishing the cadet syllabus that leads to a BTEC Level 2 Certificate in Aviation Studies. In addition, there are also trophies presented annually by the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA). These trophies include the 'Sir Douglas Bader Wings Appeal Trophy' for the ATC squadron collecting the most money on a per capita basis, the squadron achieving second place is awarded the 'Sir Augustus Walker Trophy'. The 'Sir Robert Saundby Trophy' is awarded for collecting the highest net Wings Appeal amount.

The Quinton Memorial Trophy is a national award presented annually to the adult non-commissioned officer (NCO) who has gained the top academic results in the senior non-commissioned officer (SNCO) initial courses held at the Air Cadet Adult Training Facility, Royal Air Force College Cranwell (RAFC). This trophy is named in honour of Flight Lieutenant John Quinton.[note 2]

Air Training Corps ranks[edit]


Young people who have begun their 2nd year of Secondary School (Year 8), and are under 16 3/4 years old can join the Air Training Corps (ATC). They are initially given the title 'Junior Cadet', and can go along to most squadron (or flight) meetings to get a feel for the ATC. Enrolment confers the status of Second Class Cadet,[42] and upon completion of the First Class syllabus, they become First Class Cadets and receive their First Class badge to be worn on their brassard. First class classification may take three to six months to achieve, depending upon the squadron's activities and schedule. Once cadets have successfully completed lessons in a number of subjects and achieved first class classification, they are able to take part in almost all ATC activities. Those who stay on beyond 18 are known as Staff Cadets, and wear rank slides denoting such. All cadets over the age of 18 must complete an Adult Volunteer Induction Programme (AVIP) prior to their 18th birthday, and must be cleared by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Once a Cadet has completed the AVIP, and subject to approval from the cadet's wing commander, their Cadet service is extended to their 20th birthday. After this point Cadet service must be terminated.

All cadets are issued with a uniform (free), and must each pay a small amount in subscriptions (or 'subs' as they are commonly known), usually around £70–£200 per year, although this can vary widely from squadron to squadron. Activities such as smallbore and fullbore target rifle shooting, flying, and gliding are paid for from the Air Cadets central budget of the Royal Air Force.

Cadet non-commissioned officers (NCOs)[edit]

As cadets become more experienced within the Air Training Corps (ATC), and if suitable, they can be promoted by their squadron's commanding officer (CO) to the status of cadet non-commissioned officers (NCOs). Promotion to the rank of Corporal, Sergeant, and Flight Sergeant is at the discretion of the Commanding Officer. They (or a representative) will make a decision based on merit and leadership potential; many squadrons have formal selection procedures including interviews, whilst others select by observing potential during normal training. All cadets, regardless of rank, must leave the Air Training Corps by age 20.

The Cadet NCO ranks within the ATC mirror those of the RAF's non-technical / non-flying trades, and are, in descending order of seniority:[42]

Air Training Corps
No insignia
Warrant Officer
Cadet Flight
CWO Cdt FS Cdt Sgt Cdt Cpl Cdt

It is common within the ATC to abbreviate these ranks by dropping the prefix 'cadet'. Cadet Warrant Officers are not addressed as 'Sir' or 'Ma'am', but as 'Cadet Warrant Officer', 'Warrant Officer', or informally as 'CWO' (pronounced 'si', 'wəʊ', or alternatively as an acronym), the former being preferred by cadets and staff, in order to reduce ambiguity with the adult substantive rank of Warrant Officer. This is the only rank in the Corps to accommodate the 'Cadet' prefix upon being referred to by members of the Corps.[43] This is to distinguish them from the adult staff, as they are at least 18 years of age and could easily be confused with an adult member of staff, or a serving member of the RAF.[dubious ]

Promotion to Cadet Warrant Officer is decided by a panel at wing level, once a recommendation form has been submitted by the Officer Commanding of the prospective candidate's squadron. Prospective candidates will be a Staff Cadet Flight Sergeant, preferably holding the Master Air Cadet classification (see below), and will be required to attend an interview with the wing commander or their representative. Once the Wing Commander approves the promotion to Cadet Warrant Officer, the recommendation is sent to HQ RAFAC at RAFC Cranwell. The recommendation will then receive final approval, and a certificate of appointment will be issued to the successful candidate.

Staff cadets[edit]

All cadets who are over the age of 18 must have completed the Adult Volunteer Induction Programme (AVIP) These cadets wear a rank slide with the words 'STAFF CADET' embroidered below their rank insignia (or on plain slides for those of cadet rank). A staff cadet has extra responsibilities over cadets who are under the age of 18, including a duty of care to younger cadets. These cadets also hold enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Certificates or Protection of Vulnerable Groups certificates (in Scotland), in the same way as adult staff.

Staff cadets are sometimes considered adult members of staff to some extent, however this is erroneous. Their ablutions and accommodation is segregated from both adult staff and cadets.

Cadet classification syllabus[edit]

Whilst not all cadets who join the Air Training Corps (ATC) will be eligible for promotion, all cadets can progress through the (ATC) training system and, by passing exams, achieve different classifications. The classification levels are Junior Cadet, Second Class Cadet (this is automatically achieved on enrolment), First Class Cadet, Leading Cadet, Senior Cadet, and Master Air Cadet.[42][note 3] To achieve these qualifications, cadets study a variety of subjects through tuition from the instructors and / or self-study from Ultilearn. Each successive qualification generally allows a cadet greater participation in ATC activities. Cadets who have achieved the Master Air Cadet classification have completed their academic training, and could formerly attain a Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) Level 2 in Aviation Studies (equivalent to 2 GCSEs A*–C) via CVQO.

The Method of Instruction course is not a classification as such, but rather a qualification. This allows them to teach other cadets a variety of subjects. Although this is not compulsory, ATC Wings ordinarily feed this hand-in-hand with the Staff Cadet Course (see below). Upon successful completion of this course, the cadet will be awarded a yellow lanyard to distinguish them. This is worn over the left shoulder, and fastened to a small black Royal Air Force button or the left shirt pocket button when not wearing a jumper.

Marking methodology[edit]

Leading Cadet, Senior Cadet, and Master Air Cadet exams consist of multiple assessment criteria each containing two questions. A cadet must achieve either 1 or 2 marks (50% or 100%) for each module in order to pass. All exams are taken online on a system called Bader Learn.[44]

First Class Cadet[edit]

First Class Cadet is also informally referred to as 'Basic Training'. A variety of methods are used to test a cadet's understanding of the subject, including practical tests and exercises to test ability, and interviews / quizzes to test knowledge. All junior cadets also have to pass a practical Drill Test to become first class. The drill test is a sequence of simple drill manoeuvres essential for forming squads, and a good foundation to build on for more advanced drill.

Leading Cadet[edit]

For a cadet to become a Leading Cadet, they must have already gained First Class Cadet status. They will then have to complete three examinations: Land Navigation, Principles of Flight and Airmanship Knowledge.

An 'Instructor Cadet' yellow lanyard.

Senior Cadet and Master Air Cadet[edit]

In September 2010, a new classification structure, syllabus and examination process came into force. The Senior Cadet badge shows a four-bladed propeller with a small four pointed star in the centre in an X orientation. The Master Air Cadet badge for the brassard shows an ATC Falcon surrounded by laurel leaves.

For each badge, cadets must pass three of the following subjects, for Master Air Cadet they may not use the same three subjects they used on Senior Cadet.[45][46]

The following subjects are available:

  • Aircraft handling and flying techniques
  • Air Power
  • Piston engine propulsion
  • Jet engine propulsion
  • Rocketry
  • Airframes
  • Avionics and aircraft electrical systems
  • Basic air navigation
  • Basic principals of pilot navigation
  • Advanced radio and radar
  • Data communications

Specialist Instructor and Leadership Qualifications[edit]

A Qualified Aerospace Instructor Cadet wearing the blue QAI lanyard.
Qualified Junior Leaders wearing the maroon JL lanyard.

With the change of the classification structure in September 2010, the classification of staff cadet changed to become Instructor Cadet. An Instructor Cadet is denoted by a yellow lanyard worn over their left shoulder. In 2019, the syllabus for attaining Instructor Cadet was updated. There is now no minimum classification needed to obtain it, but one must complete a presentation skills course, usually delivered on the cadet's squadron, and then complete the Method of Instruction course. Previous to this, the Master Air Cadet classification was needed to obtain this lanyard.

Qualified Aerospace Instructors[edit]

Alongside Instructor Cadet there is another lanyard that can be awarded to cadets who are interested in specialising in teaching aerospace subjects. These qualified cadets are known as Qualified Aerospace Instructors (QAIs), and wear a light blue lanyard over their left shoulder. The Qualified Aerospace Instructors Course (QAIC) has been available since September 2008. The course is held at RAF Linton-on-Ouse, and as of 2011, also at MOD Boscombe Down (as of RAF Linton-on-Ouse's closure in December 2020, the North centre was moved to Inskip Cadet Centre as of QAIC 14). The course is held from early September to Easter of the following year, beginning with a selection weekend in early September, and seven total weekends (as of QAIC 8, prior to this there were only six training weekends) from late September until early March.[47] The course culminates in a 'Graduation Week' which is organised to coincide with the Easter holidays to avoid clashing with school programmes. After completing training in various modules, they carry out examinations in all modules (air traffic control, air power, flight simulators, aerodynamics, and Instructional Teaching and Presentation Skills (ITPS)); satisfactory performance in all exams results in the cadet being awarded the pale blue QAIC lanyard and flight suit badge. Upon completion of the course, graduating students are offered affiliated membership to the Royal Aeronautical Society.[48]

Junior Leaders Course[edit]

For those interested in fieldcraft teaching and leadership, there is the Junior Leaders Course. Successful completion of the course awards the participant a maroon lanyard to be worn over their left shoulder and a junior leaders badge to sew on to the left sleeve of their No.3 Service Dress (field uniform) to show they are a qualified Junior Leader. The course runs from September to Easter, involving six weekend training camps and an assessment week. The course is aimed at more senior cadets, and as such, an age restriction of 17 years applies. Not only this, but the course also requires the participant to hold the rank of Cadet Sergeant or higher. The course is also open to Sea Cadets and Army Cadets,[citation needed] and culminates in the award of a Level 3 Certificate[49] in Leadership & Management from the Institute of Leadership and Management.[50][51]

Adult staff and ranking[edit]

Group Captain Carol Vorderman RAFAC in her role as Honorary Ambassador.

Three categories of supervisory staff run the Air Training Corps (ATC) at the unit level: commissioned officers, senior NCOs, and civilian instructors (CIs). All uniformed staff must attend training courses run by the Royal Air Force at the Royal Air Force Air Cadets (RAFAC)[52] Adult Training Facility (ATF), located at RAF College Cranwell (RAFC), usually within a year of appointment, with further courses as they progress up the rank structure. Cadet Forces Adult Volunteers (CFAV) are non-combatants, and there is no training for any form of active duty, or integration into the duties of other full-time or reserve military personnel. The CFAV is concerned only with the Air Cadets.


Since December 2017, all RAFAC officers in the Air Training Corps are commissioned with a Cadet Forces Commission (CFC) and ranks framework, with previous RAFVR(T) officers having their commissions transferred to CFC commissions.[53][54][55]

Squadrons are usually commanded by CFC Flight Lieutenants (Flt Lt) and Flying Officers (Fg Off), who are also found as Wing and Regional staff officers, along with Squadron Leaders (Sqn Ldr) and Wing Commanders (Wg Cdr). Particularly large squadrons are sometimes commanded by Squadron Leaders (typically when the squadron has 100 or more cadets).

The most senior rank in the Cadet Forces Commission is that of Wing Commander, with the exception of the ambassador to the Air Cadets, and the single Senior RAFAC Volunteer, who both hold the honorary rank of Group Captain (Grp Capt) RAFAC, under a CFC. The current ambassador is Carol Vorderman.[56]

Unless an officer has previous service in the British Armed Forces, they are appointed as an Acting Pilot Officer (A/Plt Off) until they complete the Officers Initial Course (OIC) at RAF College Cranwell. They are then awarded a Cadet Forces Commission (CFC). Promotion to Flying Officer normally occurs after two years. Former regular commissioned officers are usually appointed as Flying Officers, subject to certain conditions being met. Upon becoming Officer Commanding of a squadron, completing a Squadron Commander's Course (SCC), and subject to certain conditions being met, officers may become eligible for promotion by either one or two ranks (in the case of a Flying Officer, promotion will not be more than one rank unless the Sqn size dictates such).

Air Training Corps adult officer ranks – post-December 2017[42][57][58]
rank Air Commodore Group Captain (R) /
Group Captain (RAFAC)[note 4]
Wing Commander (RAFAC) Squadron Leader (RAFAC) Flight Lieutenant (RAFAC) Flying Officer (RAFAC) Pilot Officer (RAFAC) Acting Pilot Officer (RAFAC)
abbr Air Cdre Gp Capt Wg Cdr Sqn Ldr Flt Lt Fg Off Plt Off A/Plt Off

Ambassador to the Air Cadets[edit]

In April 2013, Sir Chris Hoy was appointed the first Ambassador to the Royal Air Force Air Cadets (RAFAC), and assumed the rank of Honorary Group Captain RAFVR(T).[59]

In November 2014, Carol Vorderman accepted the appointment of Ambassador to the Royal Air Force Air Cadets, saying: "I am truly honoured to be appointed as an ambassador for the RAF Air Cadets. I can't wait to meet the cadets, and the adult volunteer staff who give so much of their time to support them. The cadets themselves are a shining example of the best of British youngsters, standing with them on a parade square will be a great privilege."[60] Vorderman assumed the rank of Honorary Group Captain RAFVR(T) (changed to Group Captain RAFAC from December 2017) for the duration of her appointment. She is the first female to be appointed Ambassador.

In November 2021, rower Emma Wolstenholme was appointed Wing Commander (RAFAC) and Honorary Ambassador to the Air Cadets. She is a former serving Royal Air Force officer, and planned to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean in early 2022. However, this attempt and later ones were postponed due to sub-optimal weather conditions. A successful attempt is hoped to be completed at a future, undetermined time.[4]

NCOs and WOs[edit]

Adults may also be appointed as senior non-commissioned officers (SNCO), these being ranks within the Air Training Corps. Adult SNCOs and warrant officers (WO) are uniformed in the same way as their RAF counterparts, except that the embroidered text of 'RAF AIR CADETS' appears below their rank insignia.

Since December 2017, Air Training Corps SNCOs and WOs had their ranks transferred to the new RAFAC commissions and ranks framework. A gilt RAFAC badge is worn on the lapels when in No.1 dress uniform, to denote membership within the cadet forces.[53][54]

In 2020, all RAFAC Warrant Officers and Warrant Officers (Aircrew) in the Air Training Corps were granted use of the Royal Arms insignia, to bring the RAFAC other ranks insignia into alignment with those of their Royal Air Force counterparts.[61]

Air Training Corps warrant officers (WO) and senior non-commissioned officers (SNCO)
[note 5]
Warrant Officer /
Master Aircrew
Warrant Officer
(until 2020)[note 6]
Flight Sergeant Sergeant Sergeant
(pre-CIC)[note 7]
abbr WO / MAcr WO FS Sgt Sgt

Staff (adult) ranks pre-December 2017[edit]

RAFVR(T) Officer Cadet rank slide.

Air Training Corps officers were previously commissioned into the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (Training Branch), RAFVR(T), a specific training branch of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, the RAFVR (military reservists). They previously wore a gilt 'VRT' pin badge upon their rank braid, while warrant officers and SNCOs wore a gilt 'ATC' pin badge. The Air Training Corps ranks of adult SNCOs and WOs were Sergeant (ATC), Flight Sergeant (ATC), and Warrant Officer (ATC).[note 8]

Air Training Corps adult staff ranks (former), pre-Dec 2017
insignia description
The 'ATC' pin badge was formerly worn on the lower edge of shoulder rank slides or lapels of those that were an ATC NCO.
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (Training Branch) officers in the ATC, abbreviated RAFVR(T), were identified by the 'VRT' pin badge, as formerly worn on the lower-edge of shoulder rank slides and lapels.

Civilian instructors and chaplains[edit]

Civilian instructors, abbreviated CI, play an important role in training Air Training Corps cadets. Unlike adult NCOs and officers, civilian instructors do not wear a uniform. Civilian instructors are recognised by their light-blue polo shirt and dark-blue sweatshirt bearing the name of the corps and 'Royal Air Force Air Cadets'. This is a recent effort to standardise their identity. When addressing a CI by cadets, Sir or Ma'am is used; whereas staff will use Mr, Mrs, Miss, followed by their surname to address a CI.

Many civilian instructors are ex-Royal Air Force or ex-military; they invariably bring valuable skills which directly complement the aims of the Air Training Corps. Whilst they do not form part of the squadron chain of command, in some circumstances they may hold positions within the squadron such as the adjutant, training officer, or treasurer.

Similarly, Air Training Corps chaplains are usually civilian members of the local clergy (although uniformed forces chaplains may join as Service Instructors). The role of the chaplain in the ATC is to 'provide appropriate pastoral care for all personnel within the Air Cadet Organisation, irrespective of religious belief or status'.[62] A chaplain's role in the local squadron is to offer guidance and leadership to cadets and members of staff on moral and spiritual matters. The commitment expected of a chaplain is a monthly visit to lead what is termed 'the Padre's hour', and to conduct the formal Enrolment Service when new cadets join. ATC chaplains are supported by the Royal Air Force Chaplains Branch.[62] ATC chaplains do not wear uniform, but are recognised by a chaplain's badge on their lapel, and a larger version on their tippet (preaching scarf), vestments, or other clerical clothing.[62] Even if it is not their custom to do so, ATC chaplains are expected to wear a clerical collar ('dog collar') when on an RAF station.[63] The equivalent No.2 working dress for a chaplain is a dark sweater with chaplain's badge and a clerical collar.[63]

Air Training Corps civilian staff identifying clothing and insignia
rank identifying clothing and insignia
Civilian instructor (CI) No official uniform, although may be seen with a lapel pin or an armband, or may be wearing a sweatshirt or polo shirt with an Air Training Corps logo.
Chaplain Recognised by chaplain's badge on their lapel, or larger badge on their tippet (preaching scarf),[63] expected to wear a clerical collar when on an RAF station.

Service instructors[edit]

Members of the full-time (Regular) and part-time (Reserve) Armed Forces often assist at Air Training Corps squadrons in the role of Service Instructor; they engage in instructional duties which are often related to their serving role or profession. Service Instructors wear the uniform of their parent unit, and are addressed appropriately, with ranks junior to NCO being addressed as 'Staff'.

See also[edit]

Royal Air Force Air Cadets
Other UK military branch supported cadets
Other MoD sponsored or recognised cadet forces
Related articles
International Air Cadet organisations


  1. ^ Although previously Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (Training Branch), ATC officers now under the Cadet Forces Commission
  2. ^ Flight Lieutenant John Alan Quinton was an RAF navigator on a Wellington aircraft, which was flying an air cadet on an Air Experience Flight in 1951. During the flight, the aircraft was involved in a mid-air collision, and Flight Lieutenant Quinton gave the only parachute within reach to the cadet, pushing him out of the aircraft. His quick thinking and heroic action saved the life of the cadet but cost him his own, for which he was posthumously awarded the George Cross.
  3. ^ Often incorrectly referred to as 'Master Cadet' - ACTO 1 does not use this terminology.
  4. ^ Group Captains who perform the role of Regional Commandant are commissioned as members of the Royal Air Force Reserve, RAF(R), and so wear standard Group Captain rank insignia. Group Captain (RAFAC) is only held by the Honorary Ambassador to the Air Cadets (currently Carol Vorderman).
  5. ^ Adult staff who are working in aircrew roles, such as at Volunteer Gliding Squadrons or at Air Experience Flights are authorised to wear the Aircrew insignia for their rank accordingly.
  6. ^ No longer used, as of October 2020, all WO (RAFAC) now use the Royal Arms badge, and all MAcr (RAFAC) use the MAcr badge.
  7. ^ Often informally referred to as 'Acting Sergeant' or 'Probationary Sergeant', but always addressed as per the non-acting counterpart.
  8. ^ Prior to the 'LaSER (London and South East Region) Review' of 2003, the adult ranks of Sergeant and Flight Sergeant did not exist, meaning that the non-commissioned rank structure of a squadron was more straightforward, i.e., Cadet, Cadet Corporal, Cadet Sergeant, Cadet Flight Sergeant, Cadet Warrant Officer, Adult Warrant Officer. This has been disturbed by inserting the ranks of Sgt (RAFAC) and FS (RAFAC) and WO (RAFAC). The rank of Sgt (RAFAC) is senior to all cadet ranks, including CWO. However, this does allow a wider scope for developing staff to progress as Senior Non-Commissioner Officers, and brings the ATC's adult rank structure more in line with those of the other cadet forces, whose adult ranks begin at Sergeant or service equivalent.


  1. ^ a b "RAF timeline 1941". Royal Air Force. 2015. Archived from the original on 8 July 2015.
  2. ^ a b "MOD sponsored cadet forces: 1 April 2022". GOV.UK. HM Government. 1 April 2022. Archived from the original on 30 September 2022. Retrieved 30 September 2022.
  3. ^ "New Commandant for RAF Air Cadets is announced". Royal Air Force Air Cadets. Archived from the original on 29 September 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Solo female Atlantic rower made Honorary Ambassador to the RAF Air Cadets". Royal Air Force Air Cadets. 18 November 2021. Archived from the original on 5 October 2022.
  5. ^ Air Cadet Organisation: Annual Report 2006 (Report). RAF Cranwell: Air Cadet Organisation. 2006.
  6. ^ "Welcome to the Air Training Corps". Air Cadet Organisation. 2007. Archived from the original on 16 January 2007. Retrieved 17 January 2007.
  7. ^ "Who we are". Royal Air Force Air Cadets. Archived from the original on 2 December 2018. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  8. ^ a b "General Service Training". Air Cadet Publication. 31 (Section 1 – the Air Training Corps). Lincolnshire, England: Air Cadet Organisation: 1. 2000.
  9. ^ "Ministry of Defence – About Defence – What we do – Reserve Forces and Cadets – DRFC – History of the Cadet Forces". Ministry of Defence. Archived from the original on 18 March 2009. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
  10. ^ "General Service Training". Air Cadet Publication. 31 (Section 1 – the Air Training Corps). Lincolnshire, England: Air Cadet Organisation: 1–5. 2000.
  11. ^ "The Girls Venture Corps Air Cadets". GVCAC HQ. Archived from the original on 21 September 2008. Retrieved 28 September 2008.
  12. ^ "New Progressive Training Syllabus launched". Royal Air Force Air Cadets. 2 March 2017. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  13. ^ "New Progressive Training Syllabus" (PDF). 42F (King's Lynn) Squadron Air Training Corps. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 November 2017. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  14. ^ Quinn, Ben (28 December 2014). "Ministry of Defence pays out £2m to settle cadets' sexual abuse claims". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 22 January 2018. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  15. ^ a b Razzall, Katie; MacSorley, Jane (4 July 2017). "Sex abuse was covered up at cadet forces, Panorama finds". BBC News. Archived from the original on 25 November 2017. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  16. ^ "HM The Queen approves new commission for cadet force volunteers". Air Cadet. Royal Air Force, Ministry of Defence. Winter 2017. p. 4. Archived from the original on 5 July 2017. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  17. ^ "Regional Commandant biography". May 2017.[dead link]
  18. ^ a b "Central & East Region Air Cadets". Central & East Region Air Cadets.
  19. ^ a b "London & South East Region".
  20. ^ a b "North Region". Archived from the original on 10 October 2006.
  21. ^ a b "Scotland & Northern Ireland Region". Archived from the original on 19 February 2007.
  22. ^ a b "Invoice Factoring Companies – Invoice Factoring Company".
  23. ^ a b "Wales & West Region Air Cadets Pinel". Archived from the original on 25 August 2006. Retrieved 22 August 2006.
  24. ^ "Air Cadets (ATC) Squadron Finder & contact details". Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  25. ^ "No. 62208". The London Gazette (1st supplement). 20 February 2018. pp. 3146–3147.
  26. ^ "Getting involved yourself". Royal Air Force Air Cadets. Retrieved 29 July 2022.
  27. ^ "Guidance for charities with a connection to a non-charity". GOV.UK. HM Government. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  28. ^ "ACP-11" (PDF). GOV.UK. HM Government. 15 July 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 October 2023.
  29. ^ "Charity Commission Constitutions". GOV.UK. HM Government. 11 October 2022.
  30. ^ Expand Your Horizons: Adult Volunteers, Lincolnshire: Air Cadet Organisation, 2007
  31. ^ "H.R.H. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh". Monarchy Today. 2006. Archived from the original on 12 August 2012. Retrieved 23 October 2008.
  32. ^ RAF Form 3822: Cadet Record of Service, Lincolnshire: Air Cadet Organisation, 2004
  33. ^ "Cadets steal the show at RIAT" (PDF). Air Cadet: 17–19. Autumn 2016. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  34. ^ a b "Air Cadets News – Best of the best... Swansea squadron wins Lees Trophy". Air Cadet News. Archived from the original on 12 October 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
  35. ^ "Longbenton Squadron are the Lees Trophy winners". Air Cadet News. Archived from the original on 4 January 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  36. ^ "Winners of the Lees Trophy and the Morris Trophy announced". Air Cadet News. 22 September 2022. Retrieved 27 September 2022.
  37. ^ "2465 Luton Icknield Squadron, Air Training Corps". Retrieved 27 April 2017.[permanent dead link]
  38. ^ a b "2409 Sqn presented with Morris Trophy by Commd't Air Cadets". 17 November 2007. Archived from the original on 8 July 2011.
  39. ^ Sqn Ldr Wilson (17 July 2010). "126 Squadron wins the Morris Cup". South and East Midlands Wing. Archived from the original on 14 March 2012. Retrieved 26 October 2010.
  40. ^ "Droitwich Squadron wins the Morris Trophy". Air Cadet News. Archived from the original on 4 January 2014. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
  41. ^ "Winners of the Lees Trophy and the Morris Trophy announced". Royal Air Force Air Cadets. 22 September 2022. Retrieved 27 September 2022.
  42. ^ a b c d "Ranks – Royal Air Force Air Cadets". Royal Air Force Air Cadets. 2023. Archived from the original on 13 July 2023. Retrieved 25 August 2023.
  43. ^ "General Service Training". Air Cadet Publication. 31 (Section 1 – the Air Training Corps). Lincolnshire, England: Air Cadet Organisation: 31.1.3–9 Methods of Address. 2000.
  44. ^ "Bader Learn". Bader Learn. Retrieved 21 March 2023.
  45. ^ "Master Air Cadet (ATC only)". AIR CADET 101. Retrieved 30 September 2022.
  46. ^ "Senior Cadet". AIR CADET 101. Retrieved 30 September 2022.
  47. ^ "QAIC 8 covering letter" (PDF). QAIC Support Admin Centre. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 August 2016. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  48. ^ "About the course". Archived from the original on 27 March 2016. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  49. ^ Junior Leaders Course 18 calling letter. Officer Commanding Junior Leaders. 19 May 2016. p. 13. a. Phase Training.
  50. ^ "Leadership training". Royal Air Force Air Cadets. Archived from the original on 9 December 2010.
  51. ^ "Air Cadet Junior Leaders".
  52. ^ "Uniformed staff training". Royal Air Force Air Cadets. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  53. ^ a b "HM The Queen approves new commission for Cadet Force Volunteers". Air Cadet. Bourne, Lincolnshire: Warners Midlands plc. Winter 2017. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  54. ^ a b "Rank structure". Air Cadets North. Archived from the original on 17 November 2017. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  55. ^ "Royal Warrant for Cadet Force commission" (PDF). HM Government.
  56. ^ "Carol Vorderman – Ambassador to RAFAC" (PDF). Royal Air Force.
  57. ^ "CFC explained". Air Cadet 101. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
  58. ^ "MOD Sponsored Cadet Forces statistics April 2020" (PDF). HM Government.
  59. ^ "Air Cadets strike gold with Sir Chris Hoy". Royal Air Force. 22 April 2013. Archived from the original on 24 February 2016. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  60. ^ "Carol Vorderman joins the cadets" (PDF). Air Cadet Magazine. Royal Air Force. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 June 2022. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  61. ^ @OCDevonSomerset (31 October 2020). "New rank insignia for WO RAFAC from today" (Tweet). Retrieved 25 August 2023 – via Twitter.
  62. ^ a b c "Join as a Chaplain". Royal Air Force Air Cadets. Archived from the original on 3 December 2022. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  63. ^ a b c "Uniform dress and Appearance Regulations for the Air Cadet Organisation" (PDF). 2484 Squadron ATC. 19 March 2015. p. 132. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 August 2018. Retrieved 16 May 2020.

External links[edit]