Australian Air Force Cadets

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Australian Air Force Cadets
Crest of the Australian Air Force Cadets (Aug 10).jpg
Active1941 – present
RoleVolunteer Youth Organisation
SizeCadets: approx. 10,000
Number of Squadrons: ~143
Uniformed Staff: ~980
Civilian Staff: ~335
Part ofAustralian Defence Force Cadets
Motto(s)Educate, Challenge, Excites
Director General Cadets – Air Force (DGCADETS-AF)Air Commodore Gary Martin [1]
Commander – Australian Air Force Cadets (CDR-AAFC)Group Captain (AAFC) Mark Dorward[2]

The Australian Air Force Cadets (AAFC), known as the Air Training Corps (AIRTC) until 2001, is a Federal Government funded youth organisation. The parent force of the AAFC is the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Along with the Australian Army Cadets (AAC) and the Australian Navy Cadets (ANC) it is part of the Australian Defence Force Cadets.


The broad aim of the Australian Air Force Cadets is to better equip young people for community life by fostering initiative, leadership, discipline and loyalty through a training program designed to stimulate an interest in the Royal Australian Air Force. The training program is structured to reflect the following objectives:

  • To give Cadets a foundation of Air Force knowledge and discipline;
  • To develop the qualities of leadership, initiative and self-reliance;
  • To develop good character and good citizenship in the widest sense;
  • To develop an interest in the Royal Australian Air Force and aviation generally;
  • To instill a knowledge of the history of aviation; and
  • To encourage Cadets to continue an active interest in aviation into their adult life.

AAFC activities[edit]

Australian Air Force Cadet parade at the memorial outside St John's Ashfield

Cadets receive the opportunity to participate in a wide range of activities such as:


The ranks of the Australian Air Force Cadets (AAFC) are closely based on the ranks of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). As such, a system of differentiation was required to distinguish members of the AAFC from those of the RAAF. This means that cadet ranks wear rank slides which are AFB (Air Force Blue) with an embroidered light blue ribbon, 1 cm wide at the base of the rank slide with 'AAFC' in AFB embroidery. Adult members of the AAFC wear rank slides with an embroidered white bar that contains the letters AAFC in place of the light blue bar. Adult ranks are also followed by the letters AAFC (in brackets) when written, to distinguish them from actual members of the RAAF. Cadet Non-Commissioned Officer ranks are prefixed with the letter C, to identify them as cadets and not adult staff or members of the RAAF.

A new cadet is initially enrolled with the rank of Cadet and after completing prescribed training and length of service, they are eligible for reclassification to the rank of Leading Cadet. Subsequent promotions are achieved by completing two week training courses known as a promotion courses along with meeting time-in-rank and minimum age requirements and receiving a recommendation for promotion from the cadet's Commanding Officer.

Ranks and Insignia of the Australian Air Force Cadets
CDT 9 (Special Grade) CDT 8 CDT 7 CDT 6 CDT 5 CDT 4 CDT 3 CDT 2 CDT 1 CDT (R)

Air Force

Rankslide AAFC CUO.jpg Rankslide AAFC CWOFF.jpg Rankslide AAFC CFSGT.jpg Rankslide AAFC CSGT.jpg Rankslide AAFC CCPL.jpg Rankslide AAFC LCDT.jpg Rankslide AAFC CDT.jpg No Insignia

No Equivalent
Cadet Under Officer Cadet Warrant Officer Cadet Flight Sergeant Cadet Sergeant Cadet Corporal Leading Cadet
No Equivalent
Cadet Cadet Recruit
  • Recruit (RCT) is not an official rank, but commonly refers to new cadets who have been enrolled but have not yet finished the Recruit Stage of Home Training.
Instructor Ranks of the AAFC (Instructor of Cadets - IOC)[3]
Rank Slide Rankslide AAFC AC.jpg Rankslide AAFC LAC.jpg Rankslide AAFC CPL.jpg Rankslide AAFC SGT.jpg Rankslide AAFC FSGT.jpg Rankslide AAFC WOFF.jpg
Rank Aircraftman (AAFC)/

Aircraftwoman (AAFC)

Leading Aircraftman (AAFC)/

Leading Aircraftwoman (AAFC)

Corporal (AAFC) Sergeant (AAFC) Flight Sergeant (AAFC) Warrant Officer (AAFC)
Officer Ranks of the AAFC (Officer of Cadets - OOC)[3]
Rank Slide Rankslide AAFC PLTOFF.jpg Rankslide AAFC FLGOFF.jpg Rankslide AAFC FLTLT.jpg Rankslide AAFC SQNLDR.jpg Rankslide AAFC WGCDR.jpg Rankslide AAFC GPCAPT.jpg
Rank Pilot Officer (AAFC) Flying Officer (AAFC) Flight Lieutenant (AAFC) Squadron Leader (AAFC) Wing Commander (AAFC) Group Captain (AAFC)

Cadet Ranks[edit]

Junior Cadet Ranks[edit]

Junior ranks comprise the ranks of Cadet (CDT) and Leading Cadet (LCDT) as well as the informal title of Recruit (RCT).

Cadets join the AAFC as recruits at the rank of Cadet (CDT) and commence Cadet Recruit Stage training which comprises the subjects Drill and Ceremonial, Service Knowledge, and Fieldcraft. Cadet Recruit Stage may include a teambuilding weekend or training weekend. Recruits receive their PH299 'blue book' (a form of identification carried at all times by cadets) and uniforms some time during Cadet Recruit Stage. Cadet Recruit Stage usually takes 6 months to complete. The Blue Book has been replaced as the form of cadet & staff identification by a Photo Id card issued to all Cadets & Staff annually and using the Blue Book to record training and activities has been replaced by the on line CadetNet system.

Upon completion of the Recruit Stage of training, CDTs begin Basic Stage. Basic Stage, on average, takes 6 months to fully complete. By completing Basic Stage, a cadet will begin Proficiency Stage and is eligible for reclassification to the rank of Leading Cadet (LCDT). A LCDT rank slide features a single inverted chevron. A LCDT does not outrank a CDT, though, they are thought of as a more experienced cadet and are provided with more leadership opportunities than a CDT would.

Cadet Non-Commissioned Officer (CNCO) Ranks[edit]

Cadet Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) ranks are Cadet Corporal (CCPL), Cadet Sergeant (CSGT), Cadet Flight Sergeant (CFSGT) and Cadet Warrant Officer (CWOFF).

Cadet Junior Non-Commissioned Officer (CJNCO) Ranks[edit]

Any LCDT can apply for the Junior Non-Commissioned Officer Course. A cadet's Commanding Officer (CO) reviews the LCDT's application, and, if successful, endorses their application. This allows the LCDT to attend a promotion course (held during school holidays) conducted by their parent wing. The Junior Non-Commissioned Officer (JNCO) courses generally last for 11 days and are held at a RAAF base, depending on availability. At the end of a promotion course, the course commander grades the LCDT as either recommended or not recommended for promotion to the rank of CCPL. If recommended for promotion, a CO should promote the LCDT to the rank of CCPL as soon as practicable.

Cadet Senior Non-Commissioned Officer (CSNCO) Ranks[edit]

Any CCPL can apply for the Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Course but must have held that rank for a minimum of five months before being able to attend the promotion course. They go through much the same process, though more rigorous, as do prospective JNCOs. SNCO courses typically last for 15 days and are also held at a RAAF base, often concurrently with a JNCO course.

Promotion is as for JNCOs. Having been recommended for promotion by the course commander, promotion is at the discretion of the CCPL's CO as soon as practicable.

After six months as a CSGT, a cadet may be promoted to the rank of CFSGT by their CO. This does not require the CSGT to attend a wing promotion course. Many COs require their prospective CFSGTs to demonstrate the ability to lead a team of SNCOs. Often Cadet Flight Sergeants are treated as 'executive' members of the Squadron and are given duties to match (activity planning, squadron organisation etc.), along with Cadet Warrant Officers and Cadet Under Officers; although they are still distinctly a Cadet Senior Non-Commissioned Officer.

Cadet Warrant Officers (CWOFF) and Cadet Under Officers (CUO)[edit]

A Cadet Warrant Officer (CWOFF) is the most senior of the NCO ranks but most squadrons consider this to be a "Senior Cadet" due to the privileges and responsibilities it has.

In order to attend a CWOFF course, a cadet must be a SNCO and have completed their JNCO course not later than 16 months before the commencement of the CWOFF course.

The CWOFF course generally lasts for 15 days as well and are conducted at a RAAF base. CWOFF courses conducted by the AAFC primarily cover leadership and supervision particularly focusing on the maintenance of morale, cadet welfare and discipline. Due to the role of a CWOFF often being that of the Squadron Warrant Officer, the course has a significant weighting towards Drill and Ceremonial and service protocol.

Cadets promoted to the rank of CWOFF are addressed as Sir, Ma'am or Warrant Officer. Cadets, staff and defence personnel of a high rank generally will address the CWOFF by their rank and last name e.g. "Warrant Officer Bloggs", whilst subordinate ranks will address the CWOFF as Sir or Ma'am depending on their gender and, are too also allowed to address the CWOFF as "Warrant Officer Bloggs".

The ranks of CWOFF and Cadet Under Officer (CUO) are usually considered to be senior cadet ranks due to large increase of duties and privileges the two ranks have.

In order to attend a CUO course, a cadet must be a SNCO and have completed their JNCO course not later than 16 months before the commencement of the CUO course. CUO courses are the longest, running for 17 days, also at a RAAF base.

The rank of CUO is the highest attainable by a cadet and is designed to give the cadet experience in the role of an officer. To this end, the course is heavy in leadership and management related subjects in addition to the drill required to be an officer.

CUOs are addressed by all cadets below their rank as Sir or Ma'am, as applicable, and are saluted.

Rank Establishments[edit]

The AAFC has specific rank establishments depending on the strength of a squadron. This is to ensure a balance between leadership roles and subordinates members (especially to prevent a top-heavy squadron developing). As an exaggerated example, it would not be beneficial for a squadron of 40 cadets to have 39 CUOs and 1 CDT, nor would it be beneficial for it to have 20 CWOFFs, 10 CFSGTs and 10 CSGTs. Rather, that squadron ought to have 2 CUOs, 2 CWOFFs, 1 CFSGT, 3 CSGTs, 5 CCPLs and around 30 LCDTs/CDTs. The general standard is 1-4 NCOs and CUOs.

The following table outlines cadet establishments for AAFC squadrons:[4]

Cadet Ranks of the AAFC
10-30 1 2 1 2 4
31-40 2 2 1 3 5
41-50 3 2 2 3 6
51-60 3 2 2 4 7
61-70 4 2 2 5 9
71-80 5 3 3 5 10
81-90 5 3 3 6 11
91-100 5 3 3 7 12
101-110 5 3 4 7 13
111-120 5 4 4 8 14
121-130 5 4 4 9 16
131-140 6 4 5 9 17
141-150 6 4 5 10 18
  • Squadrons may not exceed the establishment for CUO and CWOFF positions. CUO positions do not cascade down to CWOFF positions if there are vacancies in the CUO numbers.
  • Squadrons may use vacancies in CFSGT and CSGT positions to cascade down to lower ranks to permit COs the option to fill vacancies in SNCO ranks with JNCOs.
  • Vacancies in rank cannot cascade upwards at any time.
  • This means that vacant CCPL positions remain that way at all times, and, for example, a squadron with establishment for 75 cadets that has only 3 CSGTs could not assign those positions to CUO/CWOFF/CFSGT rank but could assign them to allow for more CCPLs.
  • Since the introduction of CadetNet as the AAFC's primary management system there is no limit imposed by CEA on rank establishments however the establishment is still followed by most COs.

Cadet Phases of Training[edit]

A cadet progresses through five phases of training during their cadet career.

Insignia of Training Phases
Phase Insignia
Cadet Recruit No insignia
Basic No insignia
Proficiency Three-bladed propeller badge for wear on Service Dress
Advanced Four-bladed propeller badge for wear on Service Dress
Qualified Silver Eagle badge for wear on Service dress, replaces both Prof and Advanced badges

Propeller refers to a round gold pins with a propeller-blade symbol printed in service blue, worn centrally of the right breast pocket flap above the button.

Staff Promotion[edit]

A person may be enrolled as an Instructor of Cadets (IOC) at the age of 18 and as an Officer of Cadets (OOC) at the age of 19, though most begin their career as an IOC. Ex-cadets are recommended to wait a minimum of 12 months before returning as a staff member.

Upon appointment as an IOC, the staff member is normally given the rank of AC/ACW(AAFC). Any new staff members who were a cadet and held the rank of Cadet Warrant Officer or Cadet Under Officer, within the last 5 years, are eligible for the rank of LAC/LACW(AAFC). Ex-ADF members may also be appointed at higher ranks than AC/ACW(AAFC), to recognise their previous rank/service in the ADF. Current ADF members may also be appointed at different ranks, as no member is permitted to have dual mess status (i.e. may only be permitted to eat/sleep in ONE of the Airmens' Mess, Sergeants' Mess or Officers' Mess).

  • An ADF PTE(E)-CPL(E) can only be an AAFC AC(AAFC)-CPL(AAFC)
  • An ADF SGT(E)-WO1(E) can only be an AAFC SGT(AAFC)-WOFF(AAFC)
  • An ADF officer can only be an AAFC officer
  • Since the ranks WOFF(AAFC), SQNLDR(AAFC), WGCDR(AAFC) and GPCAPT(AAFC) are not substantive ranks in the AAFC, senior airmen and senior/air officers may only be given the highest substantive rank of FSGT(AAFC) or FLTLT(AAFC) unless the member also holds a senior airmen/officer appointment.

AAFC staff members who join the ADF may have their rank changed to fit these criteria. This may include reversion in rank (e.g. PLTOFF or FSGT to CPL) or "promotion" (e.g. LAC or SGT to PLTOFF). The promotion to a commissioned officer rank is not automatic - the member is terminated as an instructor, and their application for an officer appointment is assessed. AAFC staff in the ADF do not need to have exactly the same rank in both the ADF and AAFC; their ranks are just required to adhere to the above criteria.

Promotion is less frequent than that of cadets, as there is no upper age limit for staff. The minimum time in rank requirements between promotions is three years, with the exception of promotion from AC/ACW(AAFC) to LAC/LACW(AAFC), LAC/LACW(AAFC) to CPL(AAFC) or from PLTOFF(AAFC) to FLGOFF(AAFC) in addition to other staff training requirements. The minimum time in rank requirement for AC/ACW(AAFC) to LAC/LACW(AAFC) is one year; from LAC/LACW(AAFC) to CPL(AAFC) is two years; and from PLTOFF(AAFC) to FLGOFF(AAFC) is two years.


National Level[edit]


The AAFC organisation as a whole falls under the command of Headquarters AAFC (HQAAFC). HQAAFC has no physical location as it is made up of members from around the country. The only person to hold the rank of Group Captain (AAFC) (GPCAPT(AAFC)) is the Commander – Australian Air Force Cadets (CDR-AAFC). The CDR-AAFC reports to the Director General Cadets – Air Force, a member of the RAAF who holds the rank of Air Commodore, who reports to the RAAF chain of command.

Under HQAAFC are the Operational Wings and Directorates, each headed by a Wing Commander (WGCDR(AAFC)) who holds the appointment of Officer Commanding or Director respectively.

Position Abbreviation Current Incumbent
Commander – Australian Air Force Cadets CDR-AAFC GPCAPT (AAFC) Mark Dorward
Deputy Commander – Australian Air Force Cadets DCDR-AAFC WGCDR (AAFC) Danny Pieri[5]


Directorates perform a service support function to Operational Wings. As of 1 January 2019 there are 7 Directorates under the announced Headquarters AAFC restructure.

Directorate Name Abbreviation Director
Aviation Operations Wing AOW WGCDR(AAFC) Stephen Pepper
Corporate Services Directorate CSD SQNLDR(AAFC) Jay Anthony
Diversity Directorate DIVD Vacant
Operations Directorate OPSD WGCDR(AAFC) Timothy Lowther
People and Culture Directorate PCD WGCDR(AAFC) Darren Banfield
Safety Directorate SAFD WGCDR(AAFC) Frank Galea
Training Directorate TD Now under control of RAAF

Cadets Branch – Air Force (CB-AF)[edit]

Position Abbreviation Current Incumbent
Director General Cadets – Air Force DGCADETS-AF AIRCDRE Gary Martin
Deputy Director General Cadets – Air Force DDGCADETS-AF GPCAPT Francis Grigson
Director Cadet Ground Operations DCDTGNDOPS WGCDR Peter Hall
Director Cadet Air Operations DCDTAIROPS WGCDR Matthew Drummond
Director Cadet Administration DCDTADMIN WGCDR Nigel Leurs
Coordination Manager COORDMGR APS Rob West
Deputy Director General Safety Operations Airworthiness DDGSOA GPCAPT Ian Watts
National Air Force Liaison Officer NAFLO SQNLDR Trevor Murphy
National Safety Advisor NSA APS Jeffrey Ballard
Director Logistics DLOG APS Mal Leonard

Cadets can join from their 13th birthday and must leave (age out) at the end of the calendar year they turn 18.

Operational Wings[edit]

Operational Wing Location
No. 1 Wing Northern Queensland
No. 2 Wing Southern Queensland
No. 3 Wing New South Wales, including the Australian Capital Territory
No. 4 Wing Victoria
No. 5 Wing Tasmania
No. 6 Wing South Australia
No. 7 Wing Western Australia
No. 8 Wing Northern Territory
No. 9 Wing Aviation Operations Wing
*The Aviation Operations Wing was created in late 2018 to unify all the aviation squadrons in each wing. The abbreviation is 90xSQN, x representing the Wing number.

Each Wing contains a number of different squadrons.

Each year the Royal Australian Air Force awards the "Australian Air Force Cadets – Air Force Trophy". The winner of the Air Force Trophy is honoured with the custodianship of the AAFC National Banner for the following year.

Wing Cadet Reference Group[edit]

  • Role of the Cadet Reference Group: The role of the CRG is to provide a forum where cadets within SQNs can provide feedback on matters that affect them and can receive information being passed down from OCs and COs. The CRG should contribute to the management decisions within its SQN and Wing by providing a cadets’ perspective to their CO or OC, through their nominated representative, when the leadership team is considering issues that directly impact on cadets.[6]

[check quotation syntax]* The Cadet Reference Group (CRG) is a cadet body within the Australian Air Force Cadets (AAFC) established to represent the views of AAFC Cadets to the strategic level of management.

  • There should be two representatives from each Squadron (flights do not have any representatives), a Cadet Reference Group Representative (CRGREP) and an Assistant Cadet Reference Group Representative (ASSTCRGREP).
  • Senior Cadets (CUO & CWOFF), and Cadet Senior Non-Commissioned Officers (CSNCO) – CWOFF, CFSGT & CSGT – will normally fulfill the CRGREP role for their Squadron whilst a CCPL to CDT would fulfill the ASSTCRGREP role.
  • The Squadron CRGREPs & ASSTCRGREPs report to their Wing CRG Executive (Chairman Wing Cadet Reference Group [CWCRG] & Deputy chairman Wing Cadet Reference Group [DCWCRG]). 2 & 3 Wings are broken down into regions: North, South, West & Metro(3 Wing). In these regions CRGREPs & ASSTCRGREPs report to their respective Regional Representatives who in turn report to their Wing's CRG Executive.
  • The Wing CRG chairman is responsible for providing representation to the management of the Wing by reporting to the Wing Officer Commanding, in some wings the CRG.

Command and structure[edit]

The AAFC organisation as a whole falls under the command of Headquarters AAFC (HQAAFC). HQAAFC has no physical location as it is made up of members from around the country. The only person to hold the rank of Group Captain (AAFC) is the Commander of the Australian Air Force Cadets (CDR-AAFC). The CDR-AAFC reports to the Director General Cadets – Air Force, a member of the RAAF who holds the rank of Air Commodore, and in turn reports to the RAAF chain of command.

Under HQAAFC are the Operational Wings and Directorates, each headed by a WGCDR(AAFC) who holds the appointment of Officer Commanding (OC) or Director respectively. Cadet squadrons only exist within the Operational Wings. They report to the Operational Wing Officer Commanding (often through an Executive Officer) and are commanded by a Commanding Officer. A squadron Commanding Officer (CO) will hold the rank of PLTOFF(AAFC), FLGOFF(AAFC) or FLTLT(AAFC) unless the officer holds another appointment which entitles them to a more senior rank, some squadrons are commanded by a WOFF(AAFC).

There are 8 Operational Wings for all states and territories, however the state of Queensland is divided into two Wings. There are also eight directorates to serve a support function for operational wings: Aviation Operations Directorate (AOD), Corporate Services Directorate (CSD), Diversity Directorate (DIVD), People and Culture Directorate (PCD), Operations Directorate (OPSD), Safety Directorate (SAFD), Training Directorate (TD).

As of 1 April 2005, a Squadron's establishment no longer justifies a CO to hold the rank of SQNLDR(AAFC) rank. However, it is still possible to have a CO of SQNLDR(AAFC) or even WGCDR(AAFC) rank, but only if that CO holds a wing or national position e.g. Officer Commanding, Director, Staff Officer or Deputy Director position in Wing or National HQ in addition to their appointment as a Squadron CO.

There are a number of key appointments within Wing Headquarters, including;

Appointment Abbreviation Rank
Executive Officer* XO SQNLDR (AAFC)
*Some wings have a regional appointment with the region appended to the title. e.g. Executive Officer (South) (XOS).
Staff Officer Training* SOT SQNLDR (AAFC)
*Some wings have specific appointments with the speciality appended to the title. e.g. Staff Officer Ground Training (Squadron) (SOGT(SQN)).
Staff Officer Management Services SOMS SQNLDR (AAFC)
Senior Aviation Officer SAO FLTLT (AAFC) – SQNLDR (AAFC)
Wing Warrant Officer WGWOFF WOFF (AAFC)
*Some wings have a regional appointment with the region appended to the title. e.g. Wing Warrant Officer (South) (WGWOFF(S)).
Regional Executive Instructor* RXI SGT (AAFC) – FSGT (AAFC)
*Some wings have regional appointments with the region appended to the title e.g. Regional Executive Instructor (West) (RXIW).
Chairman Wing Cadet Reference Group CWCRG CSGT – CUO

There are also a large number of other positions such as Administration Officer, Psychologist, Chaplain and various other training and administrative appointments. Larger Wings may have more executive and other appointments.

Each Wing has an Air Force Liaison Officer (AFLO), a RAAF officer (often a reservist) who is responsible for all activities requiring RAAF support for that region, amongst other duties.

Airmen/women and junior officers are posted to an individual squadron (as per a squadron's size) as instructors of cadets (IOC) and officers of cadets (OOC).

The AAFC incorporates a National Cadet Reference Group, comprising eight Wing Chairs under the direction and leadership of a Chairman of the NCRG and Deputy Chairman of the NCRG. This is the peak representative and advisory body acting on behalf of the cadets to the higher echelons of the organisation. The chairman is a default member of several groups through virtue of their appointment including the tri-service Cadet Consultative Forum, the AAFC Executive Council and the National Council among others.

AAFC Home Training[edit]

There are five stages of AAFC Home Training, each Training Stage has a number of subjects.

Cadet Recruit stage[edit]

This training stage is designed to give cadets fundamental knowledge required to participate in AAFC Home Parades and Activities. The course should take between two and six months and should include at least one weekend of training.

Subjects in the Cadet Recruit Stage include drill, team building, and fieldcraft.

Basic stage[edit]

This training stage is designed to take a cadet with fundamental knowledge and build on this to the point where the cadet is proficient at most basic activities. Completion of this stage also makes cadets eligible for reclassification to the rank of Leading Cadet.

Subjects in Basic Stage include aircraft recognition, drill, and fieldcraft.

Proficiency Stage[edit]

This training stage is designed to be completed one year. Proficiency Stage comprises three compulsory core subjects and three elective subjects.

Subjects in Proficiency Stage include drill, aircraft recognition, fieldcraft, and survival skills.

Advanced Stage[edit]

This stage of training is designed to provide cadets with extensive knowledge about the RAAF and the AAFC. Advanced Stage comprises three compulsory core subjects plus three other subjects.

Qualified Stage[edit]

To complete Qualified Stage cadets are to complete a mix of Projects and Elective subjects. The mix of electives and projects may be:

Qualified Stage cadets who have Squadron duties such as instructing, administration, or supervising junior cadets may have these duties recognised in lieu of elective subjects in the form of a generic subject labelled Squadron Management Elective.

Projects are substantial multi-media presentations that may be individual or team efforts. Projects should be relevant to ADF or AAFC themes.


Electives subjects include personal development, adventure training, aircraft modelling, air navigation, air traffic control, field operations, fire safety, firearms training, life saving, meteorology, model rocketry, and radio communications.

Drill and Ceremonial[edit]

AAFC training constitutes much Drill and Ceremonial training, ranging from basic static drill in recruit phase to advanced banner, Rifle and sword drill on officer courses. Each parade night a "squadron daily parade" is held (daily for RAAF SQNs, weekly for AAFC SQNs) in which all cadets participate, with CNCOs and above assuming executive position of Flight Sergeant (CCPL), Flight Commander (CSGT/CFSGT), Parade Warrant Officer (CWOFF), Parade Commander (CUO) and often Reviewing Officer (CUO). Lower ranks may hold these positions where there are insufficient senior cadets. Squadrons also hold CO's Parades (usually once a month but not always) where staff go on parade and the squadron is inspected by the Commanding Officer.

AAFC squadrons often form guards and banner parties at Anzac/Remembrance/Victory in the Pacific Day services and other cadets will march on these parades. Promotion course graduation parades are very significant events, often requiring days of training. These parades will often be reviewed by a senior RAAF officer and consist of a number of squadrons/flights as well as colour parties. Graduation parades will generally be armed (SNCO candidates and above only in some cases) with F88 Austeyrs, the Standard Individual Weapon of the Australian Defence Force (often issued the F88I submodel – meaning innocuous) and swords for executives. Colour party members are often temporarily issued ceremonial equipment such as White cotton gloves, Banner Girdle (for Banner/Colour Bearer) or Sash (Banner/Colour Warrant Officer) and white belts.

Major Activities[edit]

National Competitions[edit]

HQAAFC holds three National Competitions throughout the year, they are:

  • National Fieldcraft Competition (NFCC) – Held in April of each year at Puckapunyal Training Area in Victoria (Australia).
  • National Rifle Competition (NRC) – Held in September each year at various locations (such as Sydney International Shooting Centre).
  • National Aviation Competition (NAC) – (formerly known as NATFLY) Held in December (previously October) of each year on RAAF Bases around the country, both Power and Gliding competitions take place.

Wing Competitions[edit]

Wings may also hold their own competitions throughout the year and are similar to national competitions.

International Air Cadet Exchange (IACE)[edit]

The International air Cadet Exchange (IACE) Program came into being in 1947 when Canada and the UK arranged a bi-lateral exchange of air cadets between the two countries.

The AAFC currently exchanges with the following countries:[7][8]

  • United States
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore
  • New Zealand
  • France
  • Republic of Korea (second year)
  • Netherlands


Australia's has two memorials to the Australian Air Force Cadets. The first occupies a prominent position on the grounds of St John's Ashfield, and a memorial service attended by the Cadets has been held annually since it was opened by the State Governor Lieutenant General John Northcott in 1946.[9] It was built by Squadron Leader Arthur Whitehurst who had commanded a squadron at Ashfield during the period 1941–1946, and whose son Douglas Arthur Whitehurst had died in action[10] in World War II.[11]

The second is a plaque unveiled in 1981 as part of a commemoration parade on the fortieth anniversary of the Australian Air Force Cadets' predecessor the Air Training Corps. The plaque is located at the base of an oak tree adjacent to the south west path leading from the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, Victoria.

Each Cadet Squadron has an association with a local Returned Servicemans League (RSL) branch and Squadrons participate in local ceremonies such as ANZAC & Remembrance Day Marches with their RSL Branch.

Aircraft and Gliders[edit]

Fixed Wing Aircraft[edit]


See also[edit]

Other Australian Defence Force Cadets[edit]

Other Air Cadet organizations[edit]


  1. ^ "Air Commodore Terry Delahunty AM". Australian Air Force Cadets. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  2. ^ "Group Captain (AAFC) Mark Dorward". Australian Air Force Cadets. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  3. ^ a b Volume 2, Part 1, Chapter 1 of the AAFC Manual of Management
  4. ^ AAFC Standing Orders Issue 2/2010 (10 Apr)
  5. ^ "Headquarters Personnel Occurrence Report" (PDF).
  6. ^ "Direction and Role of the Cadet Reference Group (CDR ADMIN 2/2010)
  7. ^ "Overseas - Australian Air Force Cadets".
  8. ^ "IACEA".
  9. ^ "Memorials to War Dead – Duke Opens Park". The Sydney Morning Herald. 28 October 1946. p. 4. Retrieved 14 September 2010.
  10. ^ "Family Notices – On Active Service". The Sydney Morning Herald. 16 May 1946. p. 16. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
  11. ^ "Ashfield Church Parade". Australian Air Force Cadets bulletin board. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 14 September 2010.


External links[edit]

External images
ANZAC Day 2008
ANZAC Day 2008
AAFC National Badge