Formed on 5th February 1941, the Air Training Corps, also known as the Air Cadets, is a cadet organisation active across the United Kingdom. It is a voluntary movement that is part of the Royal Air Force. It is open to both boys and girls, from the age of 12. Depending on status, cadets can stay until their 20th birthday.
The Royal Air Force supports many of the activites that cadets undertake, including Air Experience Flying and the opportunity to spend a week on annual camp at a RAF Station, either in the UK or overseas.
Other activities include Gliding, Shooting, Adventure Training, Camping, Fieldcraft, Sports, Drill, Projects, Band, Aviation related studies, Competitions, the Duke of Edinburgh Award, First Aid, Leadership Training and Initiative Exercises. This list is just a few of the things that are on offer.
The Air Cadets has its Headquarters at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire and the current Commandant is Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty. The Air Commodore in Chief is HRH Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.
The motto of the ATC is 'Venture Adventure'. The three aims of the ATC are:
* To promote and encourage amongst young men and women a practical interest in aviation and the Royal Air Force
* To provide training which will be useful in the Services and Civilian Life
* To foster the spirit of adventure and develop qualities of leadership and
Most activities that cadets have the opportunity to undertake are free, as is the issue of uniform. There is sometimes a small charge for transportation to some events (particularly annual or overseas camps) and for messing whilst away on duty.
There are over 900 ATC Squadrons, with some 41000 cadets and more than 9000 adult staff. Cadets and the majority of staff are civilians, but some staff are reserve or regular RAF personnel.
There is a lot to gain from being an ATC cadet - as well as all the fun and excitement, the ATC can provide flying or gliding training, the Duke of Edinburgh Award and even a BTEC in aviation studies.
The Air Training Corps