Air Training Corps

The Air Training Corps (ATC) is a British volunteer-military youth organisation. They are sponsored by the Ministry of Defence and the Royal Air Force. The majority of staff are volunteers, and some are paid for full-time work[4] – including Commandant Air Cadets, a Full Term Reserve Service RAF officer, at the rank of Air Commodore.[5] Although many ATC cadets go on to join the RAF or other services, the ATC is not a recruiting organisation for its parent service.[6]

Air Training Corps (ATC)
ATC Badge
Founded5 February 1941; 80 years ago (1941-02-05)[1]
Country United Kingdom
BranchCadet Forces
TypeVolunteer Youth Organisation RAF
Size952 Squadrons
32,850 Cadets (as of 1 April 2019)[2]
10,680 Cadet Force Adult Volunteers[2]
Motto(s)Venture Adventure
Commandant Air CadetsAir Cdre Tony Keeling[3]
Commandant Air Cadets’ Warrant OfficerWO Clinton Marsh RAFAC
Honorary AmbassadorGp Capt Carol Vorderman RAFAC
Aircraft flown
TrainerGrob Tutor
Grob Viking

Activities include sport, adventurous training (such as walking and paddle-sports), ceremonial drill, rifle shooting, fieldcraft, powered aircraft and glider flying, and other outdoor activities, as well as classification training leading up to a BTEC in Aviation Studies. Week-long trips to RAF stations, or camps offering adventure training or music, allow the opportunity for cadets to gain a taste of military life and often to gain some flying experience in RAF gliders and RAF training aircraft such as the Grob Tutor.

Behind is the tail of the Grob Tutor aircraft. A cadet would normally wear a flying suit, a helmet and a parachute. In some cases a life jacket is required as well.
Grob Tutor T1 basic trainer

Cadet membership can begin from the start of 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 (First Class, Leading, Senior, Master and Instructor). 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 ends 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.

In April 2019, the ATC numbered 32,850 cadets (30.8% female) and 10,680 adult volunteers (31% female).[7] In addition, there were several thousand civilian committee members.

Together with the RAF contingents of the Combined Cadet Force, the ATC form the Royal Air Force Air Cadets, formerly known as the Air Cadet Organisation,[8] part of the Community Cadet Forces.