Joining the Air Cadets

Age Requirements

If you are aged between 12 (& Year 8) and 17 you can join us as a cadet and experience the many activities we have to offer. We are an inclusive organisation and open to all young people. If you are not quite in Year 8 yet please contact us with your name, date of birth and contact details so we can add you to our list of interested cadets and we will contact you when you are eligible to join.

I’m at least Year 8 – whats next?

First you need to visit us at one of our Open Evenings which normally happen near the beginning of each school term. If you cannot wait until the Open Evening or you are not yet Year 8 but would like to be added to our potential cadet waiting list then please contact us.

If you like what you see then you will be given a ‘Starter Pack’ which includes a consent form allowing you to take part in the activities we offer. On returning this form and other paperwork to us you will start as a Junior Cadet and begin our basic training to equip you for the times ahead

You will normally be officially enrolled into the ATC after approximately four weeks as a Junior Cadet. During this time you will be loaned some uniform, and may need to purchase some other items.

We are a uniformed youth organisation and as such there are rules which we adhere to, such as a higher standard of dress and behaviour. Don't worry we'll show you how to prepare your uniform!

I’m between 18 and 20, what about me?

Unfortunately you are too old to join as a cadet, and too young to join as staff.

However, it is still possible to support the Squadron as a member of the Civilian Committee (see below).

I’m over 20 and want to help

Adults can volunteer in the following ways:

Civilian Committee members

They look after the Squadron’s finances, raise funds for the Squadron and offer general assistance. The committee meets approximately once every two months.

Civilian Instructors

These are volunteers who attend with us on Tuesdays and Fridays. They help us to run the Squadron by teaching lessons to the cadets in a variety of subjects. There are many opportunities available to Civilian Instructors. Please speak to us if there is anything you would like to get involved with. If you are unable to attend every night we meet you can still get involved.

Adult Senior Non Commissioned Officers (SNCO)

This is a uniformed position. Volunteers who take up this position are usually involved with the drill and discipline elements of the Squadron although they can be often found involved with any other activities. There is a minimum level of commitment with this position which is easily met. Adult SNCOs assist with the running of the squadron by helping to plan and lead activities.


This is a uniformed position. Officers generally consider the longer term aspects of the Squadron such as the training programme and the sustainability of the unit. They also lead the cadets and other staff members. Officers take on responsibilities such as being the Officer Commanding, the Adjutant or the Training Officer.

All staff have the opportunity to participate in sports courses, shooting courses, leadership courses, and travel across the UK and further afield with the cadets.

The SNCO and Officer positions have promotion prospects with increased responsibility, and certain QCF qualifications can be obtained through our training.

All staff need to fulfil certain joining requirements, such as nationality and vetting by the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS).

If you are at all interested in supporting youth in your area, please come and talk to us.