Joining as a Cadet

So, are you ready to take the first step towards all the opportunities and benefits that the air cadets can offer you?

It’s important to know that we’re not a recruiting organisation for the Services (but it’s great if you decide you want to join later on). We’re not interested in anything but you and your potential, and will help you get the most from your experience as a cadet.

Worried about fitting in? Equality is a central part of the Air Cadets’ ethic. The cadet experience is open to everyone, so whatever your nationality, back
ground or ability, whether you’re male or female, if you’re between 13, or at age 12 when beginning school year 8 (England & Wales), S2 (Scotland) Yr 9 (Northern Ireland) and 17 years old you can join us.

The maximum age for entry is 17 years old, therefore you can request to join us anytime between your 12th and 17th birthday. If you are above that age group and still want to enjoy all of our activities and more, you could join as a volunteer. See our Joining as an Adult Volunteer page

What’s in it for you?

Aside from flying, sports, target shooting, adventure training and great fun? You’ll soon find that being an air cadet is its own reward – you constantly see the benefits of your own efforts, building on your achievements and earning BTECs and DoE Awards. You’ll be expected to take part in as many of the activities we run as possible, but with what’s on offer you won’t need much persuading!

We have high standards to maintain as we are a ‘military’ youth organisation and you’ll naturally take pride in your uniform (we supply that) and appearance. You’ll be well mannered and self-disciplined. You’ll be joining an organisation of which you’ll be very proud.

What are you waiting for!informal-chat

All of our squadrons welcome personal visits by potential cadets (ideally accompanied by a parent or guardian), during one of their Parade Nights – these are held twice a week. Some squadrons recruit throughout the year, others have specific entry dates. Just come along and see if you like it – you don’t have to join, but at least check out what you might be missing.

On a typical visit, you will meet the CO (Commanding Officer) and they will discuss what the cadets do, what your commitments and responsibilities are, what you can gain from being a cadet, and answer any questions you or your parents/guardians may have. You and your parents/guardians will also be given a tour of the Squadron facilities and a chance to meet current staff members and cadets.

Don’t be shy about taking that first step – it may be the best thing you’ve ever done!

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