Air Training Corps

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 military funded organisation offering unique and unmatched experiences for young people aged 12 and over. The Royal Air Force supports many of the activities that cadets undertake, be that on the ground on our week long Adventure Training Camps or in the air learning to fly aircraft in our Air Experience Flights.

Throughout the year cadets have the opportunity to visit a number of RAF stations, having tours in and around serving aircraft, and can sometimes even be lucky enough to experience a flight in aircraft such as the Chinook or Merlin.

The ATC prides itself on its high standards, and as a cadet you will help maintain these standards as part of the RAF. Branching off from the military we are able to offer unique experiences not available in any other cadet organisation in the UK. Cadets have the opportunity to learn how to climb, abseil, kayak, scramble, white water-raft, orienteer and shoot current and retired military rifles.

If you are a keen athlete there is even the potential to nationally represent the ATC in a number of sports, ranging from athletics and cross country, to football and rugby.

Cadets have the ability to learn and develop skills while being part of a nationally recognised and respected youth organisation. There are over 900 ATC squadrons across the UK with more than 41,000 cadets and voluntary adult staff, which you could be a part of!

The Air Training Corp itself was fathered by Air Commodore Sir John Chamier, who served as a member of the Royal Flying Corps, where he served as a pilot during the First World War.

Initially, the organisation was called the Air Defence Cadet Corps, (ADCC), which trained young men in a variety of aviation-related skills. In 1941, due to the demand for pilots in the Second World War, the ADCC became the Air Training Corp by Royal Warrant, where it was used to train young men prior to joining the RAF.

On February 5th, King George VI became the Air-Commodore-in-Chief. He established the Corps aims, which are;

  • To promote and encourage among young men and women a practical interest in aviation and the Royal Air Force.
  • To provide training which will be useful in both the services and civilian life.
  • To foster a spirit of adventure and to develop the qualities of leadership and good citizenship.

The motto ‘Venture, Adventure’ was adopted.

The current Air-Commodore-in-Chief is HRH the Duchess of Cambridge.

Our Oath

Upon enrolment into the Air Training Corp, cadets recite an oath;

I, [Full Name], hereby solemnly promise on my honour to serve my Unit loyally and to be faithful to my obligations as a member of the Air Training Corps. I further promise to be a good citizen and to do my duty to (God and^) the Queen, my Country and my Flag.

During their time in the ATC, cadets learn a wide variety of skills to develop their personalities and to ensure that they become a good citizen.