So you have an interest in the ATC / RAF or aviation in general? Well the best way to find out more about the ATC is come down and speak to us!
The staff and cadets are always willing to talk to anyone who is interested in joining and are more than happy for you and a parent or guardian to come down on one of our parade nights to see what we do.
You won’t be under any pressure to join the organisation and as each Squadron is a little different we can give you a good overview of what you can expect at 120. The only requirement for joining the ATC is that you are between 12 and a half and 17 years old when you start. Equality is at the core of what the ATC stands for so it doesn’t matter what gender/ethnicity/nationality or ability you have – we are open to all.
Parade Evenings are Tuesday and Friday from 19:15hrs until 21:45hrs.
The backbone of the Air Training Corps is the volunteer staff known as “Civilian Instructors”. This dedicated group of individuals bring their civilian expertise to the organisation and assist with the organisation and implementation of all activities within the Corp. You can give as much or little time as you can, and you don't need any formal qualifications - just enthusiasm that's infectious.
Many cadets go straight into volunteer roles when they leave at 20 years old - often they feel that they can 'give back' their great experiences to a new generation of young people.
120 is always looking for these special people to help run the squadrons activities and training programs so we can expand what we do to benefit our cadets and community.
If you feel you have a useful skill set and/or qualities that could benefit young people please reach out to us to find out more information.
• Adult NCO’s in the ATC organisation follow a similar rank structure to that of the RAF. The ATC uses the ranks of Sergeant, Flight Sergeant and finally Warrant Officers to denote seniority. These valuable members of staff are generally responsible for all discipline and parade drill within a squadron and act as the bridge between the cadets and officer staff.
• Adult NCO’s start life in the ATC as Civilian Instructors who after a minimum of a years service can apply for NCO selection. Candidates must undergo a formal interview and selection process before being chosen by the organisation.
• Experienced NCO’s are essential in all the services and the ATC is no different. As NCO’s they have been granted command authority by a commissioned officer however unlike commissioned officers NCO’s do not salute each other.
• To become a Commissioned Officer you must have first joined the ATC as a Civilian Instructor then applied to join the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve Training branch as a reserve officer. The process involves a visit to RAF Cranwell where prospective officers are put through the same selection process which normal RAF officers have to complete. Once you gain a commission as an Volunteer Reserve officer you can claim up to 28 days’ pay per year and work your way up through the ranks in a similar manner to the RAF.
• An alternative method of entry is too join the organisation as a retired RAF officer where you can fast track to your previous rank.
• In the ATC, a commissioned officer is a member of the Service who derives authority directly from a sovereign power (i.e. the Monarchy), and as such holds a commission from that power. Any officer (and all non-commissioned ranks) address a senior officer as "Sir" or "Ma'am" and salute as appropriate.
Why air cadets? It's a fair question, but ask anyone who has taken part as a cadet, adult volunteer or parent and you'll know how special the organisation is. It offers young people from all walks of life a chance to get active, learn new skills and make new friends in an inspirational and safe environment.
It doesn't interfere with their school responsibilities and cadets take an invaluable set of experiences and strong personal ethics with them when they leave that they can put to good use at university or in the career of their choosing. It's true that some cadets do take up a career within the Services, but there is no liability for them to join up after leaving the organisation. Their personal development as confident and spirited young people is our main aim.
Under the guidance of our fully qualified volunteer staff we’ll offer your son or daughter many activities to take part in and every opportunity to build their strengths and improve their confidence. We hope that they stay with us for several years and thoroughly enjoy their membership - our volunteer staff are always on hand to assist parents with any questions or concerns.