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Frequently Asked Questions

When prospective new cadets visit one of our squadrons for the first time, a member of staff will have a chat with them and tell them all about the Squadron and the ATC in general. They will undoubtedly have many questions to ask. We have taken this opportunity to capture some of the more frequently asked questions together with the answers. We hope you will find the answers to most of your questions, however, if you should have any other questions please drop into your local squadron and see one of the staff, they will be only too pleased to help.

I'm an adult. How can I help?
Will Cadet training affect my schoolwork?
Will I be expected to join the Royal Air Force?
When does the squadron meet?
Why should I join the ATC?
How old do I have to be to join the ATC?
How much will this cost me?
Do I have to buy my own uniform?
How physically fit do I have to be to join the ATC?

Will Cadet training affect my schoolwork?

No. We fully understand that schoolwork should come before cadet activities, having said that, schoolwork should not stop you from becoming a cadet. Many prospective employers are not just after people with a list of qualifications, they're also after good all rounders with interests and experience of working within a team. On most squadrons, if cadets are finding that they are getting too much homework during the week, we sometimes suggest that they attend one parade a week instead of the normal two, they should however continue to attend as regularly as possible but remember to tell your Squadron staff that your reduced attendance is as a result of the demands of school work. By adopting this type of approach cadets can concentrate on achieving their full academic potential and continue to enjoy their cadet activities.

Will I be expected to join the Royal Air Force?

No. Cadets make absolutely no commitments regarding future military service, and are free to leave at any time. However many cadets find the Corps so enjoyable that they decide to go onto a full time career in the Forces. Those who decide on a service career start out with the advantage of having learned valuable skills during their time with the ATC.

When does the squadron meet?

Most Squadrons have two parades a week you can see which nights your local Squadrons meet by visiting our Squadron Location Map and selecting your nearest Air Cadet unit. Some Squadrons also open on Sunday mornings for project work or band practice but you will find all the information on you local Squadron information page. In addition, cadets have the opportunity to attend a variety of other activities during the weekends.

Why should I join the ATC?

Being an Air Cadet will offer you challenges, friendship and above all adventure! It's an opportunity to expand your own horizons, contribute to your community and make friends for life. Many former Cadets credit their membership of the ATC with giving them a head start toward their successful careers.

How old do I have to be to join the ATC?

If you're between 13 an 17 years of age you can join
What do I need to join?
All you need is your parent's/guardian's permission. You also have to be willing to attend regular squadron parades and have the commitment to have a go at what's on offer.

How much will this cost me?

All Squadrons charge a subscription fee of about £5.00 ~ £10.00 a month which is subsequently used to finance Air Cadet activities, which are not publicly funded . Your uniform is provided free of charge. We must however point out that as long as a cadet has possession of their uniform the squadron is required to pay a capitation fee to Wing HQ, therefore, you will be required to pay your subscriptions even if you are not attending. Additional costs will be charged for attending camps and any other similar activities.

Please note that, if for reasons of financial hardship, the parents of a cadet are unable to pay their subscriptions they must bring the situation to the attention of their Commanding Officer who has the authority to wave payment under special circumstances. A genuine inability to pay subscriptions should not under any circumstances preclude a cadet from membership of the corps.

Do I have to buy my own uniform?

No. The majority of your uniform will be issued to you on loan, you will however be required to provide your own shoes which must be to standard RAF pattern. You are expected to take good care of your uniform. You are also required to return all items of uniform when you leave your squadron.

How physically fit do I have to be to join the ATC?

The Corps caters for all types of person; many who are naturally sporty can go on to represent their squadron, wing and even the corps, those who are not so athletic will not be forced into any activity they are not comfortable with. Having said that, we would expect that all cadets should "have a go" if you do your best we can't ask for more. You don't need to be able to comply with RAF entry physical requirements in order to become an air cadet, however if you suffer from a physical disability or visual impairment you may not be able to participate in some activities which may put yourself or others in danger.

 


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Web Editor: Paul Hincks
Date modified : 26-Feb-2006
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