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Find Out More About Being An Air Cadet

First Steps for Under 16s

Note: this form must be completed by the Parent/Guardian

First Steps for 16 And Overs

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

The Air Cadets offers a wide range of activities including, adventure training, target shooting, Duke of Edinburgh award and various sports.

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.

The maximum age for entry is 17 years old, therefore you can request to join us any time between your 13th and 18th birthday.

Am I eligible to join?

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, background or ability, whether you’re male or female, if you’re between 13 (or 12 if in Year 8) and 17 years old you can join us.

If you are under this age range but you would still like to contact us please feel free to use the Under 16 Form.

What’s in it for me?

Aside from all the activities we have to offer, 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!

It all looks great on your CV, whether you are going on to further education or looking for employment.

What is my commitment?

Most Squadrons in London & SE Region meet twice a week in the evenings from around 19:00 to 21:30. Although you will need to purchase your own parade shoes, blue uniform is loaned from the Squadron Stores for the length of time you are an Air Cadet. Once you have gained some basic experience and understanding of our organisation you will be enrolled as an Air Cadet.

As well as parade nights there are many additional activities which take place over weekends.

All organisations need funding. We are luckier than most as the RAF provide the money for uniforms, premises, flying and several other activities. Each cadet provides a small subscription of approximately £10 a month, which goes towards funding the many activities that they undertake. National and international camps and expeditions may lead to extra costs – but we will always keep these to a minimum. We want the organisation to be available to everyone and staff are happy to discuss cost-related issues with parents at any time.

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, though you will need to purchase your own shoes) and appearance. You’ll be well mannered and self-disciplined. You’ll be joining an organisation of which you’ll be very proud.

Can I go along to a Squadron and find out more?

You can get in touch with your nearest Air Cadet Squadron and arrange a visit one evening (ideally accompanied by a parent or guardian), to see what goes on during a Parade Night. Some Squadrons recruit through the year and others have specific entry dates when a group of new cadets can join and learn at the same time. Why not come along and see if you like it – you don’t have to join, but at least check out what you might be missing.

Your local Squadron will discuss what they do, show you a video of Air Cadet activities and answer any questions you or your parents/guardians may have.

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