In the Air Training Corps part of your training will be to study different subjects which are related to the Royal Air Force, Aviation and the Corps itself. The training syllabus includes cadets learning many different skills which can help later in life, civilian or military. When you first join you will cover many different subjects, but as you progress through the levels you will go into more detail. Other qualifications other than classifications include BTEC Level 2 in Public Services, the Duke of Edinburgh Award and St John’s Ambulance First Aid course. Classifications are displayed as badges placed on your brassard. There are four different classifications to display seniority and how far you’ve come in your time in the Air Training Corps.



First Class Cadet

This is the first level of training a cadet will do. You will learn several different subjects about the Royal Air Force, The Air Cadet Organisation and Aviation related subjects. For your First Class badge you will be taking part in out of classroom activities such as drill, and you will also be given a uniform after around a month at the squadron. The cadets will be given a booklet to fill out to work towards their First Class Classification. Once completed, the opportunities are endless as cadets are allowed to take part in: Flying & Gliding, Shooting and Camps. These are the different subjects you will study for your First Class cadet:

  •                   The Air Training Corps
  •                   The Royal Air Force
  •                   Airmanship I
  •                   History of Flight
  •                   Map reading
  •                   Basic Radio Communications
  •                   Initial Expedition Training



Leading Cadet

After finishing your First Class training, the cadet will move onto more advanced subjects. When studying for your Leading Cadet badge you will study only 3 subjects. Studying for this badge will build on what you have learnt from your First Class. You are required to sit an online multiple choice exam at the end of each of the following subjects:

  •                   Basic Navigation
  •                   Airmanship II
  •                   Principles of Flight



Senior Cadet

You get to choose three subjects to study – from a wide range of them. At this level you will learn:

  •                   Air Navigation
  •                   Pilot Navigation
  •                   Aircraft Handling
  •                   Operation Flying
  •                   Propulsion
  •                   Advanced Radio and Radar
  •                   Airframes
  •                   Satellite Communications

It must be kept in mind you can only choose three subjects from this range.



Master Cadet

This is the final and highest level of your academic training at your Squadron. You will study three chosen subjects (but not the same from the Senior Classification). You will complete this via an online exam and have also achieved the BTEC Aviation Studies which is the equivalent to 2 GCSE’s.

After completing your Master Cadets, you have the opportunity to go on a Method of Instruction Course to learn how to teach the syllabus to cadets on squadron and will receive a yellow lanyard for your uniform.



Ranks within the Air Cadets


Everyone in the Air Cadets (and the RAF) can be identified by the badges of rank that they wear. This list of basic adult and cadet ranks will help you identify them. The list starts with cadets followed by instructors and senior staff ranks, with the most junior in each group at the top.


Cadet Non-commissioned Officer (NCO) ranks

Cadet Corporal Cadet Sergeant Cadet Flight Sergeant Cadet Warrant Officer

Non-commissioned Officer ranks

Sereant (ATC) Flight Sergeant (ATC) Warrant Officer (ATC)

Officer ranks

Pilot Officer


Flying Officer


Flight Lieutenant 


Squadron Leader 


Wing Commander