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Joining as a Cadet

Cadet membership is open to young people, both male and female, between 13 and 20 years old who accept the challenge. The maximum age for new members is 18yrs old.

Cadets of all nationalities, backgrounds and abilities are equally welcome.

Disabled Cadets are also welcome provided their handicap doesn’t prevent them from taking part in a reasonable number of activities or is likely to put themselves or others in danger.

Not all Cadets join because they want a career with the Royal Air Force or Aerospace Industry – we are NOT a recruiting organisation for the Services – there are almost as many reasons to join as there are members.

Air Cadets is not just for the ‘middle class’ or wealthy. In 1999 the trophy for the best Squadron in the Corps went to 50F (Lambeth) Sqn which is located in one London’s more deprived boroughs.

Membership cost is kept to an absolute minimum – we even supply your Uniform.

The ACO is a ‘military’ youth organisation and accordingly there are high standards to maintain. You will be expected to take a pride in your uniform and appearance, be well mannered and SELF disciplined – you will be joining something to be proud of.

You will also be expected to take part in as many of the activities as possible – most Cadets don’t need much persuading to do this!!!

“The more you put into the Air Cadets, the more you get back out – there is always something extra to do or go for.”

To discover where your nearest Air Cadet Squadron is, use the Squadron Finder.

Many Squadrons are happy to welcome personal visits by potential Cadets (ideally accompanied by a parent or guardian) during one of their Parade Nights. Some recruit throughout the year, others have specific entry dates. Just come along and see if you like it – there is no obligation to join!

Your local Squadron will be able to discuss what they do, show you a video of Air Cadet activities and answer any queries you or your parents/guardians may have. Don’t be shy about taking that first step – it may well be the best thing you have ever done.