Air Training Corps

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Air Training Corps

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Review of "Air Training Corps"

published 04/01/2009 | MI9to5
Member since : 08/02/2008
Reviews : 285
Members who trust : 44
About me :
Pro A superb youth organisation
Cons It needs commitment
very helpful

"Break the Mould and Fly High with the ATC"

The ATC Crest

The ATC Crest

The Air Training Corps is in my opinion the best youth organisation that exists. It offers young people opportunities that just aren't available anywhere else.

What is the ATC

The ATC is a youth organisation for young people aged between 13-20 and aims to provide RAF based opportunities to all of its members. New cadets can expected to be issued with a uniform (similar to that of the RAF) and enrolled within 3 months. Once this has occurred the range of activities available to them greatly increase.

What do they do

On a squadron basis cadets can expect to progress through a series of classroom based subjects and exams, for which a badge is awarded for each level. They can also expect to do First Aid Training, learn to use a radio, learn to play a drum or flute and basic foot drill. Furthermore most units undertake camping trips each year (my squadron visits the lakes for adventure training such as rock climbing and assists with the programme selling at the Yorkshire Air Show).

Cadets that show good leadership qualities and the ability to cope in differing situations may also be promoted through the ranks Cadet, Corporal, Sergeant, Flight Sergeant and then finally Cadet Warrant Officer. Cadets with a rank are called NCO's and with each rank comes further responsibility and duties, which a cadet would be expected to perform. A senior NCO would also be expected to help to develop the skills of all NCO's below them.

During their time with the ATC cadets can also expect to go flying and gliding, possibly undertake a flying or gliding scholarship and go on at least one, usually more, annual camp (a camp with other cadets from other squadrons).
Further opportunities involve Duke of Edinburgh Award Training, the chance to participate in the Nimajgen Road March in Holland and the chance to go on an International Air Cadet Exchange (IACE) to countries such as Ghana, Sweden and the USA.

My Experience

I've been an ATC cadet for 4 and a half years now and have loved every minute of it. I've managed to attain the rank of CWO. The time I have spent with the Corps has been fantastic and the things I have achieved with them is quite amazing.

I now have a Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award and a BETEC in aviation studies. I am also first aid qualified, have achieved my Communicators badge, which includes a ful VHF licence and have learnt how to carry a squadron standard (flag). I have had five flights in a small light aircraft, three in a Puma helicopter and have achieved my Blue Gliding Scholarship Wings. On top of this I have a couple of swimming medals and have been shooting on numerous ranges.

Camp wise I have been on numerous squadron camps and spent many a night in the middle of a soggy field. I have also been on one with my Wing where I went to Northern Ireland and got the chance to fly in a Puma helicopter. My biggest achievement however was being accepted on the IACE Programme to Belgium in the July of 2008. Only 70 cadets from the corps where accepted onto the programme and I was one of those along with 5 other British cadets picked to go to Belgium. This was an experience I shall never forget, as I spent 16 days in a beautiful country, in beautiful weather with some fantastic people from 6 other countries.

My camp experiences are due to grow again in a few weeks as I have been given a place to this years Rheindalen camp in Germany, which I am really looking forward to.

I want to point out at this point that it is not possible for everyone within the Corps to achieve the same things and to be accepted to attend the same camps. Some people have obviously done different things to me, some the same but I can say with confidence that everyone that joins the Corps leaves with at least two things in common. Those things are increased confidence and friends that'll stay with you for life.


All those who moan about youngsters need only see the ATC in action to realise that it is the minority and not the majority that are spoiling things and that the majority are actually normal young people wanting to achieve.

Call me biased if you want but if you still don't believe me take a look at your local ATC group and you'll find a well disciplined and polite bunch of young people who give up their time and effort not only for themselves and their friends but also for their local community. The ATC, by a large country mile, is definitely the best youth organisation in the world and will probably remain so for a long, long time.

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Comments on this review

  • rockchick2k7 published 17/07/2009
    Im an Air Cadet, its an amazing Experience and i reccomend it to anyone who is at the age to go. Woo Flt Sgt, Congrays...even though it was probs ages ago you got promoted =] Awesome Rebiew Stacey x
  • mythdata published 13/02/2009
    Fantastic review.:O)
  • RICHADA published 08/01/2009
    That was acvtually fascinating and answered several questions about the ATC that I'd never thought to ask! Does this give you a "lift" if you want to join the RAF - a career full of great opportunities for those with the ability? Richard.
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Product Information : Air Training Corps

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Listed on Ciao since: 31/10/2004