ATC & CCF (RAF)
So, what's the difference between the ATC and CCF (RAF)? Well, it’s mainly, where you join.
There are a few differences in structure, training programmes, and other aspects, but they both help you build the same skills and provide you with the same incredible experiences. Read on for a heads-up on how you can be a part of the Air Cadet experience through either organisation.
Air Training Corps
The ATC is community-based and open to anyone aged between 13, or 12 if you are in year 8, and 20 years who is eligible (read full details in our section on joining the cadets). Organised into more than 900 squadrons around the country, we’re probably closer than you think. Find your nearest squadron here
Amongst the many adventurous training opportunities on offer, we are the largest operator of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme - that's not so surprising when you learn that HRH The Duke of Edinburgh is the ATC's Air Commodore-in-Chief, taking a keen interest in seeing all our members fulfil their potential.
The ATC motto is 'Venture - Adventure' and our cadets know that it's more than just words - it's an attitude that helps you stand out from the crowd.
Combined Cadet Force (RAF)
The CCF (RAF) is based at 200 schools and colleges across the UK, where you can take part in our training and activities as part of your school life. You’ll develop your confidence, responsibility, self-reliance, resourcefulness, endurance, and sense of service to the community. These qualities are vital to your success in whatever you do when you leave school or university.
If your school has a CCF unit it may consist of one to three sections – Royal Navy (including Royal Marines), Army and of course the Royal Air Force. Your Head teacher has overall responsibility but as a cadet you are a very real part of the Service - CCF is a partnership between your school and the Ministry of Defence. The Services all provide resources and training expertise for each CCF unit, and the RAF is no exception.
Cadets meet once a week throughout term time, normally after school for one-and-a-half to two hours. In the school holidays you’ll also have the chance to attend annual camp at a RAF base to experience Service life up close.
Widen your horizons
Membership of the ATC or CCF (RAF) is exciting, rewarding and above all fun. You'll discover skills you never knew you had, do things and visit places you never thought you would, and meet lots of like-minded people who will become your team-mates and friends.
You’ll also have the opportunity to challenge yourself with adventurous training, be selected to represent your country or school on the International Air Cadet Exchange programme, or develop your potential on the Air Cadet Leadership Course. You can really shine as a cadet.