Initial training

Reaching your peak

Initial Officer Training (IOT) will prepare you for life as a leader; by the end of it you’ll be fitter and more confident than you’ve ever been. The transformation from civilian to RAF officer is challenging, but you’ve already proven during OASC that you’ve got what it takes.

Your training will be delivered by experienced RAF personnel and will challenge you both intellectually and physically. Officer training is even recognised by civilian institutions and every cadet who makes the grade will earn themselves a Level 5 Diploma from the Institute of Leadership and Management.

IOT at a glance

IOT is made up of three terms, each lasting 10 weeks. At the end of each term your performance will be reviewed and you’ll be given feedback, as well as advice for the next stage.

Term One

Weeks 1 – 4 Basic phase

You’ll master the basic military skills required by all RAF personnel. Fitness will become part of your daily routine and there will be regular inspections of your dress and living quarters. In addition, you’ll learn about how the RAF carries out its national defence role and works with other organisations all over the world.

Weeks 5 – 10 Leadership development

As well as learning about different techniques, you’ll take part in leadership exercises – in the classroom at first and later in the field. You’ll fire your weapon for the first time and will have the opportunity to spend a week at one of our adventurous training centres.

Term Two

Week 1 Foundation phase

Learning how to gain the trust of people you will lead takes practice, so the first week of Term Two will be spent consolidating the leadership skills you learnt during Term One.

Week 2 Military aid leadership camp

You’ll spend up to seven days in a military training area completing a series of time-sensitive exercises in full military gear. Using your new skills you’ll guide your team through a variety of challenges.

Weeks 3 – 6 RAF ethos and culture/Air power studies

As well as learning about the RAF’s ethos, culture and history, you’ll learn more about how we expect our officers to present themselves and communicate with others. Finally, you’ll receive lectures from university academics about the concept and strategies behind Air Power, which you’ll be tested on later.

Weeks 7 – 8 Military simulation

A simulated military operation will give you the opportunity to demonstrate all the skills you’ve learnt so far. We’ll create a high-pressure operational environment that’s as close to the real thing as possible. By the end of it you’ll be ready to form an essential part of a powerful military team.

Weeks 9 – 10 Recommendation to progress to the final term

If you excel during the simulated exercises, you’ll be congratulated by your Flight Commander and recommended to progress to the final term. If you found the exercises too demanding, don’t worry, you’ll be re-coursed for further training and have another chance to prove yourself.

Term Three

Weeks 1 – 5 Leadership academics/Carousel

You’ll start Term Three with a week of academic study – learning about what might be expected of you on your first posting. Following this you’ll have four weeks of training exercises that will put your leadership skills to the test in various operational settings. One of these will take place at our adventurous training centre in Scotland.

Weeks 6 – 8 Military simulation (Exercise Combat Operations Centre)

Your second simulated exercise will be based around a combat operations centre, enabling you to gain more experience of life in an operational environment. By now, much of what you do will come naturally, so it’s a great chance to refine your leadership skills.

Weeks 9 – 10 Graduation

After 30 weeks of training you’ll be ready for your graduation parade. It’s one of the proudest moments in any officer’s career, as well as a great day out for your family and friends. You’ll show off your new skills on the parade ground and receive your official commission as an officer in the RAF.

For more information about IOT, ask your careers office for a brochure or call 0845 605 5555.

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