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How to Join UWAS

Eligibility

You must first check that you fall within the following criteria:

Are you a British citizen, or the Republic of Ireland or a citizen of a Commonwealth country?

Can you pass the required medical standard of a Group 2 (HGV) drivers' licence? Please see the DVLA website for further information.

Have you lived in the UK for the last five years?

Are you on your first full-time degree course (not foundation year) and do you have at least 2 years of full-time study (not including placement years) remaining?

Are you over 17 1/2 years of age?

If you have answered no to any of those questions you may not be eligible for membership. Your application will definitely not be accepted if you’ve ever been, or still are, a member of a group that stirs up racial hatred and violence.

Please contact us if you have any questions regarding eligibility.

Entry Process

At the beginning of every academic year, the squadron aims to attend fresher fayre events across all the universities it recruits from and at this event we have some of our current serving students, our permanent staff and often we invite along ex-members who have gone on to join the military. All our friendly personnel will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have, as well as advise you on your eligibility. The entry process is split into three main stages,

1. Fresher’s Fayre and Open day
2. Formal Interview
3. Commitment

Fresher Fayres and Open day

UWAS normally stages a fresher fayre stand at the constituent Colleges of the University of Wales at Aberystwyth, Cardiff, including Cardiff Met and the College of Medicine, Lampeter, Swansea, and from the University of South Wales each year. However, we can't always attend them all. If you are interested in joining UWAS then please visit us at one of this year's events listed here:

Monday 19th Sep - CARDIFF MET - Cyncoed Campus (National Indoor Athletics Centre)

Tuesday 20th Sep - UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH WALES - Treforrest (sports centre)

Wednesday 21st (& possibly Thursday 22nd) Sep - CARDIFF (Students' Union Great Hall)

Monday & Tuesday 26th & 27th Sep - ABERYSTWYTH

Monday & Tuesday 26th & 27th Sep - SWANSEA

Although we try to give you as much information regarding who we are and what we do at the freshers fayre, this isn’t usually possible because of time constraint. The open day is designed to give prospective students a clearer picture about the squadron, the RAF and a chance for them to meet the majority of the squadron's student body.

Applicants can expect to arrive around 1030 hours on the Saturday and stay for a few hours. They are encouraged to take part in activities including the RAF fitness test, command and teamwork tasks, plus a tour of the squadron and the Grob Tutor hangar The RAF fitness test incorporates a bleep test (timed shuttle runs), push-ups and sit-ups; you will be informed on the day by the gym instructors what the minimum requirements are but do ensure that on the day you give it your best effort.

The day ends with all applicants submitting their personal curriculum vitae. Advice on what information you should include can be given at the freshers' fayre event if asked. If you genuinely cannot make this date, do tell one of us at the freshers' fayre event and we may be able to help.

Formal Interview

Every year the squadron receives applications from over 80 students at the open day event and aims to interview as many candidates as it can. If you could not attend our open day or failed to take part on the RAF fitness test at the open day event, you may be required to carry out the RAF Fitness Test on the day of your interview.

Usually within two weeks of attending the open day, shortlisted students are formally invited to attend a formal interview at RAF St Athan. You should attend the interview shaven and in appropriate attire. Male candidates should wear a smart suit, collared shirt with a tie darker in colour than the shirt and smart shoes. Female candidate should wear a similar attire, and, or a skirt if they prefer. No jeans or casual wear should be worn.

The interview usually lasts about 45 minutes and is effectively in 2 parts. The first half will be about you, your interestes and achivements both in and out of school. The second part will explore what interests you about the squadon and the Royal Air Force. The process is simply a chat with the staff about who you are and what you have done, as well as your motivation for wanting to join, so try as much as possible to relax and enjoy the experience. If you have the right character then you stand a very good chance of being selected. Successful candidates will normally receive a formal letter of acceptance to join the squadron by the end of October.

Commitment

Should you be selected to become a RED DRAGON, you will be encouraged to attend a freshers' induction camp during January. Whilst membership of the University of Wales Air Squadron does not commit members to joining the Regular RAF, there is a minimum commitment expected of all members. We understand that some students will have higher contact hours than others at university, and as such will have less time to commit to squadron activities than others As a minimum, new members are required to attend:

  • A freshers' induction camp in January.
  • A freshers' one-week adventurous training camp during the Easter vacation.
  • One Tuesday training night every week during term time (approximately 2hours per session).
  • A two-week flying training camp during the summer vacation.

In addition, sponsored students and first years are encouraged to complete a five days summer vacation attachment (SVA), spent on an active RAF base shadowing an officer and getting a taste of active RAF life. Being in the University of Wales Air Squadron can take up as little or as much of your time as you can commit It's an organization rooted on loyaty, comradeship, respect, integrity and courage; but also you will be joining a big forces' family where friends for life will most definitely be met.

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