Join as a cadet
So, are you ready to take the first step towards all the opportunities and benefits that the air cadets can offer you?
It's important to know that we're not a recruiting organisation for the Services (but it's great if you decide you want to join later on). We're not interested in anything but you and your potential, and will help you get the most from your experience as a cadet.
Worried about fitting in? Equality is a central part of the Air Cadets’ ethic. The cadet experience is open to everyone, so whatever your nationality, background or ability, whether you're male or female, if you're between 13, or at age 12 when beginning school year 8 (England & Wales), S2 (Scotland) Yr 9 (Northern Ireland) and 17 years old you can join us.
The maximum age for entry is 17 years old, therefore you can request to join us anytime between your 12th and 17th birthday. If you are above that age group and still want to enjoy all of our activities and more, you could join as a volunteer. Find out more on in our Volunteer Section.
What's in it for you?
Aside from flying, sports, target shooting, adventure training and great fun? You’ll soon find that being an air cadet is its own reward - you constantly see the benefits of your own efforts, building on your achievements and earning BTECs and DoE Awards. You'll be expected to take part in as many of the activities we run as possible, but with what's on offer you won't need much persuading!
We have high standards to maintain as we are a 'military' youth organisation and you'll naturally take pride in your uniform (we supply that) and appearance. You'll be well mannered and self-disciplined. You'll be joining an organisation of which you’ll be very proud.
What are you waiting for!
All of our squadrons welcome personal visits by potential cadets (ideally accompanied by a parent or guardian), during one of their Parade Nights – these are held twice a week. Some squadrons recruit throughout the year, others have specific entry dates. Just come along and see if you like it - you don't have to join, but at least check out what you might be missing.
Your local Squadron will discuss what they do, show you a video of Air Cadet activities and answer any questions you or your parents/guardians may have.
Don't be shy about taking that first step - it may be the best thing you've ever done. Go for it!