Historic joint graduation at RAF College Cranwell

Non-commissioned Airmen and Officers have made history as they graduated together for the first time at RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire.

The event marks the end of their training and entry into the Royal Air Force.

The 91 Recruits, 106 Officer Cadets and 10 Commissioned Warrant Officers performed a parade in front of their families, who were also treated to a flypast from a Battle of Britain Spitfire and an F-35 Lightning.

The joint graduation marks the conclusion of the official RAF100 celebrations which have seen events across the country since our official 100th birthday on 1 April.

As part of the legacy of the centenary, work is underway for a single point of entry for Airmen and Officers at RAF College Cranwell. The single gateway approach is based on the principles of Lord Trenchard - the RAF's founding father - who created the service on the idea of opportunities for all, based on merit and regardless of background.

The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier attended the graduation as the Reviewing Officer. Reflecting on the importance of the occasion, he said:

“In this, the Royal Air Force’s 100th anniversary year, we are holding today’s joint graduation to underscore a principle which is at the heart of our character, ethos and spirit as a Service. From its inception, the RAF was conceived as being different, with a focus not on background but only on merit and potential, wherever it might lie. 

Today’s event reaches back to these founding principles and looks forward to our second century, as we strive to constantly innovate, challenge perceptions and improve even further our already world-class training. In future years, there will be a single point of entry into the RAF, with all of our initial training conducted at RAF Cranwell and everyone graduating from this iconic location, exactly as they have done today.

Our excellent people are central to the future of the Royal Air Force, ensuring we enter our second century confident and capable in our vital mission to deliver our nation’s air and space power.