Parents & Guardians

When a son, daughter or loved one is interested in joining the RAF full-time or spare-time, parents may wonder what to expect. This page provides answers and links to more information throughout our site.


Today’s modern RAF is a highly respected inclusive organisation made up of full-time Regulars and spare-time Reserves working side-by-side to make a difference. As a force for good the RAF gets involved in everything from preventing civil war to delivering humanitarian aid, aiding communities in the UK and hosting ceremonial events.

When it comes to recruitment, our focus is our personnel. We’re always there to provide support and make sure your son or daughter is well taken care of during and after their service in the RAF.

To find out more, visit our About page.


The RAF has over 50 available roles and multiple career development opportunities. We employ everyone from Chefs and Photographers, to Cyberspace Communications Specialists and Pilots.

Regardless of role the RAF believes in life-long learning so our personnel are trained to the highest standards. As well as having the opportunity to gain professional qualifications that will equip them for a great career after the RAF, they can look forward to having their talents recognised, developed and rewarded.

To find out more, visit our Education & Funding page.


We offer a number of sponsorships and scholarships to support exceptional individuals who want to join the RAF. These range from covering the cost of sixth form college to a bursary or cadetship while at university.

To find out more, visit our Education & Funding page.


Recruits live in on-base accommodation during their initial training, 10 weeks for Airmen/Airwomen and 24 weeks for Officers. This gives them the opportunity to get to know their new colleagues, work as a team and learn about the RAF.

After training, RAF Regulars can live in the ‘Mess,’ commute from home, or rent nearby. On base the RAF provides subsidised accommodation and food, great leisure and sports facilities, and a real sense of community.

To find out more, visit our Life as a Regular page.


It’s important for RAF personnel to have time to spend with their loved ones on a regular basis. RAF Regulars work regular eight-hour days, Monday to Friday, most of the time, with evenings and weekends free to spend with family and friends.

Family members are also always welcome to visit on base.

To find out more, visit our Life as a Regular page.


RAF personnel develop a great deal of trust and confidence in each other because of how much they come to rely upon one another. These bonds extend beyond work, with plenty of opportunities to socialise with both new and old friends, on and off base.

To find out more visit our Social Life page.


We do everything we possibly can to cater for all religious requirements from diet to dress and holidays. Chaplains are also always on hand, along with other religious counsellors. If we don’t have an official religious representative on a base we will seek to match personnel with someone who shares their faith.

To find out more, visit the Religion and Beliefs section of our FAQs.


The RAF is an equal opportunities employer that recognises the value of an individual’s ability regardless of their gender, colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origins, background, religion or belief, sexual orientation or marital status or civil partnership.  The RAF believes that harnessing the talents and skills of individuals from different groups enhances operational effectiveness.


Our website will tell you a great deal about life in the RAF, but as a parent you’ll naturally want to be sure your son or daughter is making the right decision. We’re here to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Visit our Contact page for details about getting in touch.

Take a look at our Parent and Guardian brochure here.