Initial Officer Training
Like all our Specialist Branch officers, you will begin your RAF career on the Specialist Entrant and Re-entrant (SERE) course at the RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire.
You will follow an 13 week course specially designed for professionally qualified entrants to the RAF.
The course includes fitness development, military training and academic study as well as practical outdoor leadership challenges.
Following successful completion of SERE you will attend the 2 week Basic Air Warfare Course at RAF College Cranwell.
As a fully qualified solicitor or barrister, you will already have the core legal skills to do your job.
However, during your induction training at the Directorate of Legal Services (RAF) you will receive an introduction to those aspects of law in the RAF that may not be familiar to you, with more in depth training in areas relevant to your first Legal Officer posting being provided by the team to which you are assigned.
Thereafter, you will gain hands-on experience on the job and, throughout your career, you will be offered opportunities to develop and experience new areas of legal practice, including international humanitarian law, as well as the same through-life Professional Military Development as all other RAF officers.
For your first tour, you could be posted to a Regional Legal Office on a major operational flying station in the UK, to our legal offices in Germany or Cyprus, to the Service Prosecution Authority, or to the RAF Legal Directorate’s headquarters at RAF High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire. You will work under the guidance of senior officers and receive training in order to develop your knowledge of new areas of law and also to develop your potential as a RAF officer.
Your Career Prospects
You will join the RAF as a Flight Lieutenant on an Initial Commission of 6 years. After a period of productive service, and by competitive selection or on promotion to Squadron Leader, you may be selected for your commission to be converted to a pension-earning commission of 20 years’ service or to age 40, whichever is the later. A further extension of your commission of up to 30 years’ Service (or to age 60) is also possible, either by competitive selection or on promotion to Group Captain. Some posts within the branch become available only when appropriate experience and rank has been gained.
In accordance with Bar Council or Law Society policy guidance, you will be able to maintain your Continuing Professional Development currency through a combination of accredited external and internal legal training. Each year you will also attend the DLS(RAF) Conference, which will not only provide updates in various areas of Law, but will allow you to take part in leadership- and teamwork-based activities. There will also be opportunities to improve leadership skills through both military training and Force development events, such as Orienteering.
As a Legal Officer in the RAF, you will have all the developmental opportunities and career prospects of your civilian counterparts, together with the chance to work around the world and gain unique experience of the law. In addition, you will develop leadership and managerial skills which are unrivalled in the civilian legal world.