Being an Air Cadet is a rewarding and fulfilling experience. You can join for however long you want. We’re not a recruiting organisation for the main RAF, so all the skills you learn and experiences you gain will benefit whatever career path you choose.

To be an Air Cadet you must be 13 years old, or 12 years old if you're already in year 8 in school or in S1 for those in Scotland. The latest you can join is before your 17th birthday. Most cadets leave when they're 20 years old and some stay involved as an adult volunteer.

Meet some of our Air Cadets

Weekly meetings and costs

Squadrons across the UK meet twice a week. Each session lasts around two hours, usually from seven to nine in the evening. This means it should fit in easily with your other commitments and hobbies.

There's a small subscription to cover the running costs which is usually a few pounds per week.


The uniform is free but you have to look after it as being a 'military' youth organisation, we have high standards to maintain. You'll take pride in your uniform and appearance and be well mannered and self-disciplined. Footwear is not included, so shoes or boots will need to be provided at your own cost.

Activities and Training

We offer a wide range of fun and challenging activities, suitable for those with no experience and anyone who has already had a go. All Air Cadets can also benefit from training and gain qualifications that will be useful for all career choices, both in and out of the RAF.


Everyone in the Air Cadets, and the RAF, is identified by a badge that represents their rank. As a Cadet Non-commissioned Officer, there are opportunities to earn a promotion through demonstration of good leadership.

Find out more about our ranks

Cadet Portal

The Cadet portal is where Cadets can manage personal details, monitor progress and see upcoming activities.

Login to your Cadet Portal

Ready to join the Air Cadets?

All of our squadrons welcome personal visits by potential cadets (ideally accompanied by a parent or guardian), during one of their Parade Nights. Some squadrons recruit throughout the year, others have specific entry dates. Just come along and see if you like it. Your local squadron will discuss what they do, show you a video of Air Cadet activities and answer any questions you or your parents or carer may have.

Find your local Squadron and complete the joining form - your local squadron will then get in touch.

Group of cadets talking and laughing together