Everyone in the Air Cadets (and the RAF) can be identified by the badges of rank that they wear. This list of basic adult and cadet ranks will help you identify them. The list starts with adults (instructors and senior staff) followed by cadet ranks, with the most senior in each group at the top.

Officer ranks

Officers are the RAF Air Cadets’s equivalent of a management role. Having spent time as a civilian instructor (CI) or non-commissioned officer (NCO), Officers will have a senior leadership responsibility, and could be responsible for running a unit or even supporting one of our regional headquarters with specialist knowledge.

  • Wing Commander
  • Squadron Leader
  • Flight Lieutenant
  • Flying Officer
  • Pilot Officer
  • Acting Pilot Officer

Non-commissioned Officer ranks

  • Warrant Officer
  • Flight Sergeant
  • Sergeant

Cadet Non-commissioned Officer (NCO) ranks

As a cadet, there are opportunities to earn a promotion through demonstration of good leadership. You might take charge or lead a small group of cadets during an activity, through to supporting volunteers with delivering an event or supporting new cadets.

  • Cadet Warrant Officer
  • Cadet Flight Sergeant
  • Cadet Sergeant
  • Cadet Corporal
  • Cadet Lance Corporal - CCF (RAF) only

Cadet classifications

The classifications provide a progressive syllabus of training for cadets. Cadets will go through a series of modules, from learning the basics of drill and radio, through to understanding rocketry and jet propulsion.

  • Master Air Cadet
  • Senior Cadet
  • Leading Cadet
  • First Class Cadet
  • Second Class Cadet
  • Junior Cadet

Join the Air Cadets

Ready to start your own journey as an adult volunteer or an air cadet? Contact your local squadron to find out more.

Find your local squadron

Four cadets in uniform showing their ranks on their right arms