Authority to use 'Royal' Air Force Air Cadets name

Can anyone point me in the direction of the approval for what was the ‘Air Cadet Organisation’ to change its name to ‘Royal Air Force Air Cadets’?

As part of my day job, I came across this regulation, and this.

We know the Air Training Corps was founded by Royal Warrant, but that did not make it the ‘Royal Air Training Corps’.

The Sea Cadet Corps is not the Royal Navy Cadets and the Army are historically not ‘Royal’ in any case.

Genuine question - Why are we the ‘Royal Air Force Air Cadets’ rather than the ‘Air Cadets’ and do we have the requisite permission?

I think the basis is that we’re the Air Cadets of the RAF, not the Royal Air Cadets (who fix cars obviously)

We arent this though. Your question is based on inaccurate understanding.

We are the Royal Air Force… Air Cadets.

I.e. Air Cadets, a part of the Royal Airforce.

Or simply for branding… RAFAC.

It’s not based on inaccurate understanding. We were never the ‘Royal Air Force Air Cadet Organisation’. As a separate entity to (but sponsored by), the Royal Air Force; I am interested in what approval was gained for the use of the term ‘Royal’ when we changed from ‘Air Cadet Organisation’ to ‘Royal Air Force Air Cadets’.

We’re not using the term “Royal” . . . we’re using the term “Royal Air Force” . . .


The umbrella term for the ATC & CCF(RAF) became Royal Air Force Air Cadets to along with the branding of the Royal Air Force of which we are a part. Much like

  • Royal Air Force Acrobatic Team
  • Royal Air Force Shooting
  • Royal Air Force Regiment
  • Royal Air Force Odiham

I’d say as we are part of the Royal Air Force, the approval to use that comes from their approval/direction.


But, if we’re questioning precedent… We need look no further than The Royal Marines Cadets.


Added a bit there. It’s not new that we’re part of a Royal organisation.


Funnily enough I was only reading through the sensitive words regs a few weeks ago for my masters. I have a feeling I will be having nightmares about them until my exam!

Back on topic … whether those regulations even apply to our organisation is a question for someone more qualified in company law than I am (having read the relevant sections of the Companies Act, because that’s the fun kind of activity I get to do for my masters, and not wanting to spend all night intensively researching statutory definitions, the best answer I can come up with is “maybe”).

As others have stated, we’re not the Royal Air Force Air Cadets, we’re the Royal Air Force Air Cadets, called as such to bring our organisation and branding in line with our parent service. We are using the name as part of the RAF (in the same way as the examples @themajor has given), not a separate entity which suddenly decided to claim separate rights to use the word “royal” from 2017. As such, even if we are subject to the regulations I doubt we would have been required to seek permission under them.

Given the amount of time we have been using the name, and how long we used the RAFAC logo and branding before then, I would imagine if we did not have authority to use it we would have known about it by now.

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Interestingly though I’m told the Royal Agricultural College Beagles have separate permission to use the Royal title from the college itself, ie. they are the Royal Agricultural College Beagles not the Royal Agricultural College Beagles.

As a result, when the RAC became the RAU, the beagles didn’t change their name.

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Thank you all - I think @tmmorris comes closest here to my line of thinking. The Air Training Corps has never (prior to 2017), been branded 'Royal Air Force {anything}, however the Air Cadet Organisation suddenly became the ‘Royal Air Force Air Cadets’ - so essentially the branding change adopted the ‘Royal’ name by virtue of association with the Royal Air Force.

To me it feels like this was done to bolster the ‘blue footprint’; but I still question whether (especially as our Cadets, NCOs and Officers are not members of the RAF), how it could be claimed we can use their name as we are not part of them, but rather we are ‘sponsored’ by them.

Given that we fall under the jurisdiction of 22Grp, I’d say that’s reason enough.


I was just clumsily wording something similar, but I think this sums it up nicely!

You see though that despite being part of 22 Group at the same time this rebranding took place plans to remove the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve Commission from officers were well underway thereby reducing the relationship with the parent service. That’s at odds with the rebranding, where the opinion is that we are entitled to use the Royal Air Force name as we are ‘part’ of the RAF.

Why is it?

We can report to, and be parented by, the RAF without being active members bound by the same rules, given our volunteer status. The change in commission is an entirely separate thing and shouldn’t be mixed in with this. Whatever this is.

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That is quite different to ‘being part of’ and therefore having the right to use the RAF name. What changed in 2017 to make us the Royal Air Force Air Cadets as opposed to the ‘Air Cadet Organisation’?

Did no one think ‘Hold on, we’re going to write to our volunteers to tell them we’re taking away their RAF Reserve Commissions; but we’re going to call ourselves the Royal Air Force Air Cadets’ .

We are either part of the RAF and can therefore use their name, ranks and commissions and abide by their regulations; or we are outside the RAF and ‘Air Cadets’ free of the restrictions we seem to keep having imposed on us.

I’m pretty sure no. Because it’s a kids club and nobody really cares that much.

And if you want evidence of that assertion, it’s been 4 years and nobody else has made that argument.

We were outside the RAF. Then we were issued a royal warrant. Just because we didn’t use the name royal doesn’t mean we’re now inappropriately using the title. And it also doesn’t mean that we can’t use their ranks, structures and uniform.

I’m sorry, I just don’t see the point of this argument.


What ‘argument’, it’s a discussion/ query. :slight_smile:

You have answered by saying ‘no one really cares’, which is a shame.

I don’t mean aggressive argument, or one with animosity. Just that you have presented an opinion and are defending it, ergo it’s an argument.

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Let’s not also forget that we are not a private company/charity/entity but rather are run by the government, aka the Crown.

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