Cadet Rank Changes

Controversial thought…

Why don’t you make use of the lowest aviator ranks, potentially even including lance corporal (even though that’s regiment only)?

More controversial thought…

With adult ranks starting at sgt, why don’t cadet ranks shift down the scale and peak at cpl?

Not that any of this is necessary, but utilising the lower ranks in addition to current ranks could have its uses.


It’s an interesting thought! They could work quite well as ‘grades’ rather than ranks. So gaining them as and when you gain your classifications + some other qual. I wouldn’t be against the idea!

This however wouldn’t really work. It would cause a lot of confusion amongst the other cadet forces. Being a Cadet Cpl equivalent to Cadet RSM would be odd!

The ranks below L/Cpl are not ranks as such but more classification of grades all with the rank of aviator/private. We currently mirror this with our cadet classifications.

This was why J/Techs stopped having a single stripe because the rank wasn’t covered under Queens Regs. Inc this is why RAF CCF L/Cpls we’re called Jnr Cpls. Pity we didnt keep the term for regulars.

In terms of cadet &vs Adult ranks this is what the sea cadets do with their top cadet rank being Cdt PO.

However this takes it out of sync with the rest of the cadet forces and as we are moving more purple this is the opposite direction of travel for the cadet forces.

No reason why the ATC can’t have Cdt L/Cpl though & bring them back into line with the original RAF air cadets. :wink:


Great feedback.

Yes, I must admit having ranked “grades” for cadets prior to their first promotion would be good, especially for ever so slightly increasing their sense of responsibility as they progress through the syllabus.

An brings us into line with the regular service, which can’t be a bad thing.

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Don’t we already do this using the classifications?

At unit I already have tasks & responsibilities delegated based on classification for non-NCOs.

For example a cadet must be leading classification to help the cadet NCO run the Canteen.

My staff & cadet NCOs fall in & natural do this with snr & leg cdts being used like “chosen men” when NCO are not about.

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In the RAF, it’s only the RAF Regiment and RAF Police who really give their LCpls and Cpls any responsibility: in the other trades, any command or leadership appointments seemed to me to start at SNCO level.
In fact, the RAF Air Cadets give Cadet Corporals more opportunities to be leaders…they take parades and instruct younger members of the Corps, for starters. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Squints in trade group 1

The SCC top out at Cadet Petty Officer.

So wouldn’t be unheard of.

I suppose it’s different though, subtly, because one is a badge on your arm that has a different effect than one on your shoulder.

That said, I’d love to learn more about all the examples you’ve just hinted at with your use of leading cadet for helping out with the canteen.

Could you share all your examples (or by PM)?

Always interested to learn new ways of doing it.

I find Cdt L/Cpl useful in CCF land - treat it as a marker of those ready to develop their people-management.

Whilst they are not actively involved in planning or executing of training, they are tasked to shadow and assist the other NCO’s in their tasks.

I found in doing this that by the time they hit Cdt Cpl and head into MOI that they are much more capable.


That’s brilliant.


I’ve thought this for a long time. Something that distinguishes the RAF from the other services is that our personnel below NCO rank do have badges of rank rather than the empty sleeves / shoulders of private soldiers. The same should be true for our cadets.

I’ve also had this thought, with the possibility of sgt as a transitional rank (cadet / staff cadet and CFAV).

I’m sorry but this simply isn’t correct. AR, AS2 and AS1 are separate ranks. AS1(T) might be a sub-rank /classification of AS1, but I’m not sure as we don’t have them in my profession. I fully expect AS2 and AS1 to be merged into a single rank with two classifications (like Royal Navy ABs) at some stage, but as things stand they are separate ranks, with badges of rank, and it is considered a promotion rather than re-grading.

Aviator isn’t a rank but a catch-all term akin to sailor or soldier to replace airman: it covers all ranks, including officers.

ATC should definitely have LCpls to align with CCF(RAF).

I would propose the following ranks, badges, and equivalencies:

Air Cadet Recruit (ACR) - from joining until the stage currently awarded a 1st Class Cadet badge. No badge.

Air Cadet (Class 2) (AC2) - from the stage currently awarded a 1st Class Cadet badge until completion of the current Leading Cadet syllabus. AS2 rank worn on rank slides.

Air Cadet (Class 1) (AC1) - replaces Senior Cadet badge. AS1 rank worn on rank slides.

As MAC is ATC only, needs some consideration around a consolidated syllabus. AS1(T) badge is available although, personally, I prefer the JT bath taps.

Nope. It’s been in CCF since they brought in PTS

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Good to know, thanks. Does that mean Advanced Training Certificate is now aligned with Senior Cadet as well? (I understand it used to be awarded for one of the Senior Cadet subjects.)

Under Kings Regulations they are all considered to hold the rank equivalent to Private & do not hold authority over one another.

As such they are not ranks per se but grades of aviator as they cannot give a lawful order.

This was why the RAF regiment had to introduce LCpl as an SAC couldn’t give orders & they needed that role.

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Only real distinction between them is AS1(T).

For those who don’t know, they hold a qualification known as Q-Ops and are therefore authorised to work on their own.

But yes, no command authority.


That appears to be your interpretation of a table, which nevertheless lists them all as separate ranks. However, they also explicitly state the following:

Ranks they are, and yes they have an order of precedence.

However they are still OR-2. Which is Pte equivalent. No command authority. No real distinction other than pay.


Absolutely. Although we regularly mobilise AS1 reservists into positions advertised as OR-3 (LCpl), as they are considered equivalent to Army LCpls in our profession.

You must have a similar situation with REME LCpls getting promoted after certain trade courses?

I don’t really see what problem such a change would solve or what benefit it would bring to make such a major change.