Tips for achieving the most out of air cadets?


#1

Hi all,

Ok so I’ll give you some background about myself.

I have been a member of the rafac for 6 months now, and I am 15 years old. I am looking for a pilot (basic, I know)/aircrew type role in the military (RAF or FAA) in the future. Already I have attended 2 camps, wing field day, wing netball trials, gone flying and had a blast, really.
As you might notice, I joined relatively late but it is what it is, I guess I can’t change it. I love the ACO and I’m aware of the amazing opportunities but I would like to know how I can achieve the most out of the air cadets as possible, i.e. international camps, promotion (?!!), JL, QUAIC, etc etc, I am up to take part in everything

I would really appreciate any advice and tips on how to get the most out of my time as a cadet, as I understand many people on here have a great deal of experience as staff/ex/older cadets.

Thank you, GR (btw this is a fake name)


#2

Sign up and do as much as you are eligible for in the time you have. Simple as that. There’s no ‘you must do X or Y’.

However.

Remember that being an air cadet is not a pre-requisite for joining the RAF. But strong academics are. Do not let cadets get in the way of schooling. You’ll need your GCSEs and A levels in order to start a successful application.


#3

Speak to staff at your squadron. They’re best placed to advise.


#4

To use one of my favourite quotes…

‘Shy bairns get nowt’.

In short I mean absolutely do as much as you can and grab every opportunity. Try everything at least once! Also focus on what you really enjoy.

You should be able to finish your cadet career with little or no regrets. If there’s something you want to do then ask because the worst that can happen is you are told no. Talk to the older NCO and staff to ask about what they’ve done and what opportunities are available to you.


#5

I come from a different generation when service past 18 wasn’t questioned, but I too started at 15.
I enjoyed 5 years as a Cadet, achieved plenty to fill a brassard and F3822 and have been Staff since such is my enjoyment of the organisation…
15 is later than “ideal” but shouldn’t hold you back…

From my point of view, you get out what you put in.
And that is true whether talking to a 12 yr old recruit or 17yr6months FS considering O18 service.

I wouldn’t say “aim for one event a month” as you’ll be in danger of going to events and activities you’ll not enjoy simply to “look good”.I come from a different generation when service past 18 wasn’t questioned, but I too started at 15.

From my point of view, you get out what you put in.
And that is true whether talking to a 12 yr old recruit or 17yr6months FS considering O18 service.

I wouldn’t say “aim for one event a month” as you’ll be in danger of going to events and activities you’ll not enjoy simply to “look good”.

However as Jankers says, try everything once, it will give you a well-rounded and excellent view of what is available and might spark interest in something you never will have chance otherwise.


#6

As others say, try everything. Apply for ACLC (need to be 16 by next summer), get yourself known in your wing, start DofE and be a role model. The rest will fall into place; you still have time to do loads in cadets.


#7

Thank you, that is a really good reminder, I’m studying for GCSEs currently, and I need to remember to put school first!


#8

Thank you, I am talking to my OC tonight during NAAFI, so I’ll ask him then :slight_smile:


#9

Thank you, I totally agree with the quote! I live by ‘carpe diem’ and I believe that being a cadet is a great way to do this.


#10

Thank you! I’ll take this on board.


#11

Hi what is ACLC please?


#12

Air Cadet Leadership Course (Gold leadership badge). Cracking course that gets you a proper ILM qualification, develops leadership skills and its a good laugh. I’d strongly recommend it.


#13

They only take the best of the best. So make sure you have a back up plan for if you are not successful. Make sure yours studies are a priority.


#14

Ok, thank you. I will speak to staff about this at the sqn.


#15

Primarily you need to concentrate on your GCSEs and whatever you decide to do post-16.
Are you 15 in Yr 10 or 11? If the former you may have opportunities family and compatible dates notwithstanding, if the latter and becoming a pilot is your only goal you will need to ensure the best GCSE results to easily get on the post 16 courses, as places can be limited and competition fierce. I’ve seen a few cadets over the years not do as well as expected and had to do second or third options.
Have you considered what happens when it comes to mocks and real exams? I have cadets in Yr11 who are already doing Saturday and school holiday lessons and these are those who are very, very able academically.

The ATC can help, it is but when all said and done a few lines in a personal statement.
I would say concentrate on DofE as this is widely recognised. ATC courses are nice to do but unless the person scanning your applications / interviewing has some knowledge it is lost on them.