Is it possible to be a member of a University Air Squadron while remaining in the Air Training Corps?

I am (hopefully) going to university in September and I can not find any information on this.

Thanks in advance!

As a cadet in both (i.e. Staff Cadet/OCdt)? Or as adult staff in the ATC?

People must do it.

JSP 814 is what you need:

5.1.3. Reserve Forces. Cadets may not serve simultaneously as adult members of the Regular or Reserve forces.

As the UAS are part of the RAFVR, that means you cannot be a cadet and also in the UAS.

4.1.11. Reserve Forces. Reserve Forces personnel may be enrolled as CFAV in addition to their Reserve commitment. However, WOs, NCOs and other ranks serving in the Reserve Forces are not permitted to hold a commissioned appointment in the CF. The implications of this are that an individual may not serve as a commissioned officer in one organisation and hold a non-commissioned appointment in another. Instead of enrolling as CFAV, members of the Reserve Forces may help Cadet Forces as Service Helpers in their reservist rank.

Back in the bad old days pre - JPA we had a CCF officer who was also a LCpl in the TA. Wouldn’t get away with it now!

I have a CWO who is also part of the UAS… something I’ve only found out during Lockdown and one I’m not going to query because I would then lose a fantastic pusedo staff member.

The UAS now they are a cadet and have no problems with it, there is clear seperation.

I’m sure it’s done, but strictly not allowed, but more than anything else I’d be worried about the drain on your time if you were an active member of both and trying to do your degree as well.

I stayed on my ATC sqn’s books while I was at uni and on the UAS - but I was 100miles away so only made an appearance during holidays. I wasn’t parading every week. I wasn’t an active member, I was just helping them have some numbers. I left the ATC after my first year.

You have a weekly commitment with the UAS, chances are those nights will conflict. You’ll also have a social life at uni.

Unless you have particular ambitions to be staff at the ATC unit, it’s time to let the kids hobbies go. If you get on the UAS (it’s a competitive selection process, not guaranteed by any means), then leave the ATC.

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I’m gonna disagree there - ACP 20:

(My bold)


JSP trumps ACP.
Though really that discrepancy needs clearing up.

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It may be a discrepancy in the status of UAS OCdts as RAFVR - as far as I know, there is not actual call up liability for them?

That’s probably true, but without the JSP clarifying that I think that the author of the ACP has exceeded their authority in carving out an exception. The JSP refers to Reserve Forces. It doesn’t say Reserve Forces with a call out liability.


Or at least, there is, but it’s the same call up liability that Mr Smith has.

Here’s an interesting one…

ACP 20 PI-601-1 para 4:

A UAS (former or current) student who wishes to gain a specific commission with the RAFAC will need to attend and successfully pass OASC (unless they were granted a full bursary) and complete the OIC at ATF.

So current UAS students on a full bursary (I have one on my unit) can get a RAFAC commission by attending a Wing Board, as they have already passed OASC.

Incorrect ACP 20 allows aircadets to be staff cadets and members of UAS concurrently.

When in each role you are following the rules of that organisation.

There isnt an occasion where a conflict of interest could occur, so it’s a non issue.

No but as stated above, JSP trumps ACP, so someone needs to look at this. I’ll staff it.

No doubt the sponsor of JSP814 is Army

In reality… how many aircadets stay on if they join the UAS?

ATC… treated like a child at 18 and 19.
UAS… treated like a junior officer at 18 and 19.

No brainer.

The more time goes on i really think sacking off Staff cadets is the way forward.
So much admin and hassle, it just isnt worth it.

If you’re short staff, easier to recruit an over 20 who can do everything from day 1.

I would strongly urge you to bin ATC if you join the UAS - simply that you won’t have time to do both well, and you are arguably more use to your old Sqn as motivated, getting experienced, UAS member who occasionally helps out with specific stuff than as a cheesed off Staff Cadet who’s out of the loop, who’s barely around, and who - to be almost offensively frank - is pretty immature if they can’t cope with letting the apron strings go.

I have commanded young officers, and selected and trained potential Officers: accepting that your position has changed and then using it to help others is a good thing and to be admired and commended, and shows maturity - but not being able to embrace who you now are, not being able to let go, or to keep the comfort blanket, shows insecurity, immaturity, a lack of commitment, and a lack of confidence.

These are not good things to have your seniors think about you.

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So many have asked this question before to themselves. You won’t be the first and you won’t be the last.

I was in your position last year and I can honestly say the best thing to do is to leave the cadets and take a break for a while and experience what the UAS has to offer.

I don’t agree that it is immature for someone to not want to leave the cadets behind as some may think. When you’ve invested so much time (over 6 years in my case) dedicating yourself to help your unit improve, it is hard to let go. It was such a big part of my life that when it did end, it almost felt like ending a relationship.

Although I didn’t leave on good terms it was still hard to leave. And if I’m honest, I still find it hard to completely disconnect as I obviously have a cheeky look on here from time to time :wink:.

By all means join the UAS and have a couple of weeks maybe even months overlap to see if it is for you. If it is, I’d advise you to leave the cadets. If it is not, you still have a unit to go back to in the holidays.

The UAS will treat you so differently to the cadets. You’ll actually be treated like an adult and a human being, unlike staff cadets. You’ll be able to drink, talk with officers, experience things to do with Officer life in the RAF and so much more. It will really be a world away from the cadets and if you do enjoy it, I’d be surprised if you would want to go back to the cadets.

I know it’s hard to even think of not being a cadet at the moment, especially if you have been doing it for a long time. I honestly think you’ll be better to have a break from the cadets and experience both UAS and uni life. You won’t have the time to do both of those as well as studying for a degree and being in the cadets all at once.

But I am me and you are you. I don’t know you, I don’t know what you’re like and ultimately it has to be your own decision. Read all the advice here, decide what you want to do and try have a clear plan in your head.

Whatever you choose to do, I wish you the best of luck!



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