New Commission for Cadet Force Volunteers

HM The Queen Approves New Commission for Cadet Force Volunteers


HM The Queen has approved an historic new commission for Cadet Force volunteers.


The new commission will be introduced for adult volunteer officers in the RAF Air Cadets, the Sea Cadets, the Army Cadet Force and the Combined Cadet Force Contingents in schools and colleges from April.


Her Majesty has approved in principle the adoption of a single bespoke commission for officers of the cadet forces of the United Kingdom – the first of its kind created for 155 years – to recognise the immense contribution made by volunteer staff as leaders of national uniformed youth organisations sponsored by the Ministry of Defence.


In the RAF Air Cadets, the new commission will replace the existing commission whereby officers are appointed into the Training Branch of the RAF Volunteer Reserve.


The change should allow the RAF Air Cadets to reduce the myriad of different rules, regulations and procedures accompanying commissions and will allow for the introduction of simpler administrative processes.


The new process will see officers commissioned into the RAF Air Cadets and then appointed to service with the Air Training Corps or Combined Cadet Force (RAF).


All new officers commissioned from April will be awarded the new Cadet Forces Commission and wear the new insignia.




To mark the change, the RAF Air Cadets will introduce new insignia on uniforms – for both officers, warrant officers and senior non-commissioned officers (SNCOs) - strengthening its wider branding.


The insignia has been developed after consultation with adult volunteers and senior RAF personnel. One of the changes will see the term VR(T) - indicating a member of the Training Branch of the RAF Volunteer Reserve - changed to RAF Air Cadets on embroidered RAF rank slides.


Current plans are for all existing RAF Air Cadets officers, (warrant officers and SNCOs) to use the new insignia before October 2017. “RAFAC - the accepted abbreviation for RAF Air Cadets – will be used on lapel pins to be provided for No1 and No5 uniform. “An option to provide “mud guards” reading RAF Air Cadets for use on No1s and No 5s (in addition to the lapel pins), is under consideration.




For many years, the collective administrative term for the Air Training Corps and the Combined Cadet Forces (RAF) has been the Air Cadet Organisation (ACO).


From October 2017, all branding throughout the organisation will reflect the corporate logo “RAF Air Cadets” with the abbreviation RAFAC as required.




Commandant RAF Air Cadets, Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty said: “This is a truly historic moment as it is the first new commission to be introduced for 155 years and the first time we have badged all our adult volunteers with the same insignia, demonstrating their membership of one organisation, the RAF Air Cadets.


The commission is especially for our adult volunteers who commit so much of their time to running activities for more than 41,000 RAF air cadets across the UK and beyond.


There are a number of advantages to the new commission but mostly it provides a dedicated commission for the adult volunteer officers in the Cadet Forces which differentiates them from Regular and Reservist personnel who undertake very different roles and have different terms and conditions of service. For the RAF Air Cadets it also gives us the opportunity to strengthen our corporate brand, which is already well established but was occasionally confused by the use of the term ACO.


The new commission and branding are symbolic of our willingness as an organisation to embrace change and modernise to better meet the needs of current and future generations. The RAF Air Cadets enjoy an excellent global reputation and I welcome this as we move forward with our 2025 Vision.


MORE INFORMATION See Bader for more information on the commission and insignia changes.


The Commissioning Act of 11th April 1862 was the last time a commission was created. All UK Armed Forces commissions appear to date back to that point. Source: DRFC. 

Commandants Xmas Message 2016

2016 12 20
To all members of the Air Cadet Organisation
As an incredible year draws to a close, I place on record my sincere appreciation to all members of the Organisation for delivering a memorable 75th anniversary of the Air Training Corps. This time last year, our ambitious plans for events across the UK lay ahead of us and I wondered if we would have the collective and individual capacity to deliver all that we had promised. I should not have had any doubts. Staff, volunteers and cadets exceeded even my highest expectations and I look back on 2016 as a year when we raised the profile of RAF Cadets and celebrated our milestone anniversary in style. Plaudits continue to pour in from the thousands of people who were involved in our events in one way or another and I know that the Chief of the Air Staff and his senior team could not be prouder of their cadet force.


I could write reams about the year but I think you all know how well we did, delivering a memorable anniversary whilst also continuing the "business as usual" of supporting cadet activity for more than 40,000 young people. I could not be prouder of everyone involved in the Organisation and I hope everyone reading this will take justifiable pride in their contribution, no matter how big or small or where and when you did your bit. Thousands of volunteers doing their bit, week in, week out, is what makes the Air Cadet Organisation a world-leading uniformed youth organisation which is the envy of many and a shining example of how volunteers, supported by excellent staff, can really make a difference to the lives of young people and contribute so much to local communities.


As you all prepare for what I hope will be a period of rest and recuperation with family and friends, I send my personal best wishes to every member of the Organisation for a peaceful and happy festive season. I know many of you will still be working but I hope you, too, will find time to recharge the batteries and return in 2017 to carry on the excellent work in support of our cadets. Thank you for everything you have done and will continue to do to support the Next Generation.
Dawn McCafferty Air Commodore Commandant Air Cadet Organisation

Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award

Sussex Wings Adventure Training Technical Officer CI Mark Sinclear had the pleasure to be able to present the DofE Gold Award badge and pin to CWO George Allan at the 45F SQN dinner last night. 


CWO Allan


Trafalger 2016


After an intensive but enjoyable few days of rehearsals at Portsmouth, the day dawned bright and sunny for Sussex Air Cadets to take part for the seventh time in Trafalgar Day Parade in London. Before the Parade prepared to march off to Trafalgar Square there was time for Tim Humphries of BFBS to talk to Warrant Officer ATC Gareth Carthew - 2464 (Storrington) Squadron, a member of the Dril...l & Discipline Team for the weekend, as well as two air cadet representatives, Cadet Simon Wisniewski - 2529 (Burgess HIll) Squadron and Cadet Sergeant Georgia Allison - 1414 (Crowborough) Squadron.


On Trafalgar Square just before the formal parade, there were displays by the Junior Sea Cadets (aged 10-12) for the very first time, as well as traditional club swinging. Marching from Horseguards, the first to arrive on Trafalgar Square are always the markers. The main parade is lead by the mass band of the Sea Cadets with the Air Cadets leading the marching contingent. Trafalgar Square is quickly filled with Sea Cadets and Marine Cadets from many Regions. Another first this year was an all female colour party who arrived with the traditional escort. Reviewing Officer for the Parade this year was Rear Admiral Simon Williams CVO, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Personnel) and Flag Officer Maritime Reserves.


Group Captain Al Lewis, Regional Commandant London & South East Region Air Cadets, escorted by Squadron Leader Neil Banks, Sussex Wing Executive Officer, inspected the ATC contingent which was lead by Flight Lieutenant Vicki Fisher - 88 (Battle) Squadron and Sergeant Amy Vincent - 176 (Hove) Squadron, and made up of cadets from across East and West Sussex.


Once the formal parade was over and the march past had taken place, the band led the cadets up the Mall and round to Wellington Barracks, and to a well earned lunch in Wellington Barracks Mess for the 400+ participants. Sergeant Georgia Allison, who had been interviewed earlier in the day by BFBS reflected on the whole experience and said: "One of the best parts of today has been all three cadet forces doing something together." These sentiments were echoed by Rear Admiral Williams when he spoke to all the assembled cadets and thanked them for an outstanding parade to celebrate one of our greatest sailors.



ATC 2020 Strategy

Royal Air Force Air Cadets 2020 Strategy


Please click here to see Air Commodore McCafferty RAFR, Commandant Air Cadets gives a brief introduction to the importance of the 2020 Strategy in the first and second video in a four part mini series.


Part One 


Part Two