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Training | Ground | Air

Academic | Radio Communications | Sport | Adventure Training | Shooting

The ATC has a classification based academic training system.  At each stage the cadets sit multiple choice exams to test their knowledge of the subjects taught.  Further details are given below.

The Classifications

First class


1st Class Cadet

To be eligible to sit the First Class Cadet examination cadets must be enrolled and must have completed the syllabus for the subjects.





To be eligible to sit the Leading Cadet examinations, a cadet must have been appointed as a First Class Cadet and have completed the appropriate syllabus training including at least 25 hours of project work





To be eligible to sit the Senior Cadet examinations, a cadet must have been appointed as a Leading Cadet and have completed the appropriate syllabus training including a further 25 hours (or more) of project work.


Staff Lanyard



To be eligible to sit either Part 1 or Part 2 of the Staff Cadet examination, cadets must have:

a. Been appointed as a Senior Cadet.
b. Reached the age of at least 15 years 6 months.
c. Completed at least 2 years enrolled service.
d. Attended at least one Corps annual camp.
e. Completed the Staff Cadet syllabus including approved citizenship training and a further 25 hours (or more) of project training.
f. Completed the First Class Shot Test within the last 12 months.


The Air Cadet Organisation has its own radio networks for cadets to practice radio operating procedures and techniques and to exchange messages with other cadets around the UK and overseas.

Full training is given and cadets can earn their Radio Operator certificate and Communicator Badge. Qualified cadets work as radio operators at various events, passing safety and administrative messages, and can take part in radio operating competitions.

The skill is useful in both civilian and service life, and can count towards the D of E award.


There are three qualifications available to cadets for radio operating skills:

Provisional Radio Operators' Certificate - This certificate is available for either HF or VHF operating. Awarded locally to cadets who can demonstrate a knowledge of Air Cadet radio operating procedures, techniques and basic radio operating skills.

Full Radio Operators' Certificate - As above - awarded to cadets who can demonstrate more advanced radio operating knowledge and skills.

Communicator Badge - Awarded to cadets who have achieved their Full Radio Operators' Certificate and who undertake training in a number of additional communications modules and can demonstrate knowledge of the subjects covered.


Radio Communicator Badge for wearing on the brassard

The ATC offers a wide range of sporting activities to its cadets. With cadets able to compete not only at Wing level but also at Region and Corps (National) Levels.

Cadets are actively encouraged to participate in any number of the following sports:

5-A-Side Football
Cross Country


Adventure Training is always a great hit with cadets, throughout the whole of the Corps !

Adventure Training forms an essential part of the Air Cadets training
syllabus. Venture/Adventure is the ATC motto and Bristol & Gloucestershire Wing offers its cadets the chance to taste adventure in all types of situations. As well as helping cadets forge new friendships, adventure training enables all cadets to show off their leadership qualities. Cadets not only enjoy the various activities, but they also learn and develop new skills at the same time.

Adventure Training events can take many different forms:
Night Exercises
   Camping Expeditions
   Map and Compass Work
   Initiative & Leadership Exercise
   Rock Climbing, Abseiling, Canoeing and Orienteering


Cadets at all levels have the opportunity to participate in the sport of target rifle shooting but it is not mandatory.

All shooting is carried out in the prone position (the firer lying on their stomach) firing at static, paper targets. It is a very popular activity and many cadets take part in local and national competitions.

The basic rifle that cadets are trained on is the No. 8 bolt action rifle, which began life as the Enfield No. 4 rifle and was modified to have a shorter barrel and to fire the .22 long rifle round. The No. 8 rifle itself is a nice, simple weapon - ideal for training - which operates with a manually fed bolt action. There is very little noise from the rifle, though ear defenders are always worn when it is being fired.

Cadets are trained and shown the No. 8 rifle in detail. The commands and practices used on the rifle range are also explained so that cadets know exactly what to expect before they are allowed anywhere near the range. Only after cadets have successfully passed a comprehensive Weapon Handling Test will they be taken to the range and allowed to fire.