Ranks of the ATC

Cadet Ranks

All cadet squadrons rely on their cadet NCOs for the general running of each parade night and so cadet ranks are only given to those that have shown the necessary qualities we look for, such as leadership, lateral thinking and attention to detail. Only Non-Commissioned Ranks are available to cadets and these mirror the ranks of the RAF, each having its own specific role on the Squadron.

Cadet Corporal

Promotion to the rank of Corporal is usually after 2 to 3 years service in the ATC, by which point potential Junior NCOs (JNCOs) will be at least a Leading Classification Cadet and showing the maturity and leadership skills to carry out the post. Duties may include registering cadets, teaching drill and running the Squadron stores.

Cadet Sergeant

The Sergeant is the first of the Senior NCO ranks and therefore handles a greater amount of responsibility on the Squadron. The time to promotion may be up to two years after becoming a Corporal. Duties will include planning nightly activities and helping maintain the standards of both the cadets and the Squadron building.

Cadet Flight Sergeant

The Flight Sergeant rank is the last rank that can be awarded by the Squadron Commander to one of his/her cadets and is the link between the cadets and staff. Some of the duties of the Flight Sergeant will be teaching the cadets, managing the Junior NCOs and planning Squadron activities up to a month in advance.

Cadet Warrant Officer

This rank can only be attained through an application to the Wing (the unit level responsible for up to thirty squadrons). After an interview with two Squadron Leaders and the Wing Commander, if passed, a Flight Sergeant may be awarded the rank of Warrant Officer. Cadets must be Instructor Cadet Class and 18 years old. Duties will include responsibility for all the cadets of the Squadron, managing the NCO team, teaching cadets and also commitment to Wing roles.

Adult Officer Ranks

All officers of the ATC are fully trained members of the RAF Reserves and so, like Regular RAF officers, hold a Queen's Commission. Therefore they have a commissioned rank.

Pilot Officer

Pilot Officer is the most junior of the commissioned ranks and is usually only held for a short period after the end of officer training.

Flying Officer

Flying Officer is a more common rank within the ATC and is usually held by officers on a squadron junior to that of the Squadron Commander such as his/her adjutant.

Flight Lieutenant

Flight Lieutenant's rank (pronounced lef-tenant) is usually held by Squadron Commanders within the ATC, or by those whose length of service makes them eligible for the rank.

Adult Non-Commissioned Ranks

Non-Commissioned Ranks differ from Commissioned Ranks in that they do not hold a commission. However Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) fulfil an important role on the Squadron, being more involved with the day-to-day running of the Squadron as well as running activities and exercises for cadets.

Sergeant

The most junior rank of adult NCO, the Sergeant's primary duties are to assist the more senior ranks in anything from drill and discipline to administration.

Flight Sergeant

The Flight Sergeant of the ATC is a rank of great import as it takes several years to attain this rank. Flight Sergeants assume the role of Squadron Warrant Officer if no Warrant Officer is present and they carry with them a great deal of knowledge about the workings of the ATC.

Warrant Officer

Warrant Officers are the primary link between cadets and Commissioned Officers and so it is expected of them that they have an intimate understanding of the Squadron and also help steer the squadron as a whole. Their primary focus is on drill and discipline, uniform and Squadron armaments.

Adult Non-Commissioned Ranks

Non-Commissioned Ranks differ from Commissioned Ranks in that they do not hold a commission. However Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) fulfil an important role on the Squadron, being more involved with the day-to-day running of the Squadron as well as running activities and exercises for cadets.