About the ATC

In 1938 the Air Defence Cadet Corps (ADCC) was founded to prepare Cadets for joining the RAF or the Fleet Air Arm.

During World War II, with many instructors being drafted into the RAF and squadron buildings being used by the military, Cadets were sent to work on RAF stations. They carried messages, handled aircraft and moved equipment. They filled thousands of sandbags and loaded miles of belts of ammunition.

In 1940, following a Government directive, The ADCC was reorganised and on the 5th February 1941 the Air Training Corps was officially established with King George VI as the Air Commodore-in-Chief. The organisation has gone from strength to strength over the last few decades and in 2011 celebrated its 70th Anniversary.

With over 40,000 Cadets members, aged from 13 to 20 years, and nearly 10,000 uniformed and civilian Staff, in over 1,000 Squadrons across the UK, the Air Cadets is the world’s largest premier youth air training organisation.

The aims of the ATC are to:

  • Promote and encourage a practical interest in aviation and the Royal Air Force among young people.
  • Provide training which will be useful in the Services and civilian life,
  • Encourage the spirit of adventure and develop qualities of leadership and good citizenship.