992 (Malmesbury) Squadron
Royal Air Force Air Cadets

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Classifications and Ranks in the Air Training Corps

There are Four Stages in a cadets academic progression throughout the Air Training Corps, these stages are referred to as Classifications, all hold different identification badges as well as the basis for allowing cadets to access different activities.

First Class


After completing the 8 Week recruit phase as a Second Class Cadet, cadets are progressed to First Class which allows them to go away on Camps, Flying etc.

To obtain First Class, cadets will have completed the First Class curriculum which includes subjects such as the RAF, First Aid, Airmanship and Navigation.


Leading Cadet


After obtaining the First Class classification, cadets will progress to Leading Cadet status. Like First Class, cadets are required to take lessons in subjects similar to those studied at First Class, but at greater detail. Cadets taking the Leading Cadet classification are required to sit online examinations to assess their progress within the Air Training Corps

Senior Cadet


After obtaining the Leading Cadet classification, cadets progress to Senior Cadet, by which time they would have gained a wealth of knowledge and experience. Senior cadet involves the studying of 3 subjects of the Cadets choice (They can choose from 12 subjects) which include Advanced Aircraft Navigation, Air Power and Engine studies (Piston and Jet). All subjects conclude with 3 online examinations.

Master Air Cadet


After obtaining Senior Cadet, cadets progress to their final Classification. Like Senior Cadet, this classification requires the cadet to study 3 subjects of their choice. On completing Master Air Cadet, cadets are eligible to be awarded a BTEC Certificate in Aviation Studies.

Ranks in the Air Training Corps

The ATC uses a replica rank system and structure to that of the Royal Air Force. Cadets are able to progress through 5 cadet NCO ranks throughout their cadet careers. Each Cadet NCO rank holds different responsibilities and like classifications, some ranks allow you to participate in other activities.



Adult staff are also split into ranking structures; Adult staff can hold a commission in the RAF Volunteer Reserve (Training Branch) whilst many are Adult NCO's in the Air Training Corps.

Cadet Corporal


This is the first promotable rank a cadet can achieve, a corporal is referred to as a "JNCO" (Junior Non Commissioned Officer), promotion to corporal is decided on the invidivudal cadet's leadership, organization, drill and communication potential. At 992 promotion to Corporal is filtered through a "PJNCO" (Potential Junior Non-Commisioned Officer) process which tests their abilities defined above.

Cadet Corporals are required to attend the Wing JNCO Development course to improve and test their current strengths.

Corporals often take the role of a Section IC in one of the two squadron flights.

Cadet Sergeant


This is the second promotable rank a cadet can achieve, the rank of sergeant is classed as a SNCO rank (Senior Non Commisioned Officer), promotion to SNCO is decided using the cadets prior performance as a Corporal, but also on their completion of the Wing JNCO Course. Cadet Sergeants are usually responsible for a Squadron Flight and the NCO team, as well as managing the JNCO's below them.

Cadet Sergeants are required to attend a Wing SNCO course which will determine their suitability for promotion to Flight Sergeant

Cadet Flight Sergeant


This is the third, and last promotable rank a cadet can achieve via promotion from their Squadron Commander. Promotion to Flight Sergeant will have been determined by the cadets prior tenure as a Cadet Sergeant and their completion of a wing SNCO course. Flight Sergeants play a crucial role in the dynamics of the Squadron NCO team as a 'Junior Manager'. 


Cadet Warrant Officer


This is the final rank a Cadet can achieve, promotion to Cadet Warrant Officer is based on many years of commitment to the ATC as well as potential as a young adult working with Adult Staff and the NCO team. Cadets must be 18 for suitability for 'CWO' and their Squadron Commanders must reccomend them to the Wing Commander for promotion. Cadet Warrant Officers are classed as "Staff Cadets" due to their 18+ age, and as such, the words "Staff Cadet" feature in their rank slides (Left).