Military Wiki
Australian Air Force Cadets
File:Crest of the Australian Air Force Cadets (Aug 10).jpg
Active 1941 – present
Role Volunteer Youth Organisation
Size Cadets: 10000
Number of Squadrons: 143
Uniformed Staff: 980
Civilian Staff: 335[1]
Part of Australian Defence Force Cadets
Headquarters National Website
Motto(s) Educate, Challenge, Excites
Director General Cadets – Air Force (DGCADETS-AF) Air Commodore Dennis Green
Ceremonial chief Group Captain (AAFC) Ken Given
Aircraft flown

Glider (sailplane): Schleicher ASK 13, L-13 Blanik, Grob G103a Twin II, Grob G103 Twin II Acro, MotorFalke SF-25C.

Powered, fixed-wing aircraft: Cessna 152, Cessna 172, Piper PA-38

The Australian Air Force Cadets (AAFC), known as the Air Training Corps (AIRTC) until 2001, is a Federal Government funded youth organisation. The parent force of the AAFC is the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Along with the Australian Army Cadets (AAC) and the Australian Navy Cadets (ANC) it is part of the Australian Defence Force Cadets.


The broad aim of the Australian Air Force Cadets is to better equip young people for community life by fostering initiative, leadership, discipline and loyalty through a training program designed to stimulate an interest in the Royal Australian Air Force. The training program is structured to reflect the following objectives:

  • To give Cadets a foundation of Air Force knowledge and discipline,
  • To develop the qualities of leadership, initiative and self-reliance,
  • To develop good character and good citizenship in the widest sense,
  • To develop an interest in the Royal Australian Air Force and aviation generally,
  • To instil a knowledge of the history of aviation, and
  • To encourage Cadets to continue an active interest in aviation into their adult life.[2]

AAFC activities

Australian Air Force Cadet parade at the memorial outside St John's Ashfield

Cadets receive the opportunity to participate in a wide range of activities such as:

Requirements to join

The minimum requirements for enrolment in the Australian Air Force Cadets are as follows:

  • Must be at least 12 and a half years of age,
  • Must be a person ordinarily resident in Australia,
  • Must have parents' or guardians' permission to enrol,
  • Be medically fit to the standards detailed in Chapter 10 of the AAFC Policy Manual, and capable of carrying out the normal duties and activities of a cadet in the Australian Air Force Cadets,
  • Not be a member of any other sub-component of the Australian Defence Force Cadets, or a member of any of the Defence Forces, either full-time or ADF Reserve, and
  • Have parents' or guardians' permission for a qualified medical practitioner to anaesthetise and operate in an emergency.

As of December 2018, the termination age for cadets is 18. Existing cadets over 18 will be allowed to complete the year and then either be terminated or transitioned to staff. Terminated cadets who have reached 18 years of age are entitled to re-apply as an Instructor of Cadets or Officer of Cadets (staff member) at a squadron.

Cadets and staff are civilians and are not automatically entitled to, or required to serve in the Australian Defence Forces.

Ranks of the AAFC

Cadet Ranks of the AAFC
Insignia Rankslide AAFC CDT.jpg Rankslide AAFC LCDT.jpg Rankslide AAFC CCPL.jpg Rankslide AAFC CSGT.jpg Rankslide AAFC CFSGT.jpg Rankslide AAFC CWOFF.jpg Rankslide AAFC CUO.jpg
Rank Cadet Leading Cadet Cadet Corporal Cadet Sergeant Cadet Flight Sergeant Cadet Warrant Officer Cadet Under Officer

(NOTE: To distinguish Cadets from current serving ADF Personnel, each cadet rank holds the prefix letter 'C' in the name.)

  • Cadet Recruit (REC) - Recruits are generally the newest cadets of the AAFC who are undertaking their Recruit stage of training. Within a Squadron, they are generally allocated to a Flight or Section, or inside of a Training Flight separate from cadets who are undertaking higher stages of training.
  • Cadet (CDT) - Cadets are uniformed members of the AAFC that have completed their Recruit stage of training, and currently undertaking coursework for their Basic stage of training. They are generally allocated members of a Section, alongside up to 7 other cadets. They are considered for minor roles within the Squadron, such as the nightly role of Duty Cadet on occassion.
  • Leading Cadet (LCDT) - Leading Cadets are cadets that have completed, at a minimum, their Basic stage of training, and are either undertaking their Proficiency or Advanced stage of training, or if they are qualified in both of those areas, are undertaking training through Elective courses. Leading Cadets, just like Cadets, are allocated to Sections. Leading Cadets are not considered superior to Cadets or Recruits, for their rank is only awarded as a demonstration of proficiency and experience through their training stages. For this reason, Awarding the rank of Leading Cadet is considered a Reclassification, and not a Promotion. Leading Cadets are also considered for higher priority roles, such as Duty Cadet, or Section 2nd-In-Command. More senior Leading Cadets may also be considered for other Squadron roles.
  • Cadet Corporal (CCPL) - Cadet Corporals are the first form of Non-Commissioned Officer within the AAFC Cadet Rank Structure. Leading Cadets may be promoted to Corporal if they demonstrate general leadership, organisation and teamwork standards within the Squadron. They are required to be sent on the Cadet Junior Non-Commissioned Officer Course (or JNCOs), and must attain a minimum grade of 'Pass' on the overall course.Cadet Corporals are generally appointed as Section Commanders, and must be able to act as the Flight Marker, Flight Sergeant and Flight Commander on the parade square. Cadet Corporals are addressed by all subordinate ranks as 'Corporal'.
  • Cadet Sergeant (CSGT) - Cadet Sergeants are the Senior Non-Commissioned Officers in a Squadron. Usually at a very minimum, the senior cadet within a Squadron will be holding the rank of Cadet Sergeant, as Cadet Sergeants should be able to at least act in any role available to cadets within a Squadron. Cadet Corporals can be promoted to Cadet Sergeant if they demonstrate high standards of discipline, personal bearing and dress, leadership, teamwork and command presence. They are also required to be sent on the Cadet Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Course (or SNCOs), and must attain a minimum grade of Pass upon completion. Cadet Sergeants are generally appointed as Flight Commanders within a Squadron, with Flights generally consisting of 2 or more Sections. Cadet Sergeants are also the first cadet rank that is qualified to teach course material to cadets unsupervised. They must be able to act as any role on a parade square to a minimal standard, including Parade Warrant Officer and Parade Commander, but generally hold the role of Flight Commander within the parade ground. Cadet Sergeants are addressed by subordinate ranks as 'Sergeant'.
  • Cadet Flight Sergeant (CFSGT) - Cadet Flight Sergeant is the senior grade of SNCO that may be awarded to cadets for demonstrating general proficiency as a Cadet Sergeant, and generally acts as an in between rank of Non-Commissioned Officer and Senior Cadet. Cadet Flight Sergeant is awarded to Cadet Sergeants after a minimum 6 months as Cadet Sergeant, and after working on a major project that is approved by the Squadron CO that entails promotion (ie; organizing a major squadron activity), and holding a senior position within the Squadron. Cadet Flight Sergeants are addressed as 'Flight Sergeant', however, during informal situations, and with the permission of the Cadet Flight Sergeant in question, it would be appropriate to address the Cadet Flight Sergeant simply as 'Flight'.
  • Cadet Warrant Officer (CWOFF) - Cadet Warrant Officer is the first of two Senior Cadet ranks within the AAFC. The Cadet Warrant Officer is required to hold the highest standards of Discipline, Dress and Bearing, Leadership, and general subject matter knowledge (most specifically within Drill). Cadet Warrant Officer can be awarded to Cadet Sergeants or Cadet Flight Sergeants that are selected to attend the Cadet Warrant Officer Course (or CWOFFs) and are required to achieve a minimum grade of Pass upon completion. Cadet Warrant Officers are generally appointed on a Squadron Level as Cadet Squadron Warrant Officer, or may attain a Wing level (state) appointment, such as CRGREP (Cadet Reference Group Representitive) or ASSISTCRGREP (Assistant Cadet Reference Group Representitive). They are considered specialists in Drill and Ceremonial, and can function in any role with extreme detail on the parade ground, but generally function as the Parade Warrant Officer. They are also generally appointed the senior drill instructor within a Squadron. Cadet Warrant Officers may be considered for course staff positions during GST Courses, or JNCO Promotion Courses. Cadet Warrant Officers are addressed by subordinates as 'Sir' or 'Ma'am', and by superiors or peers as 'Warrant Officer'.
  • Cadet Under Officer (CUO) - Cadet Under Officers (or frequently referred to by other cadets and staff as CUOs) are the senior most cadet rank within the AAFC. They hold a position equivalent to that of an Officer Commission on a cadet level (that being said, CUOs do not hold a genuine commission, and are only to be treated as such by subordinate cadets). CUO can be awarded to Cadet Sergeants, Cadet Flight Sergeants and Cadet Warrant Officers that attend the Cadet Under Officer course (or CUOs) and achieve the minimum grade of Pass upon completion. CUOs are generally appointed to the position of Cadet Executive Officer (CXO) within the Squadron, and act as a senior adviser to all subordinate cadets, including Cadet NCOs and Warrant Officers. CUOs are required to have an outstanding standard of organisation, work ethic, attitude and leadership above all else. CUOs may be considered for Wing positions such as CRGREP or ASSISTCRGREP. On the parade ground, CUOs may generally hold the position of Parade Commander, or act as the parade Reviewing Officer. CUOs may be considered for course staff on GST Courses, JNCO or SNCO Promotion Courses. CUOs are addressed by all subordinate ranks, including Cadet Warrant Officers, as 'Sir' or 'Ma'am', and if wearing the correct uniform and head dress, a direct salute is added. Staff and peers will generally refer to them as 'CUO'.
Instructor Ranks of the AAFC (Instructor of Cadets – IOC)[3]
Insignia Rankslide AAFC AC.jpg Rankslide AAFC LAC.jpg Rankslide AAFC CPL.jpg Rankslide AAFC SGT.jpg Rankslide AAFC FSGT.jpg Rankslide AAFC WOFF.jpg
Rank Aircraftman (AAFC)/Aircraftwoman (AAFC) Leading Aircraftman (AAFC)/Leading Aircraftwoman (AAFC) Corporal (AAFC) Sergeant (AAFC) Flight Sergeant (AAFC) Warrant Officer (AAFC)
Officer Ranks of the AAFC (Officer of Cadets – OOC):[3]
Insignia Rankslide AAFC PLTOFF.jpg Rankslide AAFC FLGOFF.jpg Rankslide AAFC FLTLT.jpg Rankslide AAFC SQNLDR.jpg Rankslide AAFC WGCDR.jpg Rankslide AAFC GPCAPT.jpg
Rank Pilot Officer (AAFC) Flying Officer (AAFC) Flight Lieutenant (AAFC) Squadron Leader (AAFC) Wing Commander (AAFC) Group Captain (AAFC)


National Level


The AAFC organisation as a whole falls under the command of Headquarters AAFC (HQAAFC). HQAAFC has no physical location as it is made up of members from around the country. The only person to hold the rank of Group Captain (AAFC) [GPCAPT(AAFC)] is the Commander – Australian Air Force Cadets (CDR-AAFC). The CDR-AAFC reports to the Director General Cadets – Air Force, a member of the RAAF who holds the rank of Air Commodore, who reports to the RAAF chain of command.

Under HQAAFC are the Operational Wings and Directorates, each headed by a Wing Commander [WGCDR(AAFC)] who holds the appointment of Officer Commanding or Director respectively.

The primary positions within HQAAFC are[4][5][6]

Position Abbreviation Current Appointment
Commander – Australian Air Force Cadets CDR-AAFC GPCAPT (AAFC) Ken Given
Deputy Commander – Australian Air Force Cadets DCDR-AAFC WGCDR (AAFC) Paul Gregory
(Formerly Chief of Staff – Australian Air Force Cadets [COS-AAFC]). Commands HQAAFC, Directors report through DCDR-AAFC to CDR-AAFC. DCDR-AAFC responsible for personnel and organisational management.
Chief of Operations – Australian Air Force Cadets COO-AAFC WGCDR (AAFC) Ian Harding
Operational Wing Officers Commanding report through COO-AAFC to CDR-AAFC. COO-AAFC responsible for compliance with governance requirements.
Senior Safety Advisor SSA-AAFC WGCDR (AAFC) Greg Stagbouer
Warrant Officer – Australian Air Force Cadets WOFF-AAFC WOFF (AAFC) Mark Merrell


Directorates perform a service support function to Operational Wings. There are four primary Directorates:[4]

Directorate Name Abbreviation Director
Cadet Support Directorate CSD 'Director Cadet Support (DCS) WGCDR (AAFC) Anthony Lee
(Replaces International and Public Affairs Directorate [DIPA] and Admin Services Directorate [ASD]) Responsible for operational activities such as firearms, public affairs and the International Air Cadet Exchange and for the planning and execution of the national competitions (includes the National Operations Cell).
Logistics Directorate LOGD Director Logistics (DLOG) WGCDR (AAFC) Barry Lonergan
Responsible for the development of policies on, and organises logistic issues such as uniforms and equipment distribution.
Ground Training Directorate GTD Director Ground Training (DGT) WGCDR (AAFC) Shaun Young
Responsible for the development of high-level policies on ground training (Squadron training, Cadet promotion courses, fieldcraft, firearms, roping activities, staff training, etc.).
Aviation Training Directorate ATD Director Aviation Training (DAT) WGCDR (AAFC) Mark Dorward
Responsible for the development of high-level policies in relation to flying training (Gliding, Powered Flying).

Cadet Branch – Air Force

Position Abbreviation Director
Director General Cadets – Air Force DGCADETS-AF AIRCDRE Dennis Green AM
Deputy Director General Cadets – Air Force DDGCADETS-AF GPCAPT Murray Spittle
Director Cadet Operations DCDTOPS WGCDR Michael Barnsley
Director Cadet Administration DCDTADMIN WGCDR Daryll Topp
Coordination Manager COORDMGR MR Rob West
Director Cadet Facilities & Logistics DFACLOG APS Mal Leonard
National Safety Advisor NSA APS Jeffrey Ballard

Operational Wings

Operational Wing Location Officer Commanding
No. 1 Wing Northern Queensland WGCDR (AAFC) Danny Pieri
No. 2 Wing Southern Queensland WGCDR (AAFC) John Devereux
No. 3 Wing New South Wales, including the Australian Capital Territory WGCDR (AAFC) Joseph Laycock
No. 4 Wing Victoria WGCDR (AAFC) Elizabeth Flanagan
No. 5 Wing Tasmania WGCDR (AAFC) David Read
No. 6 Wing South Australia WGCDR (AAFC) Peter Gill
No. 7 Wing Western Australia WGCDR (AAFC) Robert Somerville AM
No. 8 Wing Northern Territory WGCDR (AAFC) Andrew Shearman OAM

Each Wing contains a number of different squadrons. For more information on specific squadrons see List of Australian Air Force Cadet units and Australian Air Force Cadets – Our Squadrons.

Each year the Royal Australian Air Force awards the "Australian Air Force Cadets – Air Force Trophy". The winner of the Air Force Trophy is honoured with the custodianship of the AAFC National Banner for the following year.

Wing Cadet Reference Group

  • Role of the Cadet Reference Group: The role of the CRG is to provide a forum where cadets within SQNs can provide feedback on matters that affect them and can receive information being passed down from OCs and COs. The CRG should contribute to the management decisions within its SQN and Wing by providing a cadets’ perspective to their CO or OC, through their nominated representative, when the leadership team is considering issues that directly impact on cadets. [7]
  • The Cadet Reference Group (CRG) is a cadet body within the Australian Air Force Cadets (AAFC) established to represent the views of AAFC Cadets to the strategic level of management.
  • There should be two representatives from each Squadron (flights do not have any representatives), a Cadet Reference Group Representative (CRGREP) and an Assistant Cadet Reference Group Representative (ASSTCRGREP).
  • Senior Cadets (CUO & CWOFF), and Cadet Senior Non-Commissioned Officers (CSNCO) – CWOFF, CFSGT & CSGT – will normally fulfill the CRGREP role for their Squadron whilst a CCPL to CDT would fulfill the ASSTCRGREP role.
  • The Squadron CRGREPs & ASSTCRGREPs report to their Wing CRG Executive (Chairman Wing Cadet Reference Group [CWCRG] & Deputy chairman Wing Cadet Reference Group [DCWCRG]). 2 & 3 Wings are broken down into regions: North, South, West & Metro(3 Wing). In these regions CRGREPs & ASSTCRGREPs report to their respective Regional Representatives who in turn report to their Wing's CRG Executive.
  • The Wing CRG chairman is responsible for providing representation to the management of the Wing by reporting to the Wing Officer Commanding, in some wings the CRG.

Command and structure

The AAFC organisation as a whole falls under the command of Headquarters AAFC (HQAAFC). HQAAFC has no physical location as it is made up of members from around the country. The only person to hold the rank of Group Captain (AAFC) is the Commander of the Australian Air Force Cadets (CDR-AAFC). The CDR-AAFC reports to the Director General Cadets – Air Force, a member of the RAAF who holds the rank of Air Commodore, and in turn reports to the RAAF chain of command.

Under HQAAFC are the Operational Wings and Directorates, each headed by a WGCDR(AAFC) who holds the appointment of Officer Commanding (OC) or Director respectively. Cadet squadrons only exist within the Operational Wings. They report to the Operational Wing Officer Commanding (often through an Executive Officer) and are commanded by a Commanding Officer. A squadron Commanding Officer (CO) will hold the rank of PLTOFF(AAFC), FLGOFF(AAFC) or FLTLT(AAFC) unless the officer holds another appointment which entitles them to a more senior rank, some squadrons are commanded by a WOFF(AAFC).

There are 8 Operational Wings for all states and territories, however the state of Queensland is divided into two Wings. There are also four directorates to serve a support function for operational wings: Admin Services Directorate (ASD), Logistics Directorate (LOGD), Ground Training Directorate (GTD) and Aviation Training Directorate (ATD).

As of 1 April 2005, a Squadron's establishment no longer justifies a CO to hold the rank of SQNLDR(AAFC) rank. However, it is still possible to have a CO of SQNLDR(AAFC) or even WGCDR(AAFC) rank, but only if that CO holds a wing or national position e.g. Officer Commanding, Director, Staff Officer or Deputy Director position in Wing or National HQ in addition to their appointment as a Squadron CO.

There are a number of key appointments within Wing Headquarters, including;

Appointment Abbreviation Rank
Executive Officer* XO SQNLDR (AAFC)
*Some wings have a regional appointment with the region appended to the title. e.g. Executive Officer (South) (XOS).
Staff Officer Ground Training* SOGT SQNLDR (AAFC)
*Some wings have specific appointments with the speciality appended to the title. e.g. Staff Officer Ground Training (Squadron) (SOGT(SQN)).
Staff Officer Management Services SOMS SQNLDR (AAFC)
Senior Aviation Officer SAO FLTLT (AAFC) – SQNLDR (AAFC)
Wing Warrant Officer WGWOFF WOFF (AAFC)
*Some wings have a regional appointment with the region appended to the title. e.g. Wing Warrant Officer (South) (WGWOFF(S)).
Regional Executive Instructor* RXI CPL (AAFC) – FSGT (AAFC)
*Some wings have regional appointments with the region appended to the title e.g. Regional Executive Instructor (West) (RXIW).
Chairman Wing Cadet Reference Group CWCRG CSGT – CUO

There are also a large number of other positions such as Administration Officer, Psychologist, Chaplain and various other training and administrative appointments. Larger Wings generally have more executive and other appointments e.g. No. 3 Wing (AAFC) has 3 additional Executive Officers, 3 additional Wing Warrant Officers (North, South and West) and 4 Regional Cadet Reference Group Representatives.

Each Wing has an Air Force Liaison Officer (AFLO), a RAAF officer (often a reservist) who is responsible for all activities requiring RAAF support for that region, amongst other duties.

Airmen/women and junior officers are posted to an individual squadron (as per a squadron's size) as instructors of cadets (IOC) and officers of cadets (OOC).

The AAFC incorporates a National Cadet Reference Group, comprising eight Wing Chairs under the direction and leadership of a Chairman of the NCRG and Deputy Chairman of the NCRG. This is the peak representative and advisory body acting on behalf of the cadets to the higher echelons of the organisation. The chairman is a default member of several groups through virtue of their appointment including the tri-service Cadet Consultative Forum, the AAFC Executive Council and the National Council among others.

AAFC Home Training

There are five stages of AAFC Home Training, each Training Stage has a number of subjects.

Cadet Recruit stage

This training stage is designed to give cadets fundamental knowledge required to participate in AAFC Home Parades and Activities. The course is should take between two to six months and should include at least one weekend of training. At the end of the course a cadet will be able to:

  • Wear the uniform correctly
  • Pay compliments in the correct manner
  • Care for the uniform correctly
  • Work as part of a team
  • Live in the field environment under supervision of more senior cadets
  • Understand their conditions of service
  • Participate in AAFC activities in a safe manner.[8]

Subjects in Cadet Recruit Stage are:[9]

Basic stage

This training stage is designed to take a cadet with fundamental knowledge and build on this to the point where the cadet is proficient at most basic activities. The successful completion of Basic Stage should see the cadet with the knowledge and skills required where they are able to take on more significant activities within the AAFC such as promotional courses, firearms training, weapons training and other activities that require a good understanding of the way the AAFC conducts training.[8]

Subjects in Basic Stage are:[10]

  • Aircraft Recognition Basic (ARB)
  • Aviation Basic (AVB)
  • Drill and Ceremonial Basic (DCB)
  • Fieldcraft Basic (FCB)
  • Cadet Skills Basic (CSB) (Formerly Service Knowledge Basic (SKB))

Proficiency Stage

This training stage is designed to be completed one year. Its aim is to refine the cadets’ knowledge and skills to the stage where they can contribute successfully to their squadron and are fully prepared to undertake more specific training such as promotion courses. Proficiency Stage comprises three compulsory core subjects (AVP, DCP, FCP) and three elective subjects. Those elective subjects must include at least one of ARP or SVP.[8]

Subjects in Proficiency Stage are:[11]

  • Aviation Proficiency (AVP)
  • Drill and Ceremonial Proficiency (DCP)
  • Fieldcraft Proficiency (FCP)
  • Aircraft Recognition Proficiency (ARP)
  • Survival Proficiency (SVP)

Advanced Stage

This stage of training is designed to provide cadets with extensive knowledge about the RAAF and the AAFC. It is designed to be less intensive and to allow instruction over two years (or more, if the squadron requires) so that CNCOs and other cadets in Advanced stage are able to contribute to the SQN in other ways. Advanced Stage comprises three compulsory core subjects (DCA, AVA and SKA) plus three other subjects. Those elective subjects must include at least one of ARA or SVA.[8]

Subjects in Advanced Stage are:[12]

  • Aviation Advanced (AVA)
  • Drill and Ceremonial Advanced (DCA)
  • Service Knowledge Advanced (SKA)
  • Aircraft Recognition Advanced (ARA)
  • Survival Advanced (SVA)

Qualified Stage

To complete Qualified Stage cadets are to complete a mix of Projects and Elective subjects. The mix of electives and projects may be:

  • Three projects
  • Two projects and two elective subjects
  • One project and four elective subjects.

Qualified Stage cadets who have Squadron duties such as instructing, administration, or supervising junior cadets may have these duties recognised in lieu of elective subjects in the form of a generic subject labelled Squadron Management Elective (SME1, SME2, SME3).[8]

Projects are substantial multi-media presentations that may be individual or team efforts. Projects should be relevant to ADF or AAFC themes. Examples of projects are:[13]

  • Substantially original video presentation of approximately 15 – 20 mins, accompanied by posters or booklets.
  • Flying or static model aircraft (ship, vehicle), with chart/poster/booklet. Particular examples could be the ‘Southern Cross’, or a 23 Squadron B 24, with historical chart/poster/booklet.
  • Diorama presentation of a particular event or scene, with accompanying audio or print material.
  • Compilation CD ROM of historical or training topic.
  • Electronic resources for a Squadron ‘open day’ or for a major public display.
  • Design and produce a Squadron Recruiting video.
  • Design and produce a Squadron Training Aid.



  • Personal Development (PDE) – previously compulsory for Basic Stage
  • Adventure Training (ADE)
  • Aeromodelling (AME)
  • Aircraft Engines (AEE)
  • Air Navigation (NVE)
  • Air Power (APE) – similar to Air Power on CUO Course, except that APE doesn't include a compulsory Case Study
  • Air Traffic Control (ATE)
  • Aircraft (Ground) Handling (AHE)
  • Aircraft (Ground) Safety (ASE)
  • Bivouac Planning Elective (BPE)
  • Drill & Ceremonial (DCE) Pt 1 – SLR L1A1
  • Drill & Ceremonial (DCE) Pt2 – Slr L1A1
  • Drill & Ceremonial (DCE) Pt3 – Slr L1A1
  • Field Operations (FOE)
  • Fire Safety Awareness (FSA)
  • Firearms Training (FTE)
  • Hovercraft (HCE)
  • Life Saving Elective (LSE)
  • Meteorology (MEE)
  • Model Rocketry (MRE) – Part 1
  • Model Rocketry (MRE) – Part 2
  • Motor Car Awareness (MCA)
  • Radio Ground Communications (RCE)
  • Basic Visual Tracking (VTE)

Drill and Ceremonial

AAFC training constitutes much Drill and Ceremonial training, ranging from basic static drill in recruit phase to advanced banner, Rifle and sword drill on officer courses. Each parade night a "squadron daily parade" is held (daily for RAAF SQNs, weekly for AAFC SQNs) in which all cadets participate, with CNCOs and above assuming executive position of Flight Sergeant (CCPL), Flight Commander (CSGT/CFSGT), Parade Warrant Officer (CWOFF), Parade Commander (CUO) and often Reviewing Officer (CUO). Lower ranks may hold these positions where there are insufficient senior cadets. Squadrons also hold CO's Parades (usually once a month but not always) where staff go on parade and the squadron is inspected by the Commanding Officer.

AAFC squadrons often form guards and banner parties at Anzac/Remembrance/Victory in the Pacific Day services and other cadets will march on these parades. Promotion course graduation parades are very significant events, often requiring days of training. These parades will often be reviewed by a senior RAAF officer and consist of a number of squadrons/flights as well as colour parties. Graduation parades will generally be armed (SNCO candidates and above only in some cases) with F88 Austeyrs, the Standard Individual Weapon of the Australian Defence Force (often issued the F88I submodel – meaning innocuous) and swords for executives. Colour party members are often temporarily issued ceremonial equipment such as White cotton gloves, Banner Girdle (for Banner/Colour Bearer) or Sash (Banner/Colour Warrant Officer) and white belts.

Drill and Ceremonial – Home Training

  • Drill and Ceremonial Recruit (DCR)[9] – Consists of basic static (on the spot) and marching drill, saluting and basic theory relating to aims of drill and safety considerations in drill.
  • Drill and Ceremonial Basic (DCB)[10] – Cadets consolidate their recruit drill and progress to more advanced marching including turns on the march.
  • Drill and Ceremonial Proficiency (DCP)[11] – Here LCDTs and NCOs officially learn the slow march (although this is often taught before a CDTs first end-of-year ceremonial parade) as well as more advanced manoeuvres such as change directions and forms.
  • Drill and Ceremonial Advanced (DCA)[12] – LCDTs and CNCOs in advanced stage complete learning of all flight drill movements consisting of double time and forming hollow square. DCA also consists of Command and Control (CC) (calling commands/fault correcting a flight of cadets) and Mutual Instruction (MI) (basic drill instruction) components.
  • Drill and Ceremonial Elective (DCE)[14] – Consists of three parts which can be taught together or separately. DCE is often taught in proficiency and/or advanced stage. Officially, it is rifle drill with the L1A1 SLR, although it may be conducted using the Austeyr F88, the Standard Individual Weapon of the Australian Defence Force (often issued the F88I Submodel – meaning innocuous). It covers all movements including basic rifle movements (shoulder arms, order arms, present arms, saluting with a rifle), rifle drill on the march, ceremonial rifle drill (rest on arms) and other movements such as Port Arms, High Port Arms and Recover Arms. Cadets who have completed all of DCE are able to act as Banner Escorts or Guard Members on ceremonial occasions.

Drill and Ceremonial – Promotional Training

  • Drill and Ceremonial JNCO (DCJ)[15] – Completes drill to basic level at a higher standard and introduces prospective CCPLs to Command and Control (CC), a key element of that rank. There are also some theory components and candidates are taught how to act as a FLTSGT on a SQN daily parade. Assessment for DCJ consists of 50% PDA (Personal Drill Assessment) and 50% CC.
  • Drill and Ceremonial SNCO (DCS)[16] – Perfects drill to an exceptional standard expected of a CSGT. This may include long times practising simple movements such as attention to stand at ease to ensure utter perfection. DCS consists of much theory and its main aim is to develop candidates as suitable instructors of elementary drill, through the instruction and practice of MI (Mutual Instruction) format. Rifle (F-88 Steyr) drill is learnt and candidates are also taught how to act as a FLTCDR on a SQN daily parade. DCS is the second-longest Drill subject, consisting of a total of 35 periods, in addition to daily parades and graduation parade practices on the SNCO promotion course. Assessment for DCS consists of 20% PDA, 10% CC, 60% MI and 10% TE (Theory Examination).
  • Drill and Ceremonial CWOFF (DCW)[17] – Candidates are expected to already have consistently high standards of drill. DCW aims to provide a broad theoretical knowledge, perfect skills of drill instruction and assessment and impart the knowledge of how to plan, organise, manage and execute all parades. CWOFFs are taught to act as a Parade WOFF, often as well as Parade Commander. They are also expected to be able to instruct DC on a JNCO promotion course. DCW consists of much theory and almost all Drill movements in existence are practised and perfected. Candidates learn Rifle, Sword and Banner drill. Assessment for DCW consists of 20% PDA, 10% CC, 35% MI and 35% TE.
  • Drill and Ceremonial CUO (DCO)[18] – DCO ensures that candidates have a high standard of drill relevant to the officer, but skills in drill instruction/assessment are not normally taught as on CWOFF course (although an elective MI exercise can be undertaken at discretion of course and detachment staff). DCO focuses on personal drill and command and control as well as imparting broad knowledge of RAAF ceremonial procedures, as CUOs are often appointed as Parade Commanders, Host Officers, Reviewing Officers, Banner Bearers, Guard Commanders etc. The course includes Rifle, Sword and Banner Drill and is much shorter than DC on SNCO/CWOFF, coming in at 21 periods. Assessment for DCO consists of 40% PDA, 40% CC and 20% TE. MI is not assessable on CUO course whether undertaken as an elective or not.

Major Activities

National Competitions

HQAAFC (through ASD) holds three National Competitions throughout the year, they are:

  • National Fieldcraft Competition (NFCC) – Held in April of each year at Puckapunyal Training Area in Victoria (Australia).
  • National Rifle Competition (NRC) – Held in September each year at various locations (such as Sydney International Shooting Centre).
  • National Aviation Competition (NAC) – (formerly known as NATFLY) Held in December (previously October) of each year on RAAF Bases around the country, both Power and Gliding competitions take place.

International Air Cadet Exchange (IACE)


The International Air Cadet Exchange (IACE) Program came into being in 1947 when Canada and the UK arranged a bi-lateral exchange of air cadets between the two countries.

Over the next few years the scheme was adopted by the USA and several European countries. It now has a membership of some 20 nations around the world including, in this region, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. The mandate of the association is to encourage international understanding, co-operation and goodwill between young people from many different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, with a central theme of aviation.

This exchange, involving several hundred participants, takes place over 2–3 weeks in July/August each year. Many long-term friendships have been made during IACE visits which are often described as the highlight of a cadet's career.

The AAFC currently exchanges with the following countries:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore
  • New Zealand
  • France
  • Republic of Korea (second year)
  • Netherlands


Each year up to 35 cadets and staff (escorts) are selected to represent the AAFC on various overseas visits. The people chosen act as ambassadors for Australia and the AAFC.

Once exchange members are met at the designated entry city, they are the guests of the host organisation which will provide all accommodation, food and travel during the course of the program. The itinerary will give visitors the experience of places and cultural events not usually available to ordinary tourists (such as visits to military facilities).


Australia hosts a reciprocal visit each year from the air cadet organisations the AAFC visits. HQAAFC organises the event and, in addition to the visitors, a cadet from each of the other Wings is selected to attend. These tours are great fun with visits to such places as Canberra (including the Australian Defence Force Academy and the Australian War Memorial), Australia Zoo, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Blue Mountains, Sydney Harbour, and local defence bases (which often include the opportunity to fly in Service Aircraft).


Australia's only memorial to Australian Air Force Cadets occupies a prominent position on the grounds of St John's Ashfield, and a memorial service attended by the Cadets has been held annually since it was opened by the State Governor Lieutenant General John Northcott in 1946.[21] It was built by Squadron Leader Arthur Whitehurst who had commanded a squadron at Ashfield during the period 1941–1946, and whose son Douglas Arthur Whitehurst had died in action[22] in World War II.[23]

See also


  1. AAFC Organisational Chart; Version 01/10, August 2010
  2. PH299 Cadet Record of Service, commonly called the 'PH299 Blue Book'
  3. 3.0 3.1 Annex A to Part 2, Chapter 2 AAFC Interim Policy Manual
  4. 4.0 4.1 HQAAFC Routine Instruction 03/12. Australian Air Force Cadets. pp. 6 & Annex A. 
  5. HQAAFC RI 07/10
  6. HQAAFC RI 12/10
  7. "Direction and Role of the Cadet Reference Group (CDR ADMIN 2/2010)
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Part 2, Chapter 1; Manual of Ground Training
  9. 9.0 9.1 Part 2, Chapter 2; Manual of Ground Training
  10. 10.0 10.1 Part 2, Chapter 3; Manual of Ground Training
  11. 11.0 11.1 Part 2, Chapter 4; Manual of Ground Training
  12. 12.0 12.1 Part 2, Chapter 5; Manual of Ground Training
  13. Part 2, Chapter 6; Manual of Ground Training
  14. 14.0 14.1 Part 2, Chapter 7; Manual of Ground Training
  15. Part 4, Chapter 3; Manual of Ground Training
  16. Part 4, Chapter 4; Manual of Ground Training
  17. Part 4, Chapter 5; Manual of Ground Training
  18. Part 4, Chapter 6; Manual of Ground Training
  19. Australian Air Force Cadets – International Air Cadet Exchange
  20. International Air Cadet Exchange Association
  21. "Memorials to War Dead – Duke Opens Park". 28 October 1946. p. 4. Retrieved 2010-09-14. 
  22. "Family Notices – On Active Service". 16 May 1946. p. 16. Retrieved 2010-09-27. 
  23. "Ashfield Church Parade". Australian Air Force Cadets bulletin board. Retrieved 2010-09-14. 


  • Cadet Forces Regulations
  • Australian Air Force Cadets Manual of Ground Training
  • AAFC Interim Policy Manual – AAP 5110.001
  • RAAF Manual of Drill – DI(AF) AAP 5135.001
  • RAAF Manual of Ceremonial – DI(AF) AAP 5135.002
  • RAAF Manual of Dress – DI(AF) AAP 5135.003
  • Australian Air Force Cadets Manual of International Air Cadet Exchange Operations (second Edition) AAFC 400.001
  • About cadets (

External links

ANZAC Day 2008
ANZAC Day 2008
AAFC National Badge

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