To be eligible to join the Australian Air Force Cadets (AAFC), you must meet the following criteria:
- be at least 12 years of age and turning 13 or older in the year of acceptance, but not have attained the age of 16 years;
- be enrolled in high school education (minimum year 7) in the year of acceptance;
- be medically fit to participate in AAFC activities. If required, the candidate must undergo a medical examination at parent/guardian expense and provide the AAFC with an Individual Health Management Plan;
- have parent/guardian permission to volunteer as a cadet in the AAFC;
- be a person ordinarily resident in Australia (i.e. not residing only on a temporary basis);
- not be a member of the Australian Navy Cadets (ANC), Australian Army Cadets (AAC) or Australian Defence Force (ADF);
- make a commitment by signing (and co-signed by their parent/guardian) that they have read and agree to abide by the ADF Cadets Youth Values and Defence Youth Safe Code of Conduct Statement;
- be willing to make a commitment to regularly attend Squadron parades and activities.
Cadets can remain enrolled until the end of the calendar year in which they turn 18.
The AAFC places an emphasis on practical training and youth development in all regards, whether it be in the classroom, on the parade ground, in an aircraft or in the field. All subjects and activities are selected to fulfil the aims of the AAFC.
The aim of the AAFC is, by predominantly voluntary effort, to better equip young people for community life by fostering initiative, leadership, discipline and loyalty through a training programme which is also designed to stimulate an interest in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
From this, the following specific aims have been developed:
- To give cadets a foundation of RAAF knowledge and discipline;
- To develop qualities of leadership, initiative and self-reliance;
- To develop character and good citizenship in the widest sense;
- To develop an interest in the RAAF 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.
Many of the current Defence Force pilots started their training with the AAFC. Attend Air Experience Days to get a taste of flying and attend flying camps during school holidays where you can get your pilot’s license before you can drive a car.
Live on the edge and attend gliding courses during your school holidays. Gliding is challenging and fun.
Participate in professional formal firearms training and enjoy regular trips to the range to develop marksmanship skills.
Learn how to march and participate in weekly parades. Represent the AAFC on days such as ANZAC Day, Remembrance Day and other important occasions.
Spend a week on an Air Force base living in the thick of the action. Eat at an Air Force mess, learn about the Squadrons and see the aircraft the Air Force fly up close.
Learn about a wide range of Air Force related subjects including leadership, aviation, radio skills and military traditions. Learn to teach others.
Build plastic and balsa models of your favourite aircraft. Fly control line or radio controlled aircraft like the real thing.
These skills can help you confidently manage situations, both inside and outside of cadets. You can also earn an accredited First Aid Certificate.
A wide variety of social events are available. Learn the traditions of Air Force Dining In Nights, meet new people from around the state at the annual 3 Wing Cadet Ball, visit the national capital on our biennial Canberra Trip, or just enjoy an afternoon bowling with your fellow cadets.
Work your way through this internationally recognised scheme by planning and participating in activities and hiking expeditions. You can complete all components of the Award through the AAFC.
Learn to be an effective team member in new and challenging environments. Practice your skills at motivating and leading a team of your peers towards their objectives in a wide range of activities. Many cadets make lifelong friends in the AAFC.
Experience the great outdoors with your course mates. Learn campcraft, navigation, camouflage, search and rescue and survival techniques. A few days of fun that you will always remember.
As a member of the Australian Defence Force Cadets (ADF Cadets), everything you do reflects on you, your parent service and your cadet organisation. Membership is a great honour and comes with responsibility.
Being a cadet distinguishes you as someone who has a community spirit, pride and values. You will model your individual cadet organisation values while in your cadet program and hopefully beyond into your adult life. The following qualities and behaviours are common in all cadets, past and present.
As a cadet you agree to reflect the values of Respect, Integrity, Courage, Improvement and Initiative, and Teamwork.
The ADF Cadets is a champion of diversity and inclusion. Everyone is given a fair go and is free from judgement or ridicule. Therefore, in being respectful, our cadets agree to:
- be polite and courteous at all times
- demonstrate self-respect and a drive for self-development
- embrace diversity by treating everyone with respect regardless of age, gender, ability, race, cultural background, religious beliefs or sexual identity
- respect individual limits by not forcing others to do something they do not want to do
- respect people’s privacy, and gain permission to give out personal information or take photographs
- behave appropriately at all times and refrain from being involved in any form of inappropriate, indecent or harmful behaviour. This includes peer pressure and bullying, for example cyberbullying, physical, emotional, verbal or sexual abuse, and grooming behaviours
- wear your uniform correctly, at the right times and with pride
- uphold the ADF Cadets reputation with everything that you do
The ADF Cadets seeks to develop youth to be upstanding citizens, who have strong moral and ethical foundations which are consistent with broader community expectations and requirements. Therefore, our cadets agree to:
- do what is right, even when you think no-one will know or find out
- be the first to tell the truth
- identify shortcomings as an opportunity to seek further development
Both physical and moral courage are essential personal attributes required of ADF Cadets. Therefore, our cadets agree to:
- Continually push their personal boundaries to maximise their developmental opportunities and program participation (physical courage)
- Stand up for themselves and others, and report unacceptable, unsafe and/or inappropriate behaviours or situations to adult supervisors as soon as possible (moral courage)
Improvement and initiative
The ADF Cadets is committed to a journey of continuous improvement; both at the individual and organisational levels. Therefore, our cadets agree to:
- seek opportunities to continually self-improve
- support others in their self-improvement journeys
- report organisational shortfalls
- strive to offer solutions
The ADF Cadets is one team, committed to the development of Australia’s youth. Teamwork forms the foundation of the organisation and is important at every level. Therefore, our cadets agree to:
- encourage teamwork in everything that they do
- provide mutual support and encouragement to all activity participants
- recognise the achievement of others
- refrain from excluding any person from any activity, for any reason
- listen to and comply with all reasonable instructions from superiors and peers alike
- actively participate in the ADF Cadets program and not disrupt the participation of others
322SQN conducts a single recruit intake each year, in February. Our next recruit intake will occur on 26-27 February 2022.
There are three steps in order to join 322SQN:
- Submit an expression of interest to attend a Recruit Course, and submit all required enrolment documentation
- Attend our Recruit Course and commence your training
- Attend our Recruit Kitting Day to be issued with your uniforms
Expression of interest (EOI)
To register your interest for the next Recruit Course, submit an EOI through the CadetNet system here. Please note, the system is not open to accept EOIs at all times of year and may display an error - you may need to return closer to the next Recruit Course.
After submitting your EOI, if you meet all basic eligibility requirements (e.g. age limits), you will be provided with enrolment documentation and invited to submit an application. All enrolment documentation must be submitted well in advance of the Recruit Course.
Our Recruit Course aims to give you a taste of what we do in the AAFC. It is conducted over a Saturday and Sunday (no overnight stay) and attendance at both the full Saturday and Sunday is required, to ensure recruits meet the established training objectives. The Recruit Course commences with an information session for prospective recruits and parents/guardians where you will receive all the essential information about the AAFC and 322SQN, and enrolment formalities will be finalised. You will then get to know your new course mates and commence your Recruit Stage training in a variety of subjects including fieldcraft, service knowledge, aerospace skills, and drill and ceremonial.
There is no cost to attend the Recruit Course and if you decide the AAFC is not for you then you are under no obligation to join. If you decide you do wish to join, then you will immediately commence attending Wednesday evening parades to continue your training.
Recruit Kitting Day
Approximately two weeks after the Recruit Course, you will attend a Recruit Kitting Day and be issued with your uniforms, which finalises your enrolment as a cadet in the AAFC!