What you need to know
To be eligible to join the Australian Air Force Cadets, you must meet the following criteria:
- turn 13 years old or older in the current calendar year but not have attached the age of 16,
- be enrolled in High School education (minimum year 7) in the current calendar year,
- have parental or guardian permission to volunteer as a Cadet in the AAFC,
- be a person ordinarily resident* in Australia,
- present to their CO a statement signed by their parent or guardian stating the applicant has the physical capability to participate in AAFC program and identify any known limitations (including allergies) to assist the CO determine suitability for acceptance. If required by the CO, the candidate must undergo a medical examination at parent/guardian expense,
- provide written parental or guardian permission for a qualified medical practitioner to anaesthetise and operate on the cadet in an emergency,
- not be a member of either the Australian Navy Cadets (ANC) or Australian Army Cadets (AAC) unless such membership is compulsory,
- not be a Defence member, and
- must make a commitment to abide by the ADFC Youth Values and Code of Conduct Statement.
You must also 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.
* Ordinarily resident means a person has their home in that country. A person cannot be ordinarily resident where they reside only on a temporary basis.
The Australian Air Force Cadets (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 on the firing range. All subjects and activities run by the AAFC are selected to fulfil the aims of the AAFC.
The aim of the Australian Defence Force Cadets, which includes the AAFC, is by predominantly voluntary effort, to better equip young people for community life by fostering initiative, leadership, discipline and loyalty through training programmes which are also designed to stimulate an interest in a particular arm of the Defence Force.
From this, the following specific aims have been developed:
- To give cadets a foundation of Air Force 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 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.
The Australian Air Force Cadets (AAFC) offers a variety of activities to suit the interests of cadets. 322 Squadron has one of the busiest training calendars of any Squadron in the AAFC. Squadron activities run on weekends throughout the year and most are not compulsory. 3 Wing (NSW & ACT) also offers various camps and courses during school holidays.
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. Check out this video published by the Chief of Air Force!
Participate in professional formal firearms training and enjoy regular trips to the range to develop marksmanship skills.
Drill and Ceremonial
Learn how to march and participate in weekly parades. Represent the AAFC on days such as ANZAC Day, Remembrance Day and other important occasions.
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.
General Service Training Camps
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.
Abseil down a 100 metre cliff face. A challenging sport with rewarding outcomes. Caters for the novice and experienced person
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.
Duke of Edinburgh Award
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.
Leadership and Teambuilding
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.
Youth Values and Code of Conduct Statement
As a member of the Australian Defence Forces Cadets (ADF Cadets) everything you do represents, and reflects on you, your parent Service, your cadet organisation. Membership is a great honour and comes with responsibility.
Being a cadet already 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 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
To ensure that all cadets receive the same training, recruiting is only conducted at set times of year. We conduct two recruit intakes each year, in February and August. Our next recruit intake will occur on 17 & 18 August 2019. Attendance at both the full Saturday and Sunday is required, to ensure recruits meet the established training objectives.
There are three steps in order to join 322 (City of Ryde) Squadron:
- Register your interest to attend a Recruit Course
- Attend our Recruit Course and commence your training
- Attend our Enrolment Day to officially enrol into the AAFC
Registering your interest
If you are interested in joining, please download the above documents and complete the Expression of Interest.
Our Recruit Course aims to give you a taste of what we do in the AAFC. It is conducted over a Saturday and Sunday (not overnight) and commences with an information session for parents and prospective recruits where you will be given all the essential information about our Squadron and fill out some basic paperwork. 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 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 commence attending Wednesday evening parades to continue your training.
Approximately 1-2 weeks after the Recruit Course, our Enrolment Day is held. This is where you submit all the necessary paperwork to formally enrol into the AAFC and are issued with your uniforms. You then officially become a cadet in the AAFC!