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Join Us

How old do I need to be?

Air cadets can join when 12 years old and in school Year 8, or when 13 years old (whichever comes first). The maximum joining age for cadets is on their 17th birthday.

Cadets can stay with us until their 20th birthday. Cadet service beyond 18 years old is subject to completing a Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) disclosure form and having met some training criteria.

How much does it cost?

We ask for cadet subscriptions to assist with our operating costs and maintaining training equipment. Subscriptions are typically paid via bank standing order and are due on the first day of each month. If this is not possible, then alternative payment methods can be considered.

The current monthly subscription fee is £12.00 per cadet per month.

The cadet blue uniform (excluding parade shoes) will be issued after a squadron deposit of £25.00 is paid. This deposit is refunded when you leave the squadron as long as your subscriptions payments are up to date and any items you have borrowed (including uniform) have been returned.

Core activities such as flying, gliding, shooting and twice-weekly parade nights are included within the subscriptions. Other activities may have additional costs for travel, accommodation and food but all are at a reduced cost.

What will my first night be like?

On your first night we ask that you attend with a parent or carer. When you arrive you will be given an introductory talk on key information about the RAF Air Cadets and our local arrangements. You may also take part in some practical ice breaker activities that allow you to meet other new members of the group whilst having a bit of fun too.

What will my training look like?

For the first few weeks, you will start as a Junior Cadet. You will learn the basics of being an air cadet including an introduction to flying operations, map reading skills, radio communications, first aid, initial expedition training and foot drill. During this time you will also receive your Royal Air Force (RAF) blue uniform, learn how to wear correctly, and take care for it.

As you progress through our progressive training syllabus, many additional exciting activities and development opportunities will become available to you.

When can I join?

2401 Squadron aims to run recruitment intakes in September, January, April and July. This allows young people to join at the same time as other new starters and ensures we can deliver a structured and engaging training programme.

Please contact us to register your interest in joining and discuss your first visit.

Volunteers needed!

We are on the lookout for new volunteers to help grow our squadron and allow us to continue to provide exciting, engaging and educational opportunities for our air cadets.

There are a variety of uniformed and non-uniformed roles available such as organising activities, teaching, mentoring, admin and welfare support. Volunteering can be very rewarding in helping others to achieve their aspirations and potential.

Many volunteers get involved once or twice a week and the occasional weekend activity though this will come down to time you have available to offer. We understand that you will have families, jobs and other commitments so we aim to be flexible and work around these aspects of your lives.

Alternatively, our Civilian Committee perform a vital function in supporting the squadron behind the scenes. They meet for an hour approximately 4 times a year and are also looking for new members.

Volunteer teaching map reading
Volunteer teaching map reading

You will need to be aged 20 or older and have lived in the UK for a minimum of 3 years. You do not need to have a military background or previous experience working with young people but any specialist knowledge or skills that you may have would be a great advantage.

All volunteers will complete a Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) disclosure form, a background check and a basic training programme covering your responsibilites as a volunteer and other useful information. We may also be able to take advantage of any previous military, professional or volunteer experience you may already have.

If helping at the squadron is something you would consider, or if you know someone else who might, please contact us to arrange a chat.