Uniform of the Air Cadet Organisation

Uniform of the Air Cadet Organisation

All cadets and many staff members of the Air Cadet Organisation wear a uniform based on the one worn by regular members of the Royal Air Force.

Air Training Corps

Cadets, SNCOs, WOs and Officers of the ATC wear uniform - civilian instructors, chaplains and members of the civilian committee do not normally wear uniform. This is issued free of charge by the supply squadron at a local RAF station, which in the case of cadets comes via their squadron's stores. Cadets and SNCOs/WOs (ATC) are then entitled to free replacements as needed.

Uniformed staff wear the appropriate uniform for their rank in the regular RAF (and are subject to RAF Dress Regs, AP1358), with the rank insignia appropriate to their RAF rank, with the exception of Warrant Officers (who wear a crown as their rank insignia). They are distinguished by gilt pins on their rank slides (No 2 or 3 dress) or lapels (Nos 1, 4 and 5 dress), with the designation "ATC" for NCOs and WOs and "VRT" for commissioned officers.

No 1 (Service Dress) Uniform

No 1 uniform is usually worn at formal events, such as parades. Commissioned Officers are issued No 1 SD after their Initial Officers' Course at RAFC Cranwell, The following personnel are not issued No 1, but may acquire it privately:

*SNCOs and WOs (ATC)
*Cadet Warrant Officers
*Lord Lieutenant's Cadets
*Band Members

The uniform consists of jacket and trousers (worn with a standard No 2 shirt) with the appropriate No 1 SD hat, black shoes (DMS or Oxfords) and gloves (for officers and WOs, optional for NCOs).

No 2 (Working) Uniform


No 2a

Cadets wear No 2 (with jumper) or No 2a (without jumper) uniform for formal occasions. This is sometimes incorrectly known as No 1 uniform, as it is generally worn at occasions when regular RAF personnel (and ATC staff) would normally be wearing No 1 uniform.

* RAF wedgewood blue shirt with tie
* RAF No 2 Dress trousers (male cadets), RAF No 2 dress skirts or slacks (female cadets);
* RAF Blue-grey belt with a polished brass/staybrite buckle (male cadets), optional (if not on formal parade) RAF Purse Belt (female cadets) or RAF Stable belt (both genders)
* RAF jumper (No 2 dress), onto which is sewn the highest Duke of Edinburgh's Award badge achieved (right shoulder patch) and flying and gliding "wings" (left shoulder patch)
* RAF Beret with ATC cap badge (a white metal badge comprising a falcon surrounded by the words "Air Training Corps")
* A brassard, which is worn by all cadets on the right arm, and includes the Air Training Corps distinguishing badge, squadron number, classification badge and most other proficiency badges
* Black leather shoes (ideally RAF pattern or similar) are required but not issued
* Cadets also wear a lanyard if qualified to do so
* Cadet NCOs wear the appropriate rank slides on the epaulets of their jumper
* Lord Lieutenant's cadets wear a separate brassard with distinguishing badge and sqn number on the left arm during time in office

No 2c

For normal duties, cadets wear a version of the RAF No 2c uniform (as worn by RAF Airmen in technical trades). Cadets never wear the RAF No 2b uniform (short sleeve wedgewood shirt and no tie). Cadets' version of the RAF No 2c uniform, known as "working blues" or "Number twos", is the same as the No 2a uniform but worn with a dark blue open-necked shirt and no tie. The stable belt may not be worn.

At any time during the year (but most commonly done in the summer for comfort), the officer commanding a unit may authorise "shirt-sleeve order", in which the jumper is removed and sleeves are smartly rolled up to just above the elbow. Brassards, lanyards and rank slides are transferred to the shirt, but Duke of Edinburgh's Award and flying badges are not worn.


Uniformed staff wear No 2/2a (long sleve, with tie) or No 2b (short sleve, without tie) uniform for normal duties, with or without a jumper and/or GP Jacket. They do not wear a brassard. Male and Female Officers wear their No 1 SD Cap (issued) or a Forage Cap (purchased privately), Male and Female NCOs and WOs wear a beret (issued) or a Forage Cap (purchased privately). The shoes are either DMS for all ranks, or optional Oxford pattern for commissioned officers.

=No 3 (DPM) Uniform=

No 3 uniform may be acquired by members of the ATC for certain duties, such as shooting and fieldcraft. It is worn with the issued beret for all ranks. Officers wear the Royal Air Force patch and Tactical Recognition Flash, Cadets and SNCOs and WOs (ATC) wear the Air Cadets patch, along with the ATC SNCO Tactical Recognition Flash for SNCOs and WOs (ATC).

Cadet forces version of the No 3 uniform consists of:
*DPM Light-weight Jacket (Normally referred to as a DPM Shirt).
*DPM Jacket.
*DPM trousers.
*Issued Beret with appropriate cap badge.
*Black leather combat boots.
*2.5 inch Belt (Olive green belt for field exercises - RAF Stable belt is authorised for Barrack Wear only)

There is also a two part waterproof suit (jacket and trousers) in DPM pattern for foul weather, and a number of cold weather undergarments such as a fleece jacket and a Norweigan shirt.

As DPM uniform has only recently started to be issued to cadets, and privately sourced uniform is still being worn by most, the wearing of DPM uniform across the ATC is far from standardised. Recent guidelines encourage the wearing of the union flag (previously forbidden), "Air Cadets" patch and RAF pattern stable belt by Cadets and Staff.

No 4 (Interim Mess) Uniform

No 4 Uniform is an interim mess dress, for those staff who do not have No 5s. The No 4 uniform consists of the jacket and trousers of the No 1 uniform, worn with a white Marcella shirt and black bow tie, with appropriate No 1 SD hat and black shoes.

No 5B (Mess) Uniform

No 5B uniform may be acquired privately by staff for functions. Those who do not have No 5B will wear No 4 dress.

Combined Cadet Force RAF Sections

Members of the CCF(RAF) wear a similar uniform to that described above, with the following exceptions:

*Cadets of the CCF (RAF) wear the RAF Cap Badge instead of the ATC one
*The brassard is worn by cadets with No 3 dress
*Cadets may also wear the General Purpose Jacket with No 2 dress

Volunteer Gliding Schools and Air Experience Flights

Members of VGSs and AEFs wear flight suits (known as No 14 dress) for flying duties. For non flying duties, staff wear standard ACO uniform and cadets wear the uniform appropriate to their parent organisation (ATC or CCF).


[http://www.2510.org.uk/?p=68] [http://www.raf.mod.uk/rafcms/mediafiles/9645FADA_EE31_9299_8E899FC7FA734D14.pdf] [http://www.raf.mod.uk/rafcms/mediafiles/9645FADA_EE31_9299_8E899FC7FA734D14.pdf]

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