Ranks of the AAFC

Ranks of the AAFC

The ranks of the Australian Air Force Cadets are based on the ranks of the Royal Australian Air Force. As such, a system of differentiation was required to distinguish members of the AAFC from those of the RAAF. This means that Cadet ranks wear a rank slide with an embroidered light blue bar, containing the letters AAFC. Adult members of the AAFC wear a rank slide with an embroidered white bar that contains the letters AAFC. Adult ranks are also followed by the letters AAFC (in brackets) when written to distinguish them from actual members of the RAAF. Cadet Non-Commissioned Officer ranks are prefixed with the letter C, to identify them as Cadets and not adult staff or members of the RAAF.

Ranks and Abbreviations

Images of AAFC ranks are available [http://www.cadetnet.gov.au/asp/index.asp?pgid=1928 here] .
The ranks of the AAFC are as follows, in order from lowest to highest:

Recruit is not an official rank, but commonly refers to new cadets who have not yet finalised the enrolment process but are attending training.

Cadet Promotion

Cadet Ranks

Cadet ranks comprise the ranks of Cadet (CDT) and Leading Cadets (LCDT) as well as the informal rank of Recruit (RCT).

Cadets enlist in the AAFC as recruits (RCT) and commence recruit training which comprises the subjects Drill and Ceremonial, Service Knowledge and Fieldcraft. The recruit course includes a teambuilding weekend or training weekend. At some point during the Recruit Phase, recruits are enrolled as cadets in the AAFC and receive their uniforms and PH-299s (also known as "blue books"; a form of identification carried at all times by cadets). From the point a recruit receives their PH-299 and a service number, they attain the rank of Cadet (CDT), but are often referred to as recruits until the conclusion of recruit training.

Previously cadet began with the Induction phase of training, which is now being phased out.

Upon completion of the Recruit phase of training, CDTs begin the Basic phase. Upon satisfactory completion of all Basic subjects, a CDT is re-classified to the rank of LCDT. A LCDT rank slide features a single chevron. The rank of LCDT is the highest rank to which a cadet will be automatically promoted (provided he/she has satisfactorily completed their required stage of training).

Cadet Non-Commissioned Officer Ranks

Cadet non-commissioned officer (CNCO) ranks comprise the ranks of Cadet Corporal (CCPL), Cadet Sergeant (CSGT) and Cadet Flight Sergeant (CFSGT).

Any LCDT can apply for the Junior Non-Commissioned Officer Course but must hold that rank for a minimum of six months before being eligible for promotion to the rank of Cadet Corporal (CCPL). A cadet's Commanding Officer (CO) reviews the LCDT's application, and, if successful, endorses their application. This allows the LCDT to attend a promotion course (held during school holidays) conducted by their parent wing.
Junior non-commissioned officer (JNCO) courses generally last for 12-14 days and are mostly held at a RAAF base, depending on aviability. At the end of a promotion course, the course commander grades the LCDT as either recommended or not recommended for promotion to the rank of CCPL.Promotion is then at the discretion of the LCDT's CO in keeping with squadron quotas.

Any CCPL can apply for the Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Course but must hold that rank for a minimum of five months before being eligible for promotion to Cadet Sergeant (CSGT). They go through much the same process, though more rigorous, as do prospective JNCOs. SNCO courses typically last between two and three weeks and are also held at a RAAF base, often concurrently with a JNCO course.Promotion, as for JNCOs, is at the discretion of the CCPL's CO.

After six months as a CSGT, a cadet may be promoted to the rank of CFSGT by their CO. This does not require the CSGT to attend a wing promotion course, but a CO often unofficially requires some sort of project to be undertaken, for the member to hold a specific appointment (e.g. an SNCO holding the ASSTSQNWOFF appointment due to there being no CWOFFs may be promoted to CFSGT for that reason) or for the CSGT to display general devotion and exceptional service to the SQN. In addition, a CSGT who has completed a CUO's course and has more than 6 months time in rank as a CSGT, but less than 9 months, may also be promoted to CFSGT for that reason.

Cadet Officer Ranks

Cadet officer ranks comprise the ranks of Cadet Warrant Officer (CWOFF) and Cadet Under Officer (CUO), although a Warrant Officer is not an officer but technically an SNCO.

After a cadet has held the rank of CSGT or CFSGT for a minimum of six months they may be promoted to CWOFF, and nine months for CUO, in conjunction with the relevant promotion courses.

CWOFF courses generally last for two to four weeks and are conducted at a RAAF base. CWOFF courses conducted by the AAFC are primarliy comprised of drill and ceremonial related subjects. Cadets promoted to the rank of CWOFF are addressed as Sir or Ma'am as applicable by all cadets of CFSGT rank and below.

CUO courses are the longest and typically run for a three weeks to a month at a RAAF base.The rank of CUO is the highest attainable by a cadet and is designed to give the cadet experience in the role of an officer. To this end, the course is heavy in administration-related subjects in addition to the drill required to be a parade commander.CUOs are addressed by all cadets below their rank (and often by instructors of cadets, although they should not be) as Sir or Ma'am, as applicable, and are saluted. Any lower rank, including CWOFF, may attain CUO, although CWOFF's seldom pursue such a path.

CUO may sometimes be held at a national level due to the relatively few cadets who make it to this level, however this has not happened for some time, and there are more CUO's than CWOFF's.

CWOFF do not fall under the heading "Cadet Officer Ranks". They are purely a SNCO, although they may have the authority of a CUO, or may fulfill the role of a CUO, as the promotional training is similar.

Rank Establishments

The AAFC has specific rank establishments depending on the strength of a squadron. This is to ensure a balance between leadership roles and subordinates members (esp to prevent a top-heavy squadron developing). As an exaggerated example, it would not be beneficial for a squadron of 40 cadets to have 39 CUOs and 1 CDT, nor would it be beneficial for it to have 20 CWOFFs, 10 CFSGTs and 10 CSGTs. Rather, that squadron ought to have 2 CUO/CWOFFs, 1 CFSGT, 3 CSGT, 5 CCPL and around 30 L/CDTs. The general standard is 1/4 NCOs.
* CUOs/CWOFFs have one category, which allows for 2 in total for small squadrons (30 CDTs) increasing to 10 in total for very large (140 CDTs+) squadrons.
* CFSGTs increase from 1 for small squadrons to 5 for very large squadrons
* CSGTs increase from 2 for small squadrons to 9 for very large squadrons
* CCPLs increase from 4 for very small squadrons to 13 for very large squadrons.
* The rank establishment system has a trickle-down effect. This means that, for example, a squadron with no CUO's/CWOFF's can assign those positions to subordinate personnel, so long as the total number does not exceed the normal number plus the vacant senior positions. There is no cascade-up effect. This means that vacant CCPL positions remain that way at all times, and, for example, a large squadron with only 3 CSGTs could not assign those positions to CUO/CWOFF/CFSGT rank.

Cadet Phases of Training

A cadet progresses through five phases of training during their cadet career.See Australian Air Force Cadets for a description of each training stage.

"Propeller" refers to two round gold pins with a propeller-blade symbol printed in service blue, worn at the top of the rank slide on the Service Dress Uniform w/o Jumpers.

Staff Promotion

A person may be enrolled as an Instructor of Cadets (IOC) at the age of 18 and as an Officer of Cadets (OOC) at the age of 19, though most begin their career as an IOC. Ex-cadets are encouraged to wait a minimum of one year before returning as a staff member.

Upon enlistment as an IOC, the staff member is normally given the rank of AC/ACW(AAFC). Any new staff member who was previously a cadet and held the rank of Cadet Warrant Officer or Cadet Under Officer is automatically given the rank of LAC/LACW(AAFC). Ex-ADF members may also be appointed at higher ranks than AC/ACW(AAFC), to recognise their previous rank/service in the ADF. Current ADF members may also be appointed at different ranks, as no member is permitted to have dual mess status (i.e. may only be permitted to eat/sleep in ONE of the Airmen's Mess, Sergeant's Mess or Officer's Mess).
* A RAAF AC-CPL can only be an AAFC AC(AAFC)-CPL(AAFC)
* A RAAF officer can only be an AAFC officerAAFC staff members who join the ADF may have their rank changed to fit these criteria. This may include reversion in rank (e.g. PLTOFF or FSGT to CPL) or "promotion" (e.g. LAC or SGT to PLTOFF). AAFC staff in the ADF do not need to have the exact same rank in both the ADF and AAFC; their ranks are just required to adhere to the above criteria.

Promotion is less frequent than that of cadets, as there is no age limit on staff. In general the time in rank between ranks is three years, and there are other requirements such as workbooks and sometimes specific courses that must be attended.

See also

* Australian Air Force Cadets
* Royal Australian Air Force

External links

* [http://www.aafc.org.au Official AAFC Website]
* [http://www.bb.aafc.org.au Australian Air Force Cadets Bulletin Board]
* [http://www.cadetshop.com.au/shop/upload/wsj9RnOQ.jpgImages of AAFC Cadet Ranks]
* [http://www.cadetshop.com.au/shop/upload/wsQAc275.jpgImages of AAFC Staff Ranks]


* Australian Air Force Cadets Policy Manual (DI(AF) AAP 5110.001)
* [http://3wg.aafc.org.au/iis/natdownload/ AAFC National Resource Centre]
* [http://www.cadetnet.gov.au/asp/index.asp?pgid=1928 Images of AAFC Ranks]

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