The Air Training Corps (ATC) is a British youth organisation sponsored by the Ministry of Defence and the Royal Air Force. A Full Time Reserve Service RAF officer serves as Commandant Air Cadets at the rank of Air Commodore. The majority of staff are volunteers although some are paid for full-time work. Although many ATC cadets go on to join the RAF or other services, the ATC is no longer set up as a recruiting organisation.
Activities include sport, adventurous training (such as walking and paddle-sports), ceremonial drill, rifle shooting, fieldcraft, powered aircraft and glider flying, and other outdoor activities, as well classification training leading up to a BTEC in Aviation Studies. Week-long trips to RAF stations, or camps offering adventure training or music, allow the opportunity for cadets to gain a taste of military life and often to gain some flying experience in RAF gliders and RAF training aircraft such as the Grob Tutor.
Cadet membership can begin from the start of School Year 8 (England and Wales), or equivalent in Scotland and Northern Ireland. New members will join as a junior cadet (probationer) and can earn positions of increasing responsibility in a military rank structure, as well as having increasing skill and competence recognised in a classification scheme (First Class, Leading, Senior, Master and Instructor). Service as a cadet ends at the age of 20. As of 2014, the ATC numbered 33,590 cadets and 10,430 Cadet Force Adult Volunteers. In addition, there are approximately 5,000 civilian committee members.