HM the Queen 1

HM the Queen approves new commission for cadet force volunteers

HM the Queen approves new commission for cadet force volunteers

20 January 2017

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HM The Queen has approved an historic new commission for Cadet Force volunteers.

The new commission will be introduced for adult volunteer officers in the Sea Cadets, Army Cadet Force, RAF Air Cadets, and the Combined Cadet Force, from April.

Her Majesty has approved in principle the adoption of a single bespoke commission for officers of the cadet forces of the United Kingdom – the first of its kind created for 155 years – to recognise the immense contribution made by volunteer staff as leaders of national uniformed youth organisations sponsored by the Ministry of Defence.

More information will be available on Defence Gateway as policies are developed.

Specific information for CCF(RAF)

In the CCF(RAF) as well as the Air Training Corps, the new commission will replace the existing commission whereby officers are appointed into the Training Branch of the RAF Volunteer Reserve. Headquarters Air Cadets have issued an update on these changes, and the new insignia for members of the RAF Air Cadets.

Update from Headquarters Air Cadets

The change should allow the RAF Air Cadets to reduce the myriad of different rules, regulations and procedures accompanying commissions and will allow for the introduction of simpler administrative processes.

The new process will see officers commissioned into the RAF Air Cadets and then appointed to service with the Air Training Corps or Combined Cadet Force (RAF).

All new officers commissioned from April will be awarded the new Cadet Forces Commission and wear the new insignia.


To mark the change, the RAF Air Cadets will introduce new insignia on uniforms – for both officers, warrant officers and senior non-commissioned officers (SNCOs) - strengthening its wider branding.

The insignia has been developed after consultation with adult volunteers and senior RAF personnel.

One of the changes will see the term VR(T) - indicating a member of the Training Branch of the RAF Volunteer Reserve - changed to RAF Air Cadets on embroidered RAF rank slides.

Current plans are for all existing RAF Air Cadets officers, (warrant officers and SNCOs) to use the new insignia before October 2017.

“RAFAC - the accepted abbreviation for RAF Air Cadets – will be used on lapel pins to be provided for No1 and No5 uniform.

“An option to provide “mud guards” reading RAF Air Cadets for use on No1s and No 5s (in addition to the lapel pins), is under consideration.”


For many years, the collective administrative term for the Air Training Corps and the Combined Cadet Forces (RAF) has been the Air Cadet Organisation (ACO).

From October 2017, all branding throughout the organisation will reflect the corporate logo “RAF Air Cadets” with the abbreviation RAFAC as required.


Commandant RAF Air Cadets, Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty said: “This is a truly historic moment as it is the first new commission to be introduced for 155 years[1] and the first time we have badged all our adult volunteers with the same insignia, demonstrating their membership of one organisation, the RAF Air Cadets.

“The commission is especially for our adult volunteers who commit so much of their time to running activities for more than 41,000 RAF air cadets across the UK and beyond.

“There are a number of advantages to the new commission but mostly it provides a dedicated commission for the adult volunteer officers in the Cadet Forces which differentiates them from Regular and Reservist personnel who undertake very different roles and have different terms and conditions of service. For the RAF Air Cadets it also gives us the opportunity to strengthen our corporate brand, which is already well established but was occasionally confused by the use of the term ACO.

“The new commission and branding are symbolic of our willingness as an organisation to embrace change and modernise to better meet the needs of current and future generations. The RAF Air Cadets enjoy an excellent global reputation and I welcome this as we move forward with our 2025 Vision.”


See Bader for more information on the commission and insignia changes.

For more information on the RAF Air Cadets see

[1] The Commissioning Act of 11th April 1862 was the last time a commission was created. All UK Armed Forces commissions appear to date back to that point. Source: DRFC.