The ATC (Air Training Corps).
The Air Training Corps (ATC) was formed by Royal Warrant in 1941 and sprang from the Air Defence Cadet Corps (ADCC), founded in 1938 by the Air League. Although the ATC was initially formed to meet the needs on RAF bases during the Second World War, it continues to thrive with independent Air Cadet Organisations in many other countries throughout the world.
In the U.K., with almost 35,000 cadet members ranging in age from 13 to 22 years, within nearing 1,000 Squadrons, the ATC is one of the country's premier youth organisations and the world's largest youth air training organisation.
The Aims of the Air Training Corps are:
- To promote and encourage among young people a practical interest in aviation and the Royal Air Force.
- To provide training which will be useful in the Services and civilian life.
- To foster the spirit of adventure and develop qualities of leadership and good citizenship
The ATC Motto is:
The Air Training Corps is also the largest operator of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme which is not surprising when you learn that its Patron, HRH Prince Philip is also the ATC's Commodore-in-Chief, taking a keen interest in the organisation and its members.
Cadets within the ATC also get the opportunity of flying in RAF and commercial aircraft - many progressing to achieve Flying Scholarships and their Private Pilots Licence (PPL).
The Corps, which has charitable status, is not a recruiting organisation but many members do go on to have successful careers in the Royal Air Force, other Services and in civilian life. Currently approximately 50% of all aircrew (pilots, navigators and NCO aircrew) and 47% of Officers are ex-Cadets. Originally an all-male environment, the ATC opened its doors to female cadets in 1980 and has never looked back since.