Promotion Tips



A majority of cadets would like to be promoted, and move up the NCO ladder on the Squadron, however may be unsure of what they need to do. So here is a list of both what is required, and what you can do to go from where you are now, and up to the next stage. 

Cadet - Corporal

 Biggin Hill is often considered the hardest Squadron in Kent Wing to get promoted on. This is because of the vast numbers of cadets at 2427. Whereas on some Squadrons a cadet needs to stand out of a crowd of 30 cadets, on Biggin Hill Squadron, a cadet needs to stand out from over 100... So, like any cadet in the Corps, you’re going to have to work hard to get that promotion. To be considered by Staff for a promotion to Corporal, it is first expected of you to have earned your Leading Cadet Badge. On top of that, you need to stand out to the Squadron Staff, and the NCO team as having the following skills & traits:

  • Attendance – Having a good attendance is very important if you want to become an NCO. The Squadron Staff need someone who will regularly turn up to parade nights, and other events.
  • Punctuality – This goes hand in hand will attendance, as well as being there, you need to be there on time. Turning up for parade or lectures late will not help you in your attempts to become an NCO.
  • Respect – Always pay the proper respects to the Staff, the NCOs, and your fellow cadets. Remember to call other cadets by their last name, and call all NCOs and uniformed Staff by their rank. Don’t forget to call CIs Sir and Ma’am either. Showing respect to them will build their respect for you.
  • Obedience – Follow orders as and when they are given to you. As an NCO you will need to respond to information and orders immediately, so make sure you show the Staff and NCOs that you are capable of doing this.
  • Uniform – As an NCO you will need to be a good example to cadets. Therefore your uniform will need to be faultless. Show your Flight NCOs that your uniform can be of that standard during one of the regular inspections.
  • Drill – As an NCO it is required of you to take control of squads and flight. Therefore your personal footdrill needs to be of the highest standard. It may also be required of you on occasions to teach drill. Therefore your knowledge of AP818 (available in the APs & ACPs section) needs to be thorough, so that you know and can teach at least basic drill moves.
  • Effort – It is important that you always put in your best effort. Being an NCO can be hard work, and Staff need to see that you always put in the effort in Squadron activities.
  • Initiative – Being an NCO often leaves you in charge of a situation, and sometimes this means having to think on your feet. Having good initiative is crucial for an NCO, as not every situation has a set procedure to follow.
  • Representation – It is very important to represent your Squadron as often as possible. Going to sports competitions, Wing pentathlon, and public events. This is so Staff and NCOs can see what you can do, and also shows the level of commitment you have to your Squadron.
  • Flight Points – Your personal flight points show to the Staff and senior NCOs how much you have achieved on the Squadron. Classifications, DofE, and Marksman Badges each 100 points and Public duties gives 50 points. Just signing into the Squadron on parade nights gives 5 points, which gets up to 5 more points added for inspection, for example, a score of 8 for inspection will get you 3 additional points. The higher the number of flight points a cadet has, the better indication of involvement in the Squadron to the NCOs and Staff. 
In addition to these, below is the outline of the roles and responsibilities of a Cadet Corporal. If you are to be considered for promotion, you will need to demonstrate that you would be able to carry out the tasks within this role.
The main responsibilities and activities expected of a Cadet Corporal:
  1. Control a section of cadets under his/her direct supervision.
  2. Maintain good conduct, behaviour and discipline.
  3. Exercise appropriate responsibility for the welfare of cadets.
  4. Plan, organise and/or carry out tasks as allocated.
  5. Carry out responsibilities in accordance with squadron Fire Orders.
  6. Advise cadets on the basic organisation of the ATC.

Corporal - Sergeant

 To move on to Cadet Sergeant, a Cadet Corporal is required to have earned their Senior Cadet Badge. I addition to this they are required to have attended a Wing INCO (Initial Non-Commissioned Officer) course. Moving from Cadet Corporal to Cadet Sergeant offers the opportunity to take more of a leading role in the organisation of events/ activities on the Squadron. While already having all of the skills listed in the Cadet – Corporal section, a Cadet Sergeant is expected to be able to control larger numbers of cadets, plan full exercises, and to teach basic lessons. It is also expected for a Cadet Sergeant to have a deeper knowledge of the drill manual, and give footdrill lessons to groups of cadets. The roles and responsibilities of a Cadet Sergeant  are as follows.

The main responsibilities and activities expected of a Cadet Sergeant:
  1. Perform the responsibilities and activities of a Cadet Corporal.
  2. Manage and control a flight of cadets under his/her direct supervision.
  3. Assist the squadron staff in the management of the squadron and development of junior cadets and JNCO's.
  4. Participate in the planning and organisation of squadron activities.
  5. Be able to recognise potential welfare problems.
  6. Possess a good general knowledge of the ATC.


Sergeant - Flight Sergeant

 To become a Cadet Flight Sergeant, you will need to prove to Staff that you are confident and capable in a wide range of skills and activities. To be a Cadet Flight Sergeant you will need to have earned your Senior Cadet Badge as a minimum, as it is preferred for you to have earned your Master Cadet Badge. In addition to this you should also have attended a Wing ANCO (Advanced Non-Commissioned Officer) course, as this teaches you the skills and information you will need to meet the demands of this position effectively. A Cadet Flight Sergeant will need to take a leading role in the management of cadets on parade nights, and on occasion the management of Squadron activities. The roles and responsibilities of a Cadet Flight Sergeant  are as follows.

The main responsibilities and activities expected of a Cadet Flight Sergeant:
  1. Perform the responsibilities and activities of a Cadet Corporal.
  2. Perform the responsibilities and activities of a Cadet Sergeant.
  3. Give lessons from the ATC syllabus.
  4. Be able to manage large Flights and whole Parades.

Flight Sergeant - Cadet Warrant Officer

 The rank of Cadet Warrant Officer (CWO) is the highest that can be achieved by a cadet in the Air Training Corps. While all other promotions can be carried out by the Squadron Commanding Officer, the appointment of CWO can only be granted on the orders of the Wing Commander. To be eligible for this promotion, a CWO candidate must be at least 18 years old, have been a Cadet Flight Sergeant for at least a year, and have earned their Master Cadet Badge, with a Cadet Method of Instruction qualification being preferable. It is also preferred that the CWO candidate has graduated from either a Drill Instructors course, Junior Leaders, or the Air Cadet Leadership course. The process of becoming CWO takes several months, as first a written recommendation for promotion must be sent to Wing HQ by the Commanding Officer. If this application is approved, then an interview is held between the CWO candidate, and representatives of Wing Staff. This interview includes questions about why the candidate feels they are eligible for the promotion, and a verbal test on the structure of the Wing, Region, and Corps. This includes knowing who is in charge of various areas, and activities in all three. The candidate can also expect to be tested on the History of the ATC and RAF, and must show knowledge, of the locations of major RAF stations in the UK and around the world, what aircraft are based there, and what these stations roles are. The CWO candidate is also expected to know the exact numbers of cadets, Officers, Adult NCOs, Padres, and CIs in their Wing, Region, and in the Corp. A candidate should also have read through APs 1, 2, 4, 5 10, and 11, and have a good understanding of them.

Once all of this has been done, the Candidate will be asked to leave the room while the board discuss whether or not the candidate is worthy of the promotion to Cadet Warrant Officer. If they decide that they are, then another recommendation by the board will be sent to the Wing Commander, and once the paperwork has been filled out and sent back to your Squadron (taking up to three months) your Commanding Officer can give you your CWO rank slides. 
The Wing Commander may decide to move you to another Squadron upon your promotion, as your skills as a CWO may be needed elsewhere. A CWO can expect to take on a role that often involves them working closely with the Squadron Staff. With this they will also be expected to monitor not just the cadets of the squadron, but also the efficiency of the NCO team. The roles and responsibilities of a Cadet Warrant Officer are as follows.
 The main responsibilities and activities expected of a Cadet Warrant Officer:
Perform the responsibilities and activities of a Senior NCO.
  • Give lessons from the ATC syllabus.
  • Be able to manage and organise Parades.
  • Aid the general running of the squadron as a member of staff.
  • Advise and direct other NCOs in their instruction methods
  • Be able to identify potential welfare issues and deal with them accordingly

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