I joined 1070 Diss squadron aged 13 with the intention of, as soon as I could, joining the RAF. I got alot out of cadets including numerous summer camps and wing field events as well as sport competitions, Air Experience Flying, various course and also a flight in a Sea King! I am now writing this article, having left the Squadron as a Flt Sgt back in January. I have been in the Royal Air Force for nearly 6 months.
Every Junior rank (anyone not becoming an officer or joining the RAF Regiment) starts their career with 10 weeks basic recruit training at Royal Air Force Halton, Buckinghamshire where all the basic skills for military life are taught.
It all starts with Mod one- the initial stage. During this you are issued your kit and taught to look after it. Also lessons are delivered covering everything from the rank structure to practical drill. Numerous locker and uniform inspections are a part of this module.
Mod 2 is delivered by the RAF Regiment. This is the Initial Force Protection Training stage. The sections include First Aid, Rifle training and shooting, Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Warfare (including initial exposure to CS gas!). It all culminates with a final week long exercise in the field, living off ration packs and putting all the skills learned into practise.
Module 3 is all about preparing for Graduation, the day you pass out from basic training. There is a final inspection, alot of rifle drill and parade practise.
I'm now at the Defence School of Aeronautical Engineering, undertaking trade training as and Aircraft Maintenance Mechanic (Mechanical). This is a 6 month course during which I will learn how to perform basic maintenance and checks on an aircraft and ground handling.