Much like the Royal Air Force, Air Cadets have a rank structure in place. This structure applies to the Staff as well as the Cadets. It is important to distinguish between Rank and Classification. Classifications show the level of training a cadet has attained, rank shows what ability the cadet possesses.
For those cadets who are 18 or over, the rank badge also includes the words "Staff Cadet" to show that they are older cadets. Also cadets over 18 years old are eligible for promotion to Staff Cadet Warrant Officer, the highest rank a cadet can obtain. This is a Wing appointment and is only granted after an interview with the cadets Wing Commander, following a formal recommendation by their Commanding Officer.
There are 2 distinct branches of staff Rank, Uniformed and non-Uniformed.Each play an important part in the running of the Air Training Corps. The uniformed ranks are then further divided down into Officer and Non Commissioned Officers.
The non-Uniformed members of staff comprise Civilian Instructors, Civilian Committee Members and the Squadron Padre. While these members do not wear uniform the Civilian Instructors and Padre's are issued with gilt badges they can wear, to distinguish who they are.
NCOs appointed before the 1st October 2017 are members of the Air Training Corps and wear ATC pins on their rank slides to show this. Those appointed after the 1st October 2017 are appointed into the Royal Air Force Air Cadets, Air Training Corps. and have Royal Air Force Air Cadets on their rank slides to show this.
Further, NCOs assigned to work with the Volunteer Gliding Squadrons are designated as Aircrew NCOs, and further have an eagle on their rank slides.
Officers hold a Queen's Commission. Those appointed before the 1st October 2017 were commissioned into the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve Training Branch, and wear VRT pins on their rank slides to show this. Those commissioned after the 1st October 2017 are commissioned into the Cadet Forces, Royal Air Force Air Cadets and have RAF Air Cadets on their rank slides to show this. All Commissioned officers within the Air Training Corps are moving to the Cadet Forces Commission.