1344 (Cardiff) Squadron
Air Training Corps

Teamwork Leads the Way
Cydweithredu Ddyry Cychwyn

Joining 1344 as a Cadet

First Night Information

When you come to visit us for the first time there's a few important things you need to know and do.

Arrival Time: Please aim to arrive at our building between 1845 & 1900. While our normal parade time starts at 1830, asking you to arrive a little later allows the Squadron to settle down into that night's activities so you're not caught up in the busy preparation.

Dress Code: Please wear either your standard school uniform or a white shirt and black/grey trousers (black skirt for girls).

Location: Maindy Barracks is an active military base, entrance via Whitchurch Rd. You will need to report to the guardhouse upon arrival and let them know you're coming to us. If you've arrived by vehicle you'll need to book this in with them and they'll direct you to the parking near the squadron building.

Parents/Guardians: We require at least one to be present as there is information for them to receive in welcome interview. They will also receive the squadron tour but after that are free to leave and can pick you up at the end of the evening (which ends between 2115 & 2130). Pick up point is the gates in Crown Way, not the main entrance.

Other family members: We understand that you may have brothers and sisters who cannot be left at home so they are welcome to tag along (they may want to be future Air Cadets themselves) but we please ask not to bring too many other people as we're a big squadron with limited space and it will be an active parade night. Children will need to remain supervised at all times while on the barracks.

What your visit will include: Upon arrival you will be welcomed by a member of staff and asked to sign the fire register. During the night you will then participate in the following:

  •  - This is where the OC/duty staff member will tell you all about being an Air Cadet and one at 1344Sqn. You will be handed some paperwork to be completed by you & your parent/guardian. Feel free to ask any questions you have.
  • Squadron Tour - You will be shown around our facilities and many of the important (and some unique) features of our squadron. You will get a chance to meet some of the staff and cadet NCOs and find out their roles. Along the way you will see our cadets participating in that night's activities. Feel free to ask more questions.
  • After the above a cadet NCO will take you and show you the basics of parading so you will be ready for the final parade of the night. Don't worry if you don't get it right first time, as ability comes with practice over time and your NCO will guide you and answer any questions. This is when your family members can leave.
  • After that you may be included in one of that night's activities, depending on what is happening. Don't worry if you're not sure what to do as our cadets & staff are friendly and will help you to join in.
  • Participation in the final parade. Each night ends with the formation of rank and file and then the Squadron is addressed by the OC/duty staff member. Information about various activities and important reminders are given out. After that the squadron is dismissed. You'll end your night joining the cadet march to the rear gates (Crown Way) where you can be picked up by your family.

Second night and beyond

From then on you should turn up every Monday and Friday. You will need to arrive at squadron between 1815 & 18:40. If being brought by your parents they need to drop you off at the main gate to the barracks rather than enter. Dress code is as above. You will need to bring your completed paperwork on your second night and any subs payments due.

BRING A NOTEBOOK & PEN every parade night as well.

You will be shown the standard cadet arrival procedure and then be integrated into the rolling First Class training programme. Your initial training period is around 3 months and after six weeks of regular attendance[1] you'll be enrolled as a full cadet. You may also be able to take part in a limited number of extra activities during this time (information as to what is available to un-enrolled cadets will be given at squadron).

Once enrolled you'll then be able to take part in most of the activities the ATC has to offer and with continued regular attendance gain more opportunities, skills, qualifications and experiences.

If you want to know more about being an Air Cadet at 1344Sqn, explore our website, find us at the many public events we attend, ask on our Facebook page or join us.

You can also find out more on the Main ATC Website*

[1] We run a 12 week rolling training programme. Not attending all parade nights may result in you missing part or all of a training element and therefore you will have to wait until their next slot in the timetable before you can complete any missed sections. All training lessons are required to advance through each stage of the training programme as well as be allowed to participate in the activities they cover.

Got a question about joining, ask us on our Facebook Page

See also our FAQ page for more important Information for you and your parents