Get to know a little more about what it’s really like to complete Officer training at RAF Cranwell
You’ll need to arrive ready for training. Here’s what you need to prepare so you can hit the ground running.
What do I need to bring with me?
Before you arrive, we will send through a clear kit list of everything you will need to bring. This will include civilian clothing, toiletries, and personal effects. You must bring an iron and ironing board with you. This is to ensure your uniform is treated with care and meets our inspection standards.
Is there anything not on the official list that might be useful?
Everything you will need is on the official kit list. We regularly take on board feedback from current and recently graduated cadets to make sure that the list is up to date and right for all cadets’ needs. There are some non-essential items that some cadets have found useful, such as in-soles, washing up liquid and wooden hangers for uniform, which you are welcome to bring too.
Can my friends and family come with me for my arrival?
We know the first day can be intimidating so you can bring a couple of people for support who can drop you off but won’t be allowed on site.
Do I have to arrive the night before?
You don’t have to arrive the night before, but, if you are travelling a long distance, we can make provisions for those that have to.
What is the course length?
You’ll be training for 24 weeks, or 18 weeks for previously serving individuals.
What are the course modules?
Module 1 – Military Skills where you will learn the basics of being part of the RAF
Module 2 – Development 1: Know yourself to lead others
Module 3 – Development 2: Line management & command
Module 4 – Consolidation (Summative assessment & graduation)
Staying in RAF accommodation can be a unique experience, here’s what to expect at RAF Cranwell.
Where will I be staying?
During your training at Cranwell, you will stay on base. In your first and second modules, you will stay in the Number 1 Mess accommodation where you will share a room with one other person. In your third and fourth modules, you will move to your own room in the College Hall Officers Mess (CHOM).
What are the bathrooms like?
Our bathrooms are single sex and communal, with individual cubicles for toilets, showers and baths.
What's the food like?
You’ll get three meals a day from your respective mess. If you’re out on exercise, you’ll be given a military issue ration pack. We’ve created a balanced diet that gives you the essential energy and nutrition for life in the RAF. There are options available at each sitting so you can choose the meal that will power you through the day.
All dietary requirements are catered for including vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, halal and milk alternatives.
Fitness is an essential part of life in the RAF. Here’s what you need to do to make sure you’re ready to train with the best.
How fit do I need to be?
You will have passed the PJFT prior to joining the RAF and as a cadet you must be fit enough to pass the Multi-Stage Fitness Test (MSFT) for your age and gender. You will take the MSFT every 6 months to maintain fitness and monitor progress.
We’ve developed a training programme you can follow, and you can find out the standard you need to meet during the fitness test here.
What happens if I fail?
We aren’t looking for superhuman athletes; we want cadets that don’t give up and keep striving to be the best. Depending on when you failed the test and the degree of failure, we will look into each case and assess individually. If it doesn’t go the way you expected, don’t worry, retests will be offered.
What if I get injured?
We’ll do all we can to keep you on the course safely. If this isn’t possible, you’ll be transferred to Cadet Support Flight (CSF) while you recover. Once you’re physically ready, and the next available training place comes up, you’ll be placed back on the course.
There’s more to life in the RAF than training. You’ll have a rich social life where you’ll make life-long friends.
Will we have downtime?
When you’re not training, revising or carrying out preparations, your time is your own. This is classed as Not Required for Duty (NRFD) and depends on officer training performance throughout the week. On base there are a variety of activities to take part in. Depending on your performance and what stage you are at in the course, you’ll be able to travel off base and explore the local area. Learn about social, sports and adventure activities in the RAF here.
Can I go back home to see friends and family?
Travel home is regularly allowed over weekends, dependent on what stage you are at in the course and how you’re performing.
Can I smoke / drink alcohol?
We encourage a healthy lifestyle. If you do smoke you can do so in designated areas adjacent to the accommodation. Drinking is allowed, with some restrictions based on the training schedule. Direction will be given daily about whether bar use is permitted.
Can I have a relationship?
We advise cadets to focus their time on training however we will not stop relationships forming and support those with families.
Am I allowed my phone?
Yes, during off duty periods. Phones are permitted during the working days if needed for educational purposes and granted on a case-by-case basis by Flight Staff.
When do I have to wake up?
Timings vary based on training to be carried out that day, however you can expect to start your day at approximately 6am.