Air Training Corps
The Air Training Corps was established as a military youth organization and so marksmanship formed part of the training syllabus. Shooting is one of the most popular activities for cadets and staff alike.
As with any ATC activity, safety is an important consideration. Full training is given to all cadets before they are allowed to fire any weapon and staff will ensure that the cadet has the mental maturity to handle such a weapon. Shooting is supervised by trained and responsible adult personnel, who are fully equipped to deal with any eventuality and ensure that the range is operated safely and efficiently.
Shooting is carried out in a controlled area known as a range. These ranges come in many sizes ( e.g. 25m or 100m) and can be placed indoors or outdoors. Many squadrons have their own range to allow cadets to get as much practice as possible.
The two rifles currently in use by the Air Training Corps are the No. 8 .22 and the L-98. cadets learn to fire the no. 8 as part of their first class training syllabus. They undergo a course of training and then must demonstrate through a written test and practical demonstration before being authorized to fire the weapon. Once this is done their commanding Officer will sign their 3822 ( Cadet's Record of Service Book) certifying this fact.
Cadets over the age of 14 years may then undergo the training to fire the L-98. This is usually done at an annual camp. Once they have done this their 3822 must again be signed to verify that they are able to fire the weapon. The L-98 differs from the No.8 in that it is a higher calibre weapon which is loaded from a magazine instead of loose rounds by hand.
Shooting is a recognized sport and so there are many competitions within the ATC at all levels with medals and trophies to be won for the cadets and their team. Individually, there are five badges to be won which are worn on the cadet's brassard which is part of their uniform.
To achieve this award the cadet must attend the annual tri - service shooting competition at Bisley and must achieve a score which places them among the top 100 cadets in the ATC.
Duke of Edinburgh's Award