Our cadets are trained in various types of Ceremonial Drill, for Field Competitions and Parades. Drill assists Cadets to acquire self discipline and also teaches them to work together as a team. It also provides leadership training to the Cadets chosen to be NCOs (Non-commissioned Officers) as they are put in charge of a unit and are responsible for their training.
There are several different types of units in the Australian Air League including:
A Section is the smallest drill unit and is made up of 5 Cadets and an NCO in charge, normally a Corporal. One of the Cadets in the Section may also be a Leading Cadet, the first NCO rank, and assists the Corporal in their duties.
As a Section, the cadets can take part in marching competitions against other Squadrons or form together with two other sections to form a flight. Competitions against other squadrons are held at the annual State Group Review and the bi-annual Federal Review.
A flight is made up of three Sections that join together to march as a Flight, under the command of an NCO in charge, normally a Sergeant. A full section compromises of fifteen Cadets (three of whom may be Leading Cadets), and three Corporals under the leadership of the Flight Sergeant. An Air League Squadron can have one or more Flights, each with its own NCO in charge.
The Flight can take part in marching competitions against other Squadrons, or take part in marches supporting the community such as ANZAC Day.
Each Air League Squadron has its own Flag Party which carries the flag of their Squadron, as well as the flag of their home state and the Australian Flag.
A full flag party consists of 3 Flag Bearers, typically NCOs selected from the Squadron's Corporals who carry the 'Colours', or flags of the Squadron. They are supported by three Escorts, who are normally Leading Cadets although at times Cadets may also be chosen. The Escorts should not be higher in rank than the Bearers. The NCO in charge should be a Sergeant, although if a Sergeant is not available the NCO in charge must be of a higher rank than the other members of the Flag Party.
While normally a Flag Party would comprise seven personnel in total, Squadrons may parade a small Flag Party made up of a single Bearer carrying the Squadron Flag, along with two Bearers and an NCO in charge. Wing, Group and Federal Flag Parties also parade one flag, although typically these Flag Parties would be composed of Officers, Trainee Officers and Warrant Officers. As well as learning the drill necessary to take part in the Flag Party, the Cadets in the Flag Party also learn the symbolism and history of the Colours they carry, as well as the customs and courtesies associated with their use.
The Flag Party can take part in marching competitions against other Squadrons, or take part in marches supporting the community such as ANZAC Day.
A Squadron is composed of one or more Flights and a Flag Party, under the leadership of an NCO in charge, typically a Squadron Sergeant. The Squadron Sergeant is the most senior NCO of the Squadron and is the liaison between the Cadets , NCOs of the Squadron and the Officer staff.
The Squadron can take part in marching competitions against other Squadrons, or take part in marches supporting the community such as ANZAC Day.
Drill Competition and Reviews
Cadets compete for trophies for the best drill unit Aside from participating in Community street parades and festivals, there are a number of organised competitive Parades held within each Group every year. Squadrons compete against each other in Band, Flag Party, Flight and Squadron drill and trophies are awarded for the Squadrons judged best in each competition. These parades also help promote the League to the public and provide recruiting and public relations opportunities.
Reviews are held by each Wing and Group annually and Nationally every two years. Reviews differ from Parades in that they are more intensive competitions covering every aspect of Field Activities and are usually held over an entire day, or sometimes over two days.