Girls Venture Corps Air Cadets

The Girls Venture Corps Air Cadets is a voluntary uniformed youth organisation in the United Kingdom for girls aged between 11 and 20. It is a registered charity, and a member of The National Council for Voluntary Youth Services. The current Corps Director is Brenda Layne, MBE, and the Corps Commandant is Yvonne McCarthy. The GVCAC receives no funding from the Ministry of Defence. All adult staff members are subject to security and Criminal Records Bureau checks.


The GVC has its origins in 1940 as part of the National Association of Training Corps for Girls. This umbrella organisation was responsible for the Girls' Training Corps, Girls' Nautical Training Corps and Women's Junior Air Corps.

First woman to break sound barrier

Former Air Transport Auxiliary pilot, Diana Barnato Walker, became a pilot for the Women's Junior Air Corps shortly after the war, giving cadets training and air-experience flights to air-minded teenage girls to encourage them to enter the aviation industry. In July 1948, an aircraft that she was flying caught fire near White Waltham. Rather than bale out and lose the WJAC’s aircraft, she switched off the fuel and glided the aircraft back. In 1963 she undertook a flight in an English Electric Lightning, attaining 1,262 mph in a two-seat T.4 trainer and thus became the first British woman to exceed the speed of sound.

Girls Venture Corps

In 1964 the Girls Venture Corps replaced both the GTC and WJAC. The previous year, the Girls' Nautical Training Corps became more closely involved with the Sea Cadet Corps and in 1980 became an integral part of the Sea Cadets and ceased to be a separate organisation. The Girls Venture Corps had two wings corresponding to the former GTC and WJAC; it was common at this time for former GTC units to share premises with Army Cadet Force units and for former WJAC units to share premises with Air Training Corps units. From 1983, girls were accepted into the ACF and ATC, which caused many GVC cadets to transfer to their respective counterparts. It was decided that the GVC would focus on air activities and in 1987, at the request of its membership, the organisation was renamed the Girls Venture Corps Air Cadets.


Duke of Edinburgh Award

The Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme is a voluntary, non-competitive programme of practical, cultural and adventurous activities for young people aged 14 to 25. The Award programme has three levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold, and Cadets are often encouraged to achieve these awards as they progress through their cadet careers. The Award is widely recognised by employers as it helps demonstrate that holders are keen to take on new challenges, have a higher level of self-confidence than their counterparts, and have leadership qualities with experience of teamwork.
Until 2008, some cadets aged 16 or over participated in the Duke of Edinburgh's Millennium Volunteers Award.

Aviation awards

There is opportunity for all Cadets to undertake practical gliding and powered flying, underpinned by training courses in aviation subjects.
To gain this qualification a single specialist subject is studied:
The Challenge Award has drill and etiquette, service to the community, life skills, outdoor/adventure activities, interests/skills, and physical recreation sections.

Drill and etiquette

The GVCAC, as a uniformed youth organization, sets itself and its members very high standards, including dress and behaviour. Drill is a vital part of encouraging teamwork, discipline, co-operation and self-confidence. Practicing drill is a means of instilling discipline and teamwork; it is also used in formal parades, for moving around military bases and moving cadets in a smart and orderly fashion. The Corps instills good manners and customs into cadets' behaviours; this transfers into having respect for each other, their family and is often well received by prospective employers.

Other activities

GVCAC Cadets can also take part in the International Air Cadet Exchange, and Nijmegen Marches.

Flying and Gliding Scholarships

RAFA Flying Scholarship

The Royal Air Force Association each year invites applications from both the ATC and GVCAC for a limited number of flying scholarships.

Ducat-Amos Gliding Scholarships

In 2007 six grants were awarded to GVCAC Cadets which enabled attendance on a weekend course at a local gliding club. The scholarships were named after Air Commandant Barbara Ducat-Amos CB RRC, Director of the Royal Air Force Nursing Service.


The headquarters is in Tinsley, South Yorkshire, east of the Tinsley Viaduct at junction 34 of the M1 motorway, off the Tinsley Roundabout at the start of the A631. The Meadowhall Centre is nearby to the west.


Cadet ranks

As well as learning new skills by working through the GVCAC syllabus, experienced cadets can be awarded a rank. The GVCAC allows its cadets to take on responsibility and leadership as non-commissioned Officers or NCOs.

Staff ranks

RankHonorary Corps CommandantSenior OfficerUnit OfficerAssistant Unit OfficerSection OfficerPotential/Acting Section Officer


Region 1Region 7Region 9Region 11Region 12Region 18Region 25
South Shields Huntingdon Culver RAF Marham Feltham Hednesford Ollerton
Gateshead St Ives Ryde King's Lynn Greenford Smethwick Rotherham
Wisbech Newport Southend Stafford Sheffield
Yaxley Walsall Wigston