Duke of Edinburgh Award

As an Air Cadet you are able to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh Award. The award is for young people aged 14 (or school Year 9) to 25 who want to get something extra out of the normal things they already do or want to participate in something completed different.

Award Levels

The award is split up into 3 different levels:

  • Bronze - minimum 14 years old
  • Silver - minimum 15 years old
  • Gold - minimum 16 years old

The Air Cadets also offer a 'Pre-D of E' award for those not quite old enough yet!

Award Sections

At each level you will be expected to complete a number of different sections:

  • Volunteering
  • Skill
  • Physical
  • Expedition
  • Residential (Gold level only)

For the Volunteering, Skill and Physical you will typically need to complete a minimum of one hour of each activity per week. At each increased level it will take you more time to complete. Below is a breakdown of the sections and an idea as to what you can do to complete them.


For the Volunteering section you will have to go out into the community and volunteer this could be by helping out down a charity shop or in a care home giving the elderly someone to talk to but no matter what you end up doing it will be helping other people out.

Within the Air Training Corps you may be able to count your attendance on parade nights and local community events for your Bronze level award. For the Silver and Gold levels you will need to be in a position of responsibility e.g. a Corporal, Sergeant or in charge of leading a particular activity such as Sports or First Class Cadet Training.


This is a great way to find a new hobby or to improve in a hobby you already enjoy. Nearly all of the activities on offer within the Air Training Corps can in some way be contributed towards your Skill section. Some examples of activities that could count include:

  • Aviation Training (First Class Cadet, Leading Cadet, Senior Cadet, Master Air Cadet)
  • Weapons Handling and Marksmanship Skills
  • First Aid Training
  • Drill
  • Flying and Gliding
  • Aeromodelling


This section of the award is based around doing something active to promote a healthy lifestyle and well being. It is not a competition with your peers but you will need to show some level of personal improvement over a set period of time. This section of the award can be undertaken within parade night hours or if you are already a member of any sports club that may also contribute.

Some possible choices for the Physical section could be:

  • Football
  • Rugby
  • Netball
  • Hockey
  • Swimming
  • Cross-Country
  • Track or Field Athletics Events
  • Circuit Training
  • Skiing
  • Weight Training


For most people this is the most memorable part of doing the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Due to the Squadron's location being close to Dartmoor this section is relatively easy to accomplish but you are not limited to Dartmoor alone - you can go anywhere in the world!

Your expedition does not have consist of walking, it could also be cycling, horse riding, canoeing/kayaking, sailing or by wheelchair. However, walking expeditions are the easiest to organise due to equipment required for the expedition. Depending on the level of the award you are completing the length of your expedition will vary and each day will need to include 6-8 hours of planned activity:

  • Bronze - 2 days, 1 night with at least 6 hours of activity each day
  • Silver - 3 days, 2 nights with at least 7 hours of activity each day
  • Gold - 4 days, 3 nights with at least 8 hours of activity each day

Residential (Gold level only)

If you are completing your Gold award you will have to also complete a Residential project. For this you will be required to go out into an unfamiliar environment with new people and experience something new. If you are lucky to gain a week long Gliding Scholarship that will count too.

How much does it cost?

The cost of the enrol on the Duke of Edinburgh Award has been kept to a minimum, and within the Air Training Corps, the enrolment costs of completed awards are fully refunded! The current rates as of 1st April 2021 are as follows:

  • Bronze - £23.00
  • Silver - £23.00
  • Gold - £30.00

You may have already enrolled on the Duke of Ediburgh Award through school. It is possible to complete the different sections via both school and the Air Training Corps to allow you to participate in the activities YOU want to do.

Depending on the activities you select for each section there may be other costs involved such as equipment used. It may be possible to loan equipment provided the chosen activities are one of the approved Air Cadet activities.


If you are interested in doing the Duke of Edinburgh Award please speak to the Squadron D of E Officer.

Page last updated 2 January 2022.

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