Who do I need to be to join the RAF?

Updated: Oct 25, 2020

By Daye Bajela


So, you may be thinking "what's the RAF all about? What do they stand for and who do I need to be to join?"

This article is here to answer your questions on what the RAF is all about, and what kind of person would be suited to serve with them.

The ethos of the RAF is based around 4 ideas: Respect, Integrity, Service and Excellence. Being a part of the RAF is no ordinary job, so certain qualities will really help you to excel!

Respect is vital to be part of a great and functional team or group. This includes self-respect, which helps you to be the best person you can be and is necessary to hold yourself to the highest standards, like those that are required by the RAF. It also includes mutual respect, which is key for great relationship with colleagues and superiors. It's important to be humble, remembering that everyone deserves to be treated fairly regardless of rank, at, experience or anything else. In any context, it's so vital that people feel valued and appreciated.

Integrity is a key quality of an RAF doctor. Integrity is all about doing the right thing, regardless of whether anyone is watching. It's about being completely honest, being true to your word, and choosing the moral course of action, even if it may be unpopular or difficult. In a high-pressure environment, like those you could face as an RAF doctor, mistakes could be dangerous if they're not rectified, so being able to acknowledge your mistakes is essential. Mistakes are made to be learned from, but you can't learn from them if they're ignored!

Service is fundamental to being a great RAF doctor. A strong sense of commitment, loyalty and courage is really important. Imagine being deployed into difficult situations and not being committed to being there or working with your colleagues - it wouldn't be helpful, or enjoyable for anyone! A strong attitude of service, along with the camaraderie and fulfilment this teamworking environment brings, is the reason why many RAF personnel serve for many years and even several decades.

Excellence in your physical, mental and spiritual condition. As an RAF doctor, you should be able to take pride in who you are and what you do, so maintaining high levels of self-discipline is vital. From the small things like your physical appearance, to keeping your fitness levels high, or taking care of your mental health, excellence is all about being the best version of you that is possible and staying that way! You should be able to look in the mirror and feel proud, because pride breeds excellence!

Does this sound like it could be you? Do you think you've got what it takes?

This may seem a little daunting, and perhaps you might not feel like you've nailed all of these qualities yet, but don't worry! These are things you can start to work on and improve today! And while certain standards need to be met to join the RAF, you will also gain and improve many of these qualities through your training and service!

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