18+/Staff Cadets - I'm now thoroughly anti


#41

[quote=“MattB” post=15424]I really don’t get this whole “it’s important to be a CI” thing.

Why shouldn’t it be a uniformed role? We are a uniformed youth group after all.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with the existence of CIs, but I really don’t see any reason why it is felt to be a necessary step for everyone.[/quote]

I agree that it shouldn’t be made mandatory, but here’s my thoughts on how it helped me:

Firstly, spending time out of uniform gives you a slightly more external perspective on the organisation and the way it works. I think this is helpful because it’s important to know how new cadets, new staff, and the general public will see us. Once you’re firmly rooted in the rituals and habits of a particular organisation, it’s less obvious how ‘outsiders’ will view you.

Secondly, as I was ageing out as a cadet, becoming uniformed staff seemed like a brilliant idea. For me, it seemed like the ‘automatic’ thing to do (a bit like university). I’m starting my VR(T) application now after spending two years as a CI, and I think that I have a better appreciation of what is involved and expected (I took on a lot of responsibility as a CWO and thought I had a good idea of what it would be like to be staff, but in hindsight, I didn’t). A commission will be worth more to me because of this, and the experience I’ve gained will definitely help me do a better job.

These thoughts apply only to my personal circumstances, and I know loads of people who have gone straight into uniform and managed perfectly well. I think that each approach has its own strengths.

Off-topic: Something I do think should be made mandatory (maybe only for uniformed staff) is to spend a period of time at another unit. Everyone I know who’s tried it (including me) has found it helpful, even if they didn’t enjoy every minute of it.


#42

[quote=“jacques” post=15426]
Secondly, as I was ageing out as a cadet, becoming uniformed staff seemed like a brilliant idea. For me, it seemed like the ‘automatic’ thing to do (a bit like university). I’m starting my VR(T) application now after spending two years as a CI, and I think that I have a better appreciation of what is involved and expected (I took on a lot of responsibility as a CWO and thought I had a good idea of what it would be like to be staff, but in hindsight, I didn’t). A commission will be worth more to me because of this, and the experience I’ve gained will definitely help me do a better job.

Off-topic: Something I do think should be made mandatory (maybe only for uniformed staff) is to spend a period of time at another unit. Everyone I know who’s tried it (including me) has found it helpful, even if they didn’t enjoy every minute of it.[/quote]

I was away from Cadets for two years after ageing out, and when I returned I had a completely different perspective. I was more sensitive to the changes that had occurred and the problems that I could solve; if I was already in the system I might not have spotted those issues. So on that front I agree.

Again, I can only comment with any authority what happens in my wing, but I’m fairly sure that the majority do spend time at a different unit before returning to their own. This can have its own problems though, where the temporary unit doesn’t use that person to their full potential, or simply gives them all of the pants jobs, because they won’t allow them to prove themselves. I’ve seen it happen, and it has a highly detrimental effect.


#43

[quote=“MattB” post=15424]I really don’t get this whole “it’s important to be a CI” thing.

Why shouldn’t it be a uniformed role? We are a uniformed youth group after all.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with the existence of CIs, but I really don’t see any reason why it is felt to be a necessary step for everyone.[/quote]
There is a problem with many older cadets is that they don’t have what I would refer to as respect for CIs in the same way they do for uniformed staff. Thus if they go into uniform they still have this stilted view and it could take years to change, in the meantime irritating many CIs. Looking back as a cadet I didn’t really consider them as an important part of the Corps and fully appreciate what they did. Having been a CI I quickly came to realise the invisibility they can ezperience and the frustrations it can bring. If all uniformed staff have spent time as a CI they should have a greater appreciation, respect what they bring and understand their frustrations. Also as NG and jacques mention you get a much broader and different perspective of the organisation. We are a uniformed organisation but we do have a larger percentage of staff (in terms of status) who don’t wear a uniform, but in uniform you don’t neccessarily see the whole picture. However as a CO, especially, you need to represent their needs etc as well as the uniform cadre, through the command chain. If you don’t really understand it IMO you can’t really do this properly.


#44

[quote=“incubus” post=15319]They are valid concerns but I believe that the position and ideal of Staff Cadet (as it is now) is important enough for us to aim to retain, fixing instead the areas where that ideal is being compromised.

Perhaps it should be a harder divide: I jokingly suggested that the “intermediate position” suggested earlier was in fact that of Staff Cadet - lets formalise that. Instead of simply being a cadet who had hung on, make it a tier of CFAV only available to those continuing service and offering greater opportunities while retaining some of the opportunities available to all cadets.[/quote]Since ACF PI to SGT training is now modular and will typically take 18-24 months (with or without sloth like action of county HQs)this would be the perfect opportunity to implement such a position.

18 and staying on, = PI. Still there at the end of the Mod4 = Sgt ACF.


#45

Absolutely.

It seems to me the problem with ‘staff cadets’ is the word ‘cadet’…

(And thanks for the chapter and verse, Baldrick. That’s answered something which has been nagging me for years about church choirs… which are similarly not covered.)


#46

As an over 18 cadet I feel that it would be easier and beneficial to change the procedure the staff tend not to treat you as an adult your still “just a cadet” and you get treated as such the majority of the time. I think that it would be helpful to create a position for 18+ cadets (not uniformed) that allows them to not be seen as children still but allows them to train to become staff with experienced staff members. So you are a member of the ADULT staff team (because after all at 18 you are an adult) but you are able to train before going for uniformed staff.


#47

Like some sort of Junior CI? I can’t think of a better description of your suggestion.


#48

Seeing as the thread has been bumped…

To my knowledge, those accommodated with U-18 trainees are CRB’d. At Cranwell, I shared a room with someone who was previously sharing a room with an U-18 (officer) cadet, and thus had a CRB. I’m not sure whether that would apply in larger situations (eg if sharing a room with 17 other people) but it’d certainly seem that it does apply when accommodated with one other person.


#49

I’ve always liked the idea of using the ACF Potential Instructor model. Cadet service ends at 18 and they go straight into uniform as a Potential Instructor with adult status for two years. This time is used to develop and train the individual but they take no overall responsibility for cadets during this time and are supervised by experienced staff.

As said earlier, the problem with our system is the word ‘Cadet’ - the ACF model is essentially the same as ours except we have this pseudo cadet/adult status which blurs the lines.

MB


#50

This has been covered over on the more recent Staff Cadet thread, including a link to the ACMB meeting where they discussed the potential changes. One of those options was the Cpl (ATC) to fill the PI role you describe which was roundly hated by the cadets.


#51

I still don’t get why we don’t just start at AC…


#52

AC’s cant do weapons training or run ranges, you have to be an NCO


#53

Yes, but they could still be a coach, etc.


#54

I think there needs to be a break between 18 and 20. If they are really that interested they will return and do so with some different ideas, experience etc

The current system means we invariably get cadets playing at being staff.

The maximum should be CI at 18, no uniform at all.


#55

I’ve never agreed with the idea that CI should be used as a catch-all, ‘experience’ post before doing anything.

CI - IMO - should be a position for people who want to be CIs and have no interest in uniform. We’re a uniformed organisation, and this bizarre obsession with stopping people who want to be in uniform isn’t ideal either for them, or for ‘lifetime’ CIs who just want to be left alone and not asked every ten minutes if they want to go into uniform.

The issue with young, uniformed staff is that they’re inevitably put into fairly senior positions (officer or SNCO), whereas if we put them in a junior role with expectations in line with that status then they should enjoy it more and manage it better.


#56

Of all the youngsters I’ve had come through, the ones that have remained have been the ones have been those who were CIs first off. I had one lad is parents were insistent that he went into commissioned service, he was alright until at 24 he was offered a command took it very much against my advice and a couple of his mates. He lasted 18 months, went NEP on some job related nonsense and then left. His dad told me the job thing was an excuse as he wasn’t enjoying it as OC and couldn’t see any way out. But I’d guessed as much.
Of the 9 youngsters I’ve had come through, 1 in uniform direct, 3 went into uniform after 2-3 years as a CI and the remainder still CIs. Unfortunately not all still on the sqn, but that’s life.
My advice is soak up as much of the adult side as possible as a CI, do the courses you are interested in and then make a decision. As a CI there are no obligations or other stuff going on.

The CI route works if you believe in it, which I do. The 3 that are in uniform are sold on the idea as it gave them a broader perspective of the adult ATC life. I ensure all CIs are doing the crap stuff and not just doing what they want. They’ve all seen cadet mates who uniformed directly leave after relatively short times. One commented that of his little group around the Wing who became staff at about the same time, of the 8 of them there are only two left (both CIs) in the Corps and that’s within 8 years. Seeing what happened to his mates he is dead set against uniform, he says he does everything he wants to.

I don’t understand the obsession some have with uniform. The uniform is just a means to an end IMO in terms of what we do. The implication is that being a CI writes people off as worthless and pointless to the organisation, because it’s all about the uniform. The only people who may think that are IMO narrow minded.


#57

I understand (and agree) largely with what you’re saying, but I think it’s the pressure of seniority rather than the fact that it’s uniformed service per se.


#58

Nor can a Staff Cadet, you’ve always needed to be 20+ (Of CFAV Age) to be an RCO


#59

But if we are making them members of staff lets make them useful memebers of staff, after all in the old days CWO’s could be RCO’s.


#60

But only once they reached the Age of 20 and decided to remain as a CWO and not commission.

We should actually look to return 22 Year Old CWOs as the ideal transition for those cadets that wish to remain in the ACO. Providing of course that they are put in management positions within the squadron and mentored appropriately.