223 (Halesowen) squadron or better yet the lack of!

Hello all, i write this in the hopes that as many people see it as possible, hopefully even staff of the squadron, the wing staff, and (its a long shot but i’m hopeful) even HQAC. So get comfy because i’m about to tell you the WHOLE story.

Let’s start with the basic info you should have. 223 (Halesowen) squadron not to be confused with 233 (Pershore) squadron like they quite often do, is apart of west Mercia wing under wing commander griffin. This squadron has a total of 14 cadets including 5 NCOs ( 3 CPLs and 2 SGTs) with something like 4 regulars down each parade night. Now one of these SGTs has however been apart of this squadron longer than all but one member of the current staff team (so probably knows more about the squadron and the best wayto go about things with it) which currently consists of a WO (who only join the squadron a week ago), a FS, a SGT and a CI. i would like to say that there is an OC but there is not (well technically if you want to go into it) as the last OC took a wing promotion out of the blue, annoying quite a few people from this squadron and others staff and cadets a like.

Now lets really get into it.

A recent recruit push has been done by all the NCOs this squadron (notice how i said NCOs and not staff), and with this recruit push information has come to light that what i hope is a broken automatic response (but i’ll leave that up to you to decide) has been telling interested people who use the online method that this squadron is full…yeah i know utter right.but enough about that.

The next issue is the lack of staff effort in, around and for the squadron. This is probably my favourite issue so i may drag on a little on this one.

So about the staff, my info is that on the squadron staff do absolutely nothing but sit on their all night in the office (i know, i know they’re “doing paper work” not in a circle with having a mothers meeting all night every night they aren’t) and because of this nothing ever happens. the plans are not given to the NCOs (who i should say run the squadron more then the staff do) instead the plans and the uniform for the night is privately sent a cadet who because of this thinks he should sit in Dawn’s seat. the staff are also adamant on giving the 5 NCOs to do and instead give it to just one single cadet the same cadet who is being privately messaged by the staff (who i should say is only 13 maybe 14 so is a breach of child protection right there loves). i should also state the lack of appreciation is given to the NCOs for making an effort to clean the squadron and make it look like it is used by a military organisation that the RAFAC are. (I probably could go about the staff a little more here but i’ll drop them in it from time to time in all my other points).

There is also the lack of AFIs at 223 (Halesowen) squadron as good old 223 must have been taken off the to do list in 2017 because that AFI never happened (I do understand that they might not be ENTIRELY the squadrons fault but still) and the same as this year (yes i know it’s only April) as the 2018 AFI should have happened Thursday the 5th but yet again it was not, however the fact it was not then wasn’t shared with the NCO team or the cadets on either our public Facebook page, our private Facebook page, our private Facebook just for parents, the fact it wasn’t on the 5th was privately messaged to that same cadet ,who i mentioned earlier, by a member of the staff, which as you probably guessed made the NCOs feel like a group of plebs with no use what so ever.

If i still have your attention i like to thank you for getting this far my rant about 223 (Halesowen) squadron is not yet over but i will leave it at that for this one post. Again my goal here is the name and shame this squadron and expose it for what it is to as many members of the air cadet community as possible hopefully even the staff of the wing this squadron is in and even HQAC.

I would also like to encourage others to stand up and share their stories of similar events about their squadron or wings and even stand up about the corruption in the air cadets that we all know exists because it does exist and things like this should be made public.

Yours faithfully,
The Truth.

If you have concerns about your squadron you should really pursue them through the appropriate channels.

“Naming and shaming” on here is going to achieve the square root of sod-all and is actually a very immature way to approach a problem.

You might be surprised at just how much work is involved behind the scenes to keep on top of the constant barrage of emails and required actions which are part of running a squadron.
Perhaps your 4 staff “sitting on their [backsides] in the office all night” are actually working their backsides off to try to keep the Squadron alive.
Remember also that they have lives - jobs, families, other commitments too.

This sounds like a Squadron which needs support - not a thankless and public berating.


again i should say this is all to the best of my knowledge, however i am aware that several attempts have been made on squadron to tackle the problems before they got worse but making the problems known did in fact make them worse.

Are you describing yourself here?


As an additional caution here… One does also need to mindful of making potentially libelous claims.

i.e. having identified the squadron, if you go on to make, directly or indirectly, damaging claims against the persons involved which turn out to be false, you could fall foul of the law.

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That isn’t a lot of staff, though your Squadron is small. If there is a genuine issue, you need to take it up with the chain of command. The way you’ve gone about this is not the right approach. From your post, it isn’t obvious whether the problem is the staff or not. It reads like you have a chip on your shoulder. You may have genuine frustrations but this post doesn’t read well.


I’m not within 60 miles of Halesowen, but I can say that the parading numbers our friend is talking about are about 15% of the numbers that were parading at Halesowen 5 or so years ago.


I would say to the OP that I think you’ve been most unwise in berating the Sqn staff so publicly and so identifiably - and probably most unfair. Unless you are on the staff team it’s very unlikely that you know the whole story, you may know bits, or the side of someone with an axe to grind.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I had a professional encounter with a previous OC of Halesowen, and my opinion of that individual is so low that I wouldn’t use their inert corpse to either beat out a grass fire, or as a sandbag to prevent flooding.


The cadet Sgt will now about the squadron, and some of it’s peculiarities, but not the best way to run it, consider that a WO has at least 8 years and the FS 4 years, they have more experience of RAFAC that any of the cadets.

You need to raise this safeguarding issue with the organisation, and not post about it on a form of social media, which this is. Given you say there are issues with the OC, the best way to report this would be to put a call into the West Mercian Wing Executive Officer (WEXO) who can be reached at the WHQ during normal working hours on 01902 377476.

Sounds to me like the squadron could do with some more staff, as motivation may have been a little drained over recent time, perhaps you could get involved and assist with fixing these problems?

This comes across as a spoilt cadet not getting their way and throwing their toys out of the pram.

Regardless of rank or time on the unit I wouldn’t say any cadet has the slightest clue about how to run a squadron.

If I was any if your staff reading this it would make me want to do 1 of 2 things: either A) walk away and go somewhere I might be appreciated or B) start a disciplinary procedure against you for all manner of things, libel being alluded to above but several breaches of the code of conduct you signed up to as a cadet.

If any of the above is based on fact and not someone’s bruised ego, speak to your wing commander or WExO, WSO or WWO. I’m sure you know who they are.

Posts like this make me so angry. Not the way to start the day :roll_eyes:


My first thought here is use the chain of command. Thats what it exists for.As has been previously advised your veering way out of line here and verging on breaching libel laws.You will get nowhere fast if you think spouting off on social media will solve your problems.I suggest that you have no idea what is going on at your unit.However if you used the correct procedures you might just find out.There are many things wrong in the world of RAFAC at the moment but what youve done here will I suggest not help your sqn in the slightest.So if by posting on here you thought that would be the case your 100% wrong.

Concur with the comments - time and place!

Even if you have posted this with the best of intentions, if the squadron is in a rut then this may be the final nail and no member of staff in the ATC wants to see another squadron fail or close.

this just smacks of I know best and the staff are no use because they dont do what I
want them to do…

FAR too many cadets now feel entitled to complain about staff and
have no idea what is happening in the background, posts like this question
what it is you actually think staff do?

we don’t exist to go to cadet event at your whim we have lives, family and work before we get to cadets all of which we need to juggle so if we drop something and you dont get to do everything you want… TOUGH deal with it!


Allegations of this sort should be dealt with via the correct channels, not a Social Media Forum. Aside from the fact yes, what you say obviously needs addressing the manner in which you’ve said it could result in a chat without coffee.

I’m going to take the Devil’s advocate role here as the replies are attacking the OP for going public.

I raise the question, did the OC go to of their own free will when offered the post or was taken by the Wing for a Wing staff post when the Squadron was in such a parlous state?

Why replace the OC with a WO, was this WO given any choice in being posted into the Squadron as they must have known or heard about the squadron’s reputation? if they were not given a choice is this actually a ‘good’ choice?

What support has the Sector Officer or the WEXO and Wing Commander given to the Squadron?

Has the OP actually tried to raise the issue with the CoC and either been fobbed off or told it’s not any of their business and have then felt the need to go outside the CoC?

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My, albeit limited, exposure to West Mercia Wing HQ would suggest that both it’s level of effort devoted to, and level of achievement in, any task you might imagine a WHQ to involve itself in, would sit resolutely in the bottom third of any scale of measurement you might care to think of…

It would in no way surprise me if Halesowens’ WHQ had given absolutely no help whatsoever, and a great deal of hindrance, to any OC stuck in a floundering Sqn. Poaching decent staff, and then appointing either completely inappropriate staff, or or utter chords, to take their place would appear to be standard practice. It’s a WHQ that also operates a ‘brown list’ - if you aren’t on the pet list, then not only can you swivel when you need help, but they’ll go out of their way to make life difficult.

Vile Wing. I pity everyone involved…

While it’s an assumption on my part, given the standard of writing and the mannerisms used - this is a cadet writing, and most likely one who doesn’t know the system or correct channels.

Sounds like a disgruntled cadet NCO, as this is certainly not the way to go about dealing with a grievance. A quick look at the squadrons facebook page, suggests the squadron is in far from dire circumstances- lovely new squadron hoodies with 10 cadets in the photo, a recruiting post… sure it might not be the most high-performing squadron, but with low cadet and staff numbers that cannot be expected.

I cannot claim to have any knowledge of the wing or how it operates, so cannot comment on support or lack thereof, but if indeed there are issues, then asking your parents to discuss with the staff would be the first logical step.

Finally, whilst you might have found it annoying that your previous OC took a promotion, the opportunity for someone to contribute at a higher level if the best person for the job shouldn’t be considered such. Of course, something should be in place to allow the sqn to be handed over but perhaps that didn’t happen here.


[quote=“OldNewbie, post:16, topic:4173”

While it’s an assumption on my part, given the standard of writing and the mannerisms used - this is a cadet writing, and most likely one who doesn’t know the system or correct channels.

What you missed out and I’m sure it was by accident, was the total content of my last paragraph which changes the whole context of your comment.

"Has the OP actually tried to raise the issue with the CoC and either been fobbed off or told it’s not any of their business and have then felt the need to go outside the CoC?"

Given the standard of education and the use of social media you find today, you may assume but in the words of my IOT SERE Flight Commander, assume is short for making an ass of you and me.

No, it was a deliberate omission, because - as we’re all in agreement here that it’s most likely a cadet writing - I’m suggesting they don’t know what the correct channels are in the first place, so have simply come here in the first instance.

They’re unable to be fobbed off by the CoC if they haven’t contacted the CoC.

I’m well aware of that age old phrase, it was uttered to me on IOT as well, but in this instance I’m playing the odds and am comfortable with that.

Each to their own thoughts, but we don’t know if the OP has actually gone down the CoC route again assumptions.