ACF Problems


We share many of the same problems.
For years I used to see us as separate entities, but increasingly seen us as the same but in different uniforms with many common elements, so why not?
Just speaking to people locally there are things they aren’t happy about many things just like we in the ACO aren’t.
I’m not sure but I don’t think they have quite the same sort of top heavy national management structure we have.

ACF Forum

As an outsider, ex ACF, it is interesting to read the comments on the FORUM and in particular the problems the ACO is facing.

It might come as a surprise to you that in a recent report it would appear that the ACF looks on the ACO as a model to be admired.

I have taken out two quotes that you might find at odds with your own perception of the ACO.

“I have had to decline a number of invitations for cadets to attend community events that could have been used for advertising and public relations because I couldn’t achieve 6 weeks’ notice PME lead time for what should be easy to organise events such as bag packs, award ceremonies. How come the air cadets only need an internal piece of paper work for the same event?”

It was clear that the ACO had started to take steps to reduce the bureaucracy within the organisation but it was at an early stage.

I should point out that this report is in the public domain.


I’ve heard about that, it drives the local det cdr to distraction and he has had to say no, because we’ve got a call to help. His view it is far too anal. I thought the ACO was bad but it’s not that bad.

I personally don’t know why we, in either organisation, need permission to do community events and parades. It is the best PR we can do and we should be just able to do it. Even it robs someone up the tree of a job.


Do you have a link for this report?


You may be onto something. However the ACF lot seem to like their “hidden from cadet eyes/verified staff” groups.


I would like to see it too


That is one of the annoyances, however if an event is important enough we sometimes get the goahead anyway. If the Lord Lieutenant was to give me a call and ask for help with something this weekend I could probably get approval! TOPLs are another bug bear of mine, needing to submit a form 6 weeks in advance to get permission to walk on a public footpath in civies.

Most community events and parades start planning more than 6 weeks in advance anyway, so it isn’t a huge problem. You just need to make sure the people who regularly put these things on know to let you know as soon as they have fixed a date.

Only for some points. Good examples would be use of CIs, fundraising and use of social media - the ACF is lacking in each of these!


[quote=“talon, post:7, topic:3418”]
use of CIs,
[/quote] and the fact I had to leave ACF & CCF at age of 65. At 72 now, still working with ATC :wink:


Conversely, I’m constantly bombarded by ads on Facebook to join the ACF as an instructor, yet never see or hear of the same for the ATC. Am I imagining the desperate need for staff in many units?


Define a desperate need for staff? In my local area it is unusual for a detachment to have more than 2 fully trained members of staff parading regularly. I know two detachments that only have one each, but they parade together so it makes two!


Colossal pain in the proverbial.


It also seems that I am going to have to resort to buying uniform for new recruits now as getting it issued is going to be a problem. Nice to see cadets are cared about so much.


We’ve been there on several occasions when the MODs procurement process has been sodded up and the RAF has said we can’t have things. What they haven’t realised or liked to accept is that the ATC has grown while the RAF has shrunk and we are now bigger than the RAF (including staff) and we have ‘little people’ who tend to grow out of things. The latter affects all of us in the cadet forces.


The problem we are having is the clothing budget has gotten smaller and several counties were taking the MICKEY with ordering, as they were just ordering loads of kit on to keep on shelves rather than for actual cadets. In their infinite wisdom, they decided to stop issuing kit to everyone because of this, despite that fact that it obviously only punishes the counties who were playing ball as we don’t have the kit to issue, whereas the “naughty” counties have loads of kit on the shelf to issue and recycle while they ride out the pause.


Seems like a great way to encourage that sort of behaviour in the future!


We have recently had to buy berets, as parent station unable to supply.
Also last lot of uniform received bore no resemblance to what had been requested.


If the volunteers keep covering for failures by the permanent staff then the problems will only get worse.


Well the RAF not having a shirt supplier at the moment doesn’t exactly help!


As I say procurement process sodded up.

Many other youth groups buy their own uniform, maybe that’s where we are heading and one of the changes in the 2025 vision. Given the 2020 vision has got cataracts and glaucoma.


I reckon the RAFAC uniform will consist of:

Number 1’s: RAFAC Blazer, White shirt, RAFAC Tie, black trousers, black shoes.*
Number 2’s: Baseball cap, Branded Soft shell jacket, Branded Polo shirt, MTP trousers, and boots.*

*All paid for by the cadets, Via a preferred supplier that will kick back 10% of it’s inflated profits to HQAC.

Number 3’s: As it is, cos we pay for it now, anyway.

I think the ACF will continue to get issued uniform, as they don’t waste money on white elephants like 2FTS, RAF Syerston, Gliders that don’t fly, AEF staff that don’t fly, Rifles that don’t shoot…