An average Parade Night to do list

I had a spare five minutes so I thought I would write my ‘To Do’ list for this evening - I should point out I am a Sqn Cdr.

Bearing in mind the admin burden thread which is ongoing, does this kind of list reflect the tempo of what others are up to on an average Parade Night? Am I doing a stupid amount of work? Or is this list about average?

DofE Weekend
Make sure all cadets are happy
Check on route cards
If spare places, see if anyone else wants them
Chase Jo on the application

Brief Staff on May staffing allocations

Charity event
Get cadets involved – events list

Basic Sailing Weekend
Select Cadets from X and Y Sqns
Confirm training session night and email about it
Email Joining Instructions
Issue JIs to cadets

Look at Dining-In Night Arrangements etc

Chase TVs with Civ Comm

Chase activity monies

Brief cadets on bowling

Competitions Day:
Drill – speak to SNCOs and check on progress
First Aid – allocate member of staff to select and brief the team
Air Recce – speak to Cdt SNCO about the Air Recce competition
Aeromodelling – speak to CIs about aeromodelling

Inter Sqn Athletics
Speak to Sports Officer about

Colts Canter – start to org
Cadet event list

Wing Commanders Inspection
Finalise visit instruction and email to Wg Cdr/WWO
Speak to SNCOs about inspection arrangements

SMS PIPE Application – recruiting event
Invite other sqn

Revised GIC allocations
Events list
Update Annual planner
Update google calendar

SNCOs Conference Materials - tell SNCOs

NACATC 2013 Camp - bids by 24 May

Wing Staff email addresses - brief staff on changes - make sure you are using the right ones

AT Trawl for May activities

Activities first aid course - 17/19 May - BEL candidate

Email Tom from NTC about 2013 Remembrance Parade reference road closures

Nope- back when I was OCing, that was about right… of course, that only the list that you start the night with and will bear no relation to the end of the night! For example, you have missed the following from what will actually happen tonight…

  • cadet interruptions
  • angry parent
  • visit from CivCom chair complaining why you rejected his idea to do a dog show to earn £50 involving 30 kids from 3 days
  • fire drill
  • surprise WSO visit
  • canteen stock
  • answer bone question from cadet bloggs about why they weren’t promoted
  • phone call from staff member who wants to join
  • building security check
  • phone call from parent about something coming up in September
  • bullying allegation
  • answer bone question from cadet about their uniform
  • CivCom Treasurer flapping about an uncashed cheque
  • phone call from Mrs Bloggs about why they son wasn’t promoted
  • answer bone question about has their comms badge come through yet
  • end of evening visit from a squadron neighbour complaining about the cadets being picked up on a public highway
  • check the bins have been emptied
  • have a brew


You guys need to delegate!

Delegation works - but you still need to keep tabs on the progress of things. If its not ticking over, then you need to prod, poke, caj people into action, then educate and retrain them as appropriate! All in all, delegation without a feedback loop is washing your hands of something!

[quote=“incubus” post=6788]You guys need to delegate![/quote]Indeed - on our unit, at least half of that stuff would be handled by someone other than the OC!

Be nice to have some staff to delegate to!!

Xab, sounds very similar to my night.

I too, lack the staff to delegate to. I do it, or it doesn’t get done. With no internet connection at the Sqn, it makes life hard.


I notice no-one has on their nightly “to do” list, “look at ways of recruiting more staff” which would help with all those complaining that they have too much work to do. Think smarter, not harder. :stuck_out_tongue:

Last night I had planned to take part in a project with the cadets.

Instead, I:

Planned and discussed details for our upcoming fieldcraft exercise
Checked on Junior Cadet training and agreed ways forwards
Chatted with a leaving member of staff about her plans
Downloaded and printed an accts80 and 1771 for a staff member
checked over the completed forms
helped with H2D claims
Took payments and consent forms for our weekend
emailed wing fieldcraft officer to make sure weekend approved
took a phone call from a cadet to discuss a last minute place that’s become available
made the tea for my team
Sorted out who to invite to our open day AFI
Paid some refunds for an underspend on a weekend
Oversaw logging on to Ultilearn
Gave a badge and updated our spreadsheet and SMS for the cadet who passed.
Added a register to SMS
Explained to a new staff member how to get into SMS and Sharepoint

I think this is or should be a sobering eye opener for all those looking to Commission (given the lists allude to Sqn Cdrs) and should serve as an idea of the realism of life of a Sqn Cdr in the 21st Century. I know we’ve had a few new OCs in the last 3-4 years who have all commented about the bits that no one told/warned them about, with the exception of their COs. They thought their COs were overstating things.

You can delegate but that becomes a task in itself if things don’t get done. Get too snotty and staff walk, as I know to my cost. A lesson learned early on in my life as a Sqn Cdr.

This is the bit I am finding the challenging bit. Previously before being an OC I watched my old OC and how he didn’t utilise his staff well enough to the point where they were bored and left. So I decided in my own mind that when I would become OC I wouldn’t let that happen. I’ve shared out the workload between staff equally, some of them have embraced it and are enthusiastic that finally they now have stuff to be getting on with. However, a couple of them are the opposite and just haven’t bothered with any of it. At least we’ve now got the majority of the staff engaged and active rather than just one or two of them.

As for the nightly To Do list… Until about a month ago I was writing these nightly to do lists down. I ended up regularly disappointed in myself because I never got x, y and z completed because of the sorts of unplanned events that crop up on a parade night as have already been discussed in this topic. For the last 3 weeks I have been writing Weekly To Do Lists instead. This gives me 7 days to complete the work including 2-3 parade nights (I parade at a Sqn and a DF) to get the job done. So far I’ve been more successful at finishing what I’ve set out to do and it’s a little more forward thinking than just what needs to be done that single parade night.

Below is this week’s To Do List. It’s a little easier than last week’s as that was horrendous - I did ATC activities or tasks every single day!


  • Fishstock Programme Advert
  • Letters to Schools - DONE
  • Letters to Supermarkets
  • Movement paperwork for No 8 shooting on Tuesday - DONE
  • Update Accounts - DONE
  • Attendance Registers for April
  • Heather & Masters Subs
  • Arms Paperwork - DONE
  • Brixham Town Council Grant Paperwork
  • TOPL application


  • May 2013 Training Programme - 75%
  • WHTs - DONE


  • Shooting on Tues - DONE
  • Fieldcraft Training Day in June - DONE
  • GICs in 9 June - DONE
  • Spaces on Summer Camps - DONE


  • Marksmanship Badge paperwork (there’s a problem with cadets who are good at things = MORE work!)
  • Air Rifle RCO paperwork for staff
  • Advertised Alpine Adventure, extra Ramstein places, and LLanbedr
  • Chased referees for a new staff member
  • Accts 80s and 1771s
  • Orienteering AT application
  • Began planning for Sqn AT weekend

Sadly, none of this includes my Wing IT Officer role jobs I’ve also completed.

Brilliant feedback thank you :slight_smile:

I agree, delegation is the key and I have a fantastic staff team who work extremely hard. I do delegate, a lot, but there are certain things that are either not appropriate to delegate or I am the person responsible for that area of the business. Out of my initial list, I probably delegated about 60% of it. Out of the remaining items, I probably got half of those done.

I had a horrendous parade night the other night and I was pulled away from my list of things to get done to deal with parents, civilian committee members, SOV issues, parents looking to join the committee, a cadet discipline issue, a cadet welfare issue, staff appointment issues…the list goes on. I must admit, the other night was a ‘why am I putting myself through this’ night but I am feeling a bit more positive now :slight_smile:

When selling the Sqn Cdr role, Wing Staff always underplay the tempo and amount of work/dedication it requires to do it properly. If they told Junior Officers this before their appointment, no one would ever do it! However, being a Sqn Cdr (IMHO) remains the best position and, at the same time, worst position in the organisation. It can either be brilliantly rewarding or soul-suckingly disappointing - usually both on the same nights :wink: