To be fair, Scouts do more than the ATC…


You are all green. Shades of green. That is all.

Why can’t I grow a ponytail and wear make up?

Don’t start your new age millennial rubbish.

hygiene - because it means to have to wash and shave and keep ontop of said hygiene. (Stand fast you honking pongos, we have all seen you shave in uniform - disgusting)

Discipline - self discipline to get up, crack your morning routine and maintain personal standards, bearing and hygiene in the field.
That’s why week 1 day 1 you still get taught how to shower correctly. It takes everyone back to that stage and there may well be people from different backgrounds.
Nearly all the comments of certain branch’s of military were their standards and cleanliness in the field.
On a side note, I agree in the field no shaving if there’s no CBRN threat. But it all depends on situation, area, threat and enemy.

Sikhs and Muslims, no idea, but as said above they might be going to see their maker before anyone else. It’s PPE and it can save your life. If you can’t manage the criteria, why bother joining? The Forces isn’t a jolly. You join to do a job. If you are unable to do said job, why join and waste tax payers money.

SF lads use Vaseline on their beards if needs be.

We can’t exactly use big ballon gastight suits and self contained breathing units just because a few muppets want to look like hipsters, or follow some fairytale.

With reference to cadets, who cares as long as it’s smart and doesn’t look like the puppet from Team America…


The problem we have is people are making reference to CBRN being a reason we can’t wear beards, or that it’s the way the regulars do it. Some people seem to be forgetting that I don’t own a respirator and have never done any CBRN drills, nor am I likely to. I’m not a regular and never will be either, so both are pretty weak arguments for why I can’t have a beard.

It works for the sea cadets, why should we be different?


Shaving has nothing to do with hygiene, you can still wash perfectly well with a beard.

Still makes no sense. You still need to get up and wash regardless of whether you have a beard or not.

Well, there you go then.

And, as above, even if the lack of a beard does make an unavoidable issue with CBRN, as CFAVs we don’t have to worry about that anyway.


Lots of interesting comments here, just my two pence:

At the end of the day the Air Cadets are a brand that is controlled by the RAF. As a few people have said already, the RAF use the Air Cadets for events, parades etc to be the “light blue footprint” in areas they cannot impact. As the Air Cadets wear RAF uniform there is no way they would allow a different standard of dress for Air Cadets, as they are a brand, and a very public one at that. I’d be interested to know if the Sea Cadets permit their cadets to grow a beard…

Oh, and beards aren’t an issue for CBRNDC. The Captain maintains the right to order the ship’s/squadron’s company to shave if there is a significant CBRN risk.


not at all - but neither does it make us worse
the ATC is much like the Scouts with a different theme, namely aviation and military.

with this i indicate things like introducing the PTS - we did X for years, generations without issue, then suddenly we now do it this way
Admin being the obvious one - requirements to go on a walk, for a Cadet to go flying, to conduct exams…all changes


I am sitting my commission filter interview tomorrow and it will be the first time I will be clean shaven since becoming a CI in 2015. Personally, I wish we could have a neat & tidy beard in uniform. I feel more mature and I personally feel I look a lot better with one, my girlfriend also agrees, she definitely isn’t happy with me shaving again!:roll_eyes:

But hey ho, sacrafices have to be made! But I must admit, this is definitely one policy change I am hoping for! :wink:


Good luck for tomorrow TS
Post back how it goes?


The ATC is not the scouts. But it’s not the RAF either, and it’s worth remembering that it’s closer to the former than it is the latter,


The acid test for this is go out and ask a simple question which of these are you aware of Scouts, Army Cadet, Air Cadets.

More people will be more aware of Scouts and Army Cadets.

I didn’t know about Air Cadets until I saw them at a local show when I was 11. But I knew about Scouts, Army Cadets, Sea Cadets and Boy’s Brigade.

It has never and still doesn’t fail to amaze me when we have an intake, the number of people who say they didn’t know were here, until their kids bought home a leaflet from school. When we have been collecting for Poppy Appeal people ask where we’re from and when you tell them they ask how long we’ve been there and when you say 48 years, they are surprised. This is despite the fact we have taken part in parades for years, done Wings and Poppy collecting for years and been involved in many public events. As OC I stopped cadets doing public events in green as we were constantly referred to as Army Cadets, thankfully the OCs since have carried on with this.

So very public brand, I’m not so sure. If we didn’t exist I doubt many would notice. We are RAF’s plaything to be used and abused when they want and at all other times there but not that important, in spite that to keep youngsters more interested today, we need more input, but the RAF can’t give us this, but I suspect they won’t relax things to allow us to access things. We play by the rules they put out with respect to dress etc, more out of fear of some losing out on the potential RAF job extension period and some in the ATC losing out on playing being in the RAF. We get thrown the odd RAF crumb now and then, but life would be much, much easier without the fear driven admin insisted on.

As for the beard thing, people have always had beards and in the last 3-4 years it has become a fashion thing, that is just an extension of the ‘designer stubble’. As such it will pass. Why do people have beards; religious reasons, medical reasons, make them look older, beard growth rates, to give them a personality and fashion.
Whether people in uniform should be “allowed|” to have a beard, why not, who in the general public would really, really care? Not everyone would have one as having a beard or tasche is a personal thing and I personally can’t be bothered. My non shaving doesn’t extend much beyond 2-3 days as I find being clean shaved more comfortable, nothing whatsoever to do with any RAF rules, as CI I can do what I like. When I was in uniform I felt obliged to shave for parade nights, but not anymore.


Hi Westland,

I passed my Filter Interview! Onto OASC next!

Shaving hasn’t gone down well though, full of soreness and rashes just like I was three years ago, I really don’t exaggerate when I say my skin doesn’t do well with shaving! :joy:




Thank you! :smiley:


Well done. Onwards and upwards!


My wing have told me it’ll take 10-14 days to be told if I’ve passed. Still waiting…

EDIT: I passed.


Ah man sorry to hear that, I hope you hear soon! We found out about 10 minutes after the interview which is like a debrief.


To be perfectly honest I’m not too stressed about it either way but imagine others may be, just seems unnecessary as I was told then and there when I went through a filter interview for a regular commission…

Sorry about the thread drift all.


Not if you’re in Lincolnshire!! - it depends where you live.


I don’t know if you’re deliberately misquoting me or if you simply misread what I posted but I also said that dress, appearance, behaviour & attendance are ALL factors. I didn’t say “only dress” and I didn’t say they were the be-all and end-all either.

Again, I didn’t quote just parades - we have many youth organisations in our area which do attend the big parades such as remembrance and that is because they are expected to. I am specifically referring to specially invited events such as “new Mayor” ceremonies & county shows. There’s a good reason why it’s the air cadets that are invited to these things above the others and it’s not just because they play the bugle.


Sounds like your wing are talking out of their rear end… Candidates for SNCO and Officer filter should be told on the night.