Cadet Crushes

As we know kids ages 12 - 17 tend to have crushes and have lots of emotional things going on. But I’m a bit worried because one cadet in my flight who is of age 12/13, and me being 17 and very close to staff cadet has seemed to show great interest in me. To the extent that he bought me stuff from the tuck shop without me ever asking. The other problem is we are both males, so I’m hoping that its just because I’m a great NCO and wanting to appreciate my efforts rather than him exploring his interests and trying to start something with me and me obviously having to disappoint him with saying no.

So, should I be taking any sort of action or should I just proceed with caution? Because the last thing I want is the staff thinking I’m doing dodgy stuff with the cadets in my flight which could see me out the ATC very quickly.

Discuss it with a staff member on your squadron. That’s the first point you need to do. It should be dealt with sensitively and usually the OC will speak to that cadet’s parents and explain the issues.


Be wary of, but don’t assume motive. It’s not uncommon for young people to form a platonic attachment to someone they admire, respect, or consider to be whatever the latest word for “cool” is.

There can be a tendency to want to please people and be seen to be doing good things and performing well.

In addition to hormone and identity crises, plus potentially other individual characteristics that you might not be privy to, social skills aren’t fully formed and boundaries of what’s appropriate might not known.

Ignore the gender - it doesn’t matter.

Certainly letting staff know that it’s happening is necessary, because early honesty means it can be monitored, but if you don’t and it blows up later then it sets you on the back foot.

My other advice would be to appreciate the gesture but explain that because you’re almost legally an adult and therefore staff cadet, and an NCO responsible for managing and training them it’s not appropriate to continue, plus it’s their money and they should be using it for themselves and not you. Similar for anything else not money related.

You can add in a bit about them doing well and not needing to do these things to prove themselves and be respected.

I’d recommend the conversation be private but within earshot* of someone you trust. In this scenario, having a witness formally present is a little intimidating and potentially appears more disciplinary than it is. However, this should be after you speak with staff and you could suggest this method if you wish to but follow their advice. Report back to them afterwards.

(* more legitimately sharing the same space on their own task than clandestinely hanging around outside the door)

If it was on my Squadron, my view is that staff should only step in if things continue, especially if they escalate. I would initially treat it as a teachable moment, not a disciplinary one.


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So, to update on this situation, I did take your guys advise and talked to the OC, and I presume the cadets parents have spoken to him about inapropriate relationships and all that. But it seems he has taken the approach of beeing suttle about it, or it could be me reading too deep into this and worring too much.

For example, he came to cadets with his shirt untucked and after saying he has to tuck it in, he asked if I could help. And even though I spoke to the OC about the situation, if he walked in and saw me literally put my hand down a cadets trousers, he’d rip my head off. But what I did do was say that being a 13 year old he was perfectly cabable of doing it himself. So, do I need to get worried? As I wish I could attract girls my age rather than this poler opposite of a situation.

You did the tight thing in that scenario.

Try not to guess or infer any motives as over time this could begin to cloud your judgement and colour your opinion of the cadet.

Just act and react in a suitable way the same as you would for anyone else.

No rush. Don’t pressure yourself and certainly don’t resent your current situation by making that comparison. Focus in being you and developing into who you want be - the rest can come later.

Thanks for the advice, I’ll try to think of him as a normal cadet who just likes me as a friend or cool person as you said in a previous post.

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