Cadet Relationships


It is worth noting that there’s a difference between “being in a sexual relationship” and “having sex”.


Yeah thanks, I never realised that having been married for 25 years with the only ‘sexual’ word I know being missionary! :roll_eyes: :sunglasses: But just take a step back for a moment. Who on earth do we think we are to pry into the private lives of a 17 and 18 year old? We’re a youth organisation, not some form of morality police. For sure, we can have our own ‘club rules’ but let’s be serious, are we really going to ask Jonny (17) and Jane (18) about the intimate details of their relationship (ie did he/she touch your bits) so that we can judge whether it is sexual?

To me, a huge chunk of the ACP4 policy etc is a reaction to us actually not knowing what we want to do with staff cadets. The whole thing is a fudge and, outside of our club, much of it wouldn’t last first encounter with a legal expert.


Spot on. Club rules and the Law are two different things in this instance.


We should definitely be aligning more closely with the law than with our own assumptions or random NSPCC recommendations.

One thing that irks me is the ACP4 line “and are deemed to be in positions of trust over younger cadets”.
They may be “deemed” but only by the writers of ACP4. From a legal stance, they are in no such position - not staff cadets and not CFAVs.

It may be useful for us to operate in that manner, but if no laws are being broken and no problems are being caused then our default position should be to keep the hell out of the personal lives of our personnel.


Article 8 – Right to respect for private and family life

  1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

  2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

The RAFAC could fall foul of this if they start asking the wrong type of questions.

Anyway if both parties say no what can to chain of command do?

We are not the police we cannot demand cadets hand over passwords to their phones, social media accounts so the CoC can investigate. Nobody in the RAFAC has the power to investigate. I would be asking whether the Ex is following ACP1 and 4 by stirring the poo. By making a malicious complaint the ex is exercising a form of harassment against other cadets.


This is correct. The position of trust is written to cover some specific roles such as school teachers. It doesn’t cover CFAVs so certainly wouldn’t cover a staff cadet.


School teachers and social workers. Nobody else.
There was a football coach in the news recently suggesting that other youth workers ought to be considered in a position of trust, and I kind of agree with that position, but it is not in place yet if it ever will be.


Indeed it was flagged up in the investigation into abuse by Foitball Coaches that it may need to be extended. There is also talk of it extending to driving instructors too.

For me if someone came grassing on something like this to me I would be more annoyed with the snitch than with the 2 young adults concerned if I’m brutally honest.


If the ‘duty of care/position of trust’ was extended to all ‘youth workers’ there would have to be much better training and delivered by real people involved in child welfare not how we do it currently and ACP 4 would have to become a much bigger book and have real things in it, not just getting bent out of shape about teenagers being teenagers.

I remember the first BASIC I did and they rambled on about keeping cadets “6 inches apart” at discos when dancing which was something I only thought existed in 1950s films and something about cadets kissing and having to report it. There was a load of other tosh as well which had us in stitches and many comments ensued, which didn’t go down well the officer doing it. One of the group was a teacher and they said we don’t do any of the things mentioned at school.


best advice i could give…

Keep it to yourself dont broadcast it,
don’t acknowledge the relationship until you are both 18 if asked
and DON’T get her pregnant!!!


Agreed, we are in the 21st century. Society now rightly accepts far more wide-ranging behaviour, such as the whole LGBTQ piece.

This argument reminds me of when I joined the RAF in the 80s. At that time we were taught many quaint things under CEASR (Customs, Etiquette and Social Responsibilities), one such being to always keep a foot on the floor and the door open if entertaining a member of the opposite sex in one’s private accommodation :grinning: Of course, we also had far more sinister rules: it was illegal to be gay and a member of HM Forces (finally abolished in 2000); women had to leave the Services if they became pregnant; women were paid less than men for doing exactly the same job (there was a tenuous argument about weapons); etc. Thankfully we have moved-on although there still seems to be a few legacy pariahs left in the system.

In all of that, we still choose to have a club rule that says a 17yr old and an 18yr old cannot commence a sexual relationship. Lordy lord. :roll_eyes:


Based on ACP4 and general attitude I’m surprised we allow girls to have skirts that show ankle and allow them to wear modern swimming cosies or any of the other modern clothing they wear.

HQAC would probably have pink fit and issue reams of paperwork if hot pants ever came back in vogue.

We might be in the 21st Century but HQAC is stuck firmly in about 1951.


That’s not strictly true.
A “position of trust” exists for people looking after under 18s in a number of areas:
Prison/youth offenders institution,
Children’s homes,
Care homes,
Community homes/voluntary homes,
Educational institutions,
Providing services under (sections of) the Employment & Training Act 1973,
Local Authorities,
Court Officers,
Legal Guardians,
Probation officers,

…or where “any condition specified in an order made by the Secretary of State is met.”

It’s quite a prescriptive list… And we’re not on it.
As you quite rightly say CFAV and Staff cadets do not fall under the legal definition.
Unless the Secretary of State releases an order which specifically states otherwise then we are not in a “position of trust”, and nor are any Staff Cadets.

There is no legal issue with an 18/19 year old staff cadet having any sort of relationship with a 16/17 year old cadet.
It is purely a HQAC consideration - and then only an issue if the relationship is sexual.

If it were me personally being presented with accusations of “a relationship” then - unless I were being accosted by angry parents - my opinion would be “I don’t know if they are having a sexual relationship. I don’t need to know. I don’t want to know. It’s none of our business”. I would reiterate the Corps policy to the “couple” for their own benefit. But if it is not adversely affecting the Sqn then they can get on with having a life outside the ATC as far as I’m concerned.


This :arrow_up:


Always saw that one as a challenge in a few OMs - DCO though :sunglasses:

…and i’m sure that’s how some of the cadets see the rules as pushed by RAFAC - tell someone they can’t and they will try to prove you wrong!