Can / Should I Purchase my own PTS badges?


Hello, Basically about 2 - 3 + months back I did my leadership and radio course and they said it takes about 1 month for badges to come. It has obviously been more than 1 month and apparently the wing are running low on badges or something like that. I have asked if I should just buy all my badges that I require as obviously ive been a cadet for around 2 + years now and my brazzard is looking dull. + the fact that im a corporal. I really would love to have my brazzard semi field with all the ones and I was wondering should I just go and buy them.


Brassard…and it’s up to you I think they only cost a couple of quid and at least you know you are getting them as you paid…but I’d ask again and mention you are happy to buy your own if you can’t wait.


If im really honest…im waiting for the directive that when running a course a small course fee should be introduced to cover purchasing the badge.


I think some wings are already doing this.

Although a large delivery of PTS badges landed in country last week and will be going to regions soon.


You can do this.
Though as a parent I would take the cost of the badge out of subs as we tell cadets the uniform is provided when they sign up and then can’t keep our end of the bargain


Can’t see why the Wing courses cannot present badges at the end of the course before cadets depart, my Wing does for radio…


Apparently the region is out of bronze (and blue) radio badges right now or the course I was just on would have gotten them.


All well and good if wing has the badges to present. I have seen wing courses rely on the generosity of squadrons (who have bought stock) to provide badges for wing courses.

I hope this is an interim solution and that such badges will be reimbursed when the central supply chain gets its act together, but I have heard worrying things about how regions may be looking to control the flow of new badges and manage the associated costs.

To answer the OP:

  • “Can you?” - yes, but they can be costly and the postage can bite for small orders
  • “Should you?” - Ideally not, but if you want the badge it may be the simplest way at the moment.


I don’t think HQAC will ever fully fund badges and I would put a bet on within 5 years they will be paid for at Wing level for all of them.


This whole organisation, at every level, needs to impress upon them the expectation that they will fully fund the badges that they have decided to implement, and to arrange contracts and budgeting accordingly.

Surely there will be spare funds from the flying budget…


As presented by the Commandant recently, the issue with supply was that regions went ahead and bought every badge at every level for every cadet they had immediately upon the badges being released, causing a huge blockage. Clearly, this was idiotic behaviour and has left us where we are now. Remedies are in place and the situation should get better.

Badges for all is great, but nobody really thought about what that meant…


Idiotic to think that regions should supply the cadets with the relevant badges?

I think it’s a mistake a lot higher up the chain than region - good intentions but poorly implemented.


My question is - why the hell do we need so many damn badges in the first place? Having a progressive training syllabus is all fine and dandy but why does each stage need to be recognised by a bloody badge!

Why can’t the lower levels just be recognised by an entry in the F3822\ROC\Cadet ID Card\whatever it’s called this week and only award a badge when a cadet achieves the highest level?

That would save money and do away with all of this angst generated amongst cadets who haven’t been given a badge for simply turning up on a parade night…


Because that is the system we used to have and cadets ended up with very bare badges until they got to far more advanced levels.

The current system gets our young people able to show their achievements much sooner, while providing a system of progression.

Cadets seem to like the system and the system exists for them. The logistical/financial hit (to the organisation) is worthwhile in my opinion - we just need competent people to manage it!


Idiotic to think every single cadet would want every single badge at every single level.


There were an adequate number of badges under the old system and I view the PTS as change for change’s sake.

A system of progression doesn’t require a plethora of badges to display. Having young people show their achievements earlier smacks of Tony Blair’s New Labour saying that everyone taking part in something is a winner, not just the person that wins.

Cadets seemed to like the old system - until all these shiny new badges were introduced and now they run the risk of looking pretty much like a boy scout. I do agree with your comment about ‘competent people’. Truth is, we have neither competent people at Cmd level or a budget to buy the damn badges. Sqns are now finding that they either have to pay or the cadets themselves have to.

I don’t believe the old system was ever broke in the first place and IMHO, it didn’t need fixing. The more badges there are, the more it devalues the achievement.


As a cadet and staff I don’t ever remember anyone commenting that there weren’t enough badges or “progression”.
Lord knows where this notion came from? Most cadets aren’t in the ATC long enough to worry about it and after they leave the badges (if they get them) will get returned to the squadron on a brassard and probably get thrown away or thrown away by mums getting rid of bits of tat like mums do. The most they will have is a scrawl on a page in a book or certificate with printed signature consigned to a drawer.


The PTS debate has already run. I don’t think we need to cover the same ground again…


Just illustrating how much it matters in the cold light of day and people beating themselves up over supply or lack of.


It’s very easy for the people at the top of the chain to blame the “greedy” regional staff. You could, on the other hand, point the finger at HQAC and ask why they failed to a) predict the demand for badges, and b) failed to secure funding for a long term supply.

If it was, as was suggested by CAC, certain regions stockpiling badges, then who can blame them? No one knew what the demand would be, and there were uncertainties about future supplies - why wouldn’t you look to stockpile to prevent any blips in supply?