The people I know who do this sort of thing build their lives around. But the majority of us don't. I’ve forgotten the number of people who’ve started out as suggested and fall off after 6-8 weeks, as “two hours isn't just 2 hours”. On reflection the only people I know who can make the time sustainably are personally wealthy such that they don’t have to work, retired or single with no family commitment. I’ve excluded those I know who participate in sport of some kind or other.
The ACO officially occupies c.3% my life each week and is a not a net contributor to my finances, IF the ACO wants to force people down a route, fine, but they will need to make it worthwhile. My employer doesn’t say to me you must fit some body image ideal as it’s not a requirement in my job. If conditions are changed for uniformed CFAV in the ACO a level playing field needs to be in place.
Do you think people think like this, you obviously don’t have a clue and or have some major hang ups/prejudices?
People won’t act as you suggest thinking the ACO won’t not be able to get rid of them, to even suggest it is rubbish.
If the ACO did get rid of them and they all walked away, who loses? Not the individual concerned that’s for sure and to suggest otherwise is not really understanding the organisation. Also what do you do in the interim between them leaving and the “image of perfection” walking through the door to replace them? Given that people aren’t knocking the door off its hinges to become staff.
Something I was told by a 2 ex Wg Cdrs, my old cadet CO and my 2 previous COs when I first took command of a unit is that you have to work with what you get and it won’t be perfect and not everyone stays. I have held this particular thought everytime cadets join or someone enquires about becoming staff. Because if they hang around I am going to have to be able to use them and give them roles and responsibilities. What they look like is not something that bothers me.
Among those who do stay there is not a rush to become VR(T), as people cotton on to the fact pretty quickly, even those with no experience of the Corps, it’s not much fun running a squadron (only reason IMO you commission), it was once enjoyable and I remember those days. I’ve got staff, CIs and SNCOs and they laugh at the WSOs when they rattle on about “career” progression and going for a Commission. They’ve given up asking me about “progressing” onto Wing Staff. Career progression to me means work, with a salary increase attached. No CFAV are salaried by the ACO to be CFAV, or if there are they are in a minor minority. So start putting extra conditions in place that are all about us as volunteers in a youth organisation doing things to satisfy some administrative exercise and more will either walk or step down. When changes and extra boxes to tick have been introduced staff have left and not always the ones you wouldn’t have minded losing. I saw 4 COs (we were good ATC mates and still keep in touch) walk over (they all cited ‘job pressure’ to avoid grief) pettyminded bureaucracy (LASER Order 4 to be precise) and the same thing brought about a sea change in my attitude to the organisation’s senior management, in as much as not really being in touch with the grassroots.