I’m a new CI (Oct 19) and very keen to become a SNCO, I have been advised I need to be a CI for at least 6mths, which I understand, however there is a Pre Uniform course coming up and I was just wondering what to expect and how long would it take before being able to become a uniformed member of staff?

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SNCO is entirely dependent on your wing as theres no further selection process outside wing level.

Basically as soon as you can pass a board.

A potential uniform course will really help you prepare for the board though!


Up our way, attending a pre-uniform course is a pre-board “requirement”.

The course covered:

  • Squadron Admin
  • ACP1,2,4,5 (recap of AVIP)
  • RAFAC / RAF organisation and knowledge (recap of AVIP)
  • Foot Drill (to an extent - don’t expect to learn it in a few hours)
  • Leadership (token gesture)
  • Mess etiquette

My experience on timescales:
Paperwork submitted --> ~6 weeks --> Board --> ~6 weeks -> Appointment letter

Do you have cadet / military experience? My experience has been that there’s a big learning curve if not - even if you pass a board, make sure you’re ready to be an SNCO. I’ve found expectations of me (and the standards I feel I should hold myself to) are not small.

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Thank you. The only experience I’ve have is through my father being Army then TA, but was always my ambition as a child to join up, just as a teen I was told that sadly I wouldnt be able to for health reasons, and I’ve become a CI since leaving Civcom, I have a good understanding of how things work, and I’m prepared for alot of work, and as I currently work as a Teaching Assistant, I feel I have plenty to offer.

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That’s really good!

In my god awful wing they run 2 SNCO boards a year! What a joke.

I think I was lucky with the board date, but yeah - actually fairly smooth (excluding the first round of lost paperwork, but that’s normal).

@Izzie26 it sounds like you’ll be a great fit. My suggestion would be to start getting more involved in “uniform” things. Ask to join your cadets during drill. Ask to join when they have a kit prep night. Both of these are things I wish I’d done more of to pick up more practice before needing to do it myself.

@Squirrel thank you, our Sqd are very keen for me to become a uniformed member, so they are quite helpful, and have already got me on 1st aid courses in the hope that i will be able to instruct it in the future. One of our SI’s delivers drill so I’m sure he wont mind putting me through the paces :grin: … so fingers crossed!

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