CI wishing to go Officer

Any advice for a first year CI wishing to go into uniform as an Officer please? I’d be particularly interested in what you think that CI should be doing now to make them a stronger, better prepared candidate for selection process.

I’m going for selection at Cranwell in a couple of weeks.

Over the past few years I’ve been working “executive” roles within the squadron, learning whats required of a training officer for example. I’ve also got myself qualified by gaining a Basic Expedition Leader award (now Lowland Expedition Leader award) and RCO short range.

An officer’s role is primarily to plan and develop. While NCO’s are dealing with the now, as well as drill & discipline etc, and officer needs to be setting the direction of the squadron.

My best advice would be to engage with planning and organising events and activities at Sqn and maybe wing level. Learn from the other officers around you at both levels too.

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CIs come from a wide range of backgrounds - some will have a good deal of military knowledge or have been former cadets, others will have none, save for their experience at squadron.

The key word is ‘credibility’ - you need to prove to your OC, Wing Commander and OASC that you are worthy of holding a Queen’s Commission. It will be important to prepare yourself by gaining an understanding of the primary exec roles on a squadron : OC, Adj and Training Officer, understand the history of the RAF and it’s current roles, the history of the RAFAC, understand current affairs (not just Brexit!).

Do not forget that, certainly at OASC, the boarding staff will not know you and you only have a limited time to prove yourself and explain why you want to become a RAFAC Officer.

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a similar topic which may be of interest?

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I wouldn’t even consider applying for a commission - or, to be fair, signing off on someone else doing so - without a years solid experience as either Adjutant or Training Officer.

Without that you’re applying to be a miner without ever having walked in the dark.

Go back to your Sqn, get that solid officer role experience under your belt, then crack on - which only that years experience will tell you if actually want the job.

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Great if you’ve got the luxury, but lots of places don’t.

I was a training officer for 3 years as CI whilst at uni and commissioned in April just gone.

It would be handy to do both trg off and adj if you can, but it isn’t essential. I’m still trg off now, I have never been an adj before, I look forward to giving it a go.

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Personally if someone wanted to go for a commission I would insist they did TO and Adj, as I know as and when they were given a sqn (a week after getting through ATF), as CO they these are the two roles they need to be up to speed on and invariably have to do.