Commandant signed on for 5 more

The boss has been signed off for five more years as per her announcement.

what does tumbleweed look like?..

Has she gone sick? :smiling_imp:

1 Like

Hehe. No, length of service. Odd it didn’t get a response as quite a few responded on her FB positively.

We can only hope and pray she starts holding the SLT to account in terms of getting things done to our benefice, which hasn’t been the case IMO thus far. Which given we now have Cmdts for 5 years instead of 1½-2 is disappointing.

We need to see results from all of the projects, such camps and parenting, that are supposedly in progress and something done to ensure flying in any guise is a viable activity. This may require losing the RAF to an extent and becoming more autonomous. But if it is becoming more difficult to get the level of direct support from the RAF for things like camps, parenting and flying, is keeping it becoming more of a mill stone round our necks.

because OC 123 Sqn is unlikely to put ‘oh good, 5 more years of unmitigated success on the way then…’ on her facebook feed?

you’re brighter than that.

1 Like

And your brighter to realise that I know that, and that wasn’t what I meant. Surely ACC cannot be wholly staffed with dissidents of the organisation and thus everyone hates the organisation, establishment and command chain? It does seem like that at times in here, which is very disappointing to be honest. I’ve met the boss on a couple of occaisions now, not directly hand shakes but in formal and informal chin wags, and of all the commandants I’ve met, she has the right balance of doing as she says.

Some used to say a lot, but didn’t do anything other than smile for the cameras and were never seen in the office.
Some were never out of the office, but set a secure future at bad times.
Some were utterly useless
Some rode the good times when cash wasn’t an issue in the RAF/MOD

and so on…

[quote=“glass_half_empty_2, post:5, topic:1880”]
such camps and parenting, that are supposedly in progress and something done to ensure flying in any guise is a viable activity. This may require losing the RAF to an extent
[/quote] so if we loose the RAF, what camps should we do instead? Serious question here. (Our wing runs loads of camps in addition, very successfully, and Sqns do their own lower level things).

i’m afraid my belief is that ACC is pretty representative of the privately held views of a significant majority of the staff.

when i joined ACC the mood was much less dark, in concert with the views of the people i met in the ACO, and while there were the malcontents who saw nothing good, i took them in the same way you read the occasional appalling review of otherwise decent cars - some people just have a very warped perspective and don’t want to see anything but the bad. but now, and after many quiet, private conversations with people from from CI to Sqn Ldr from all over my region, i’m afraid its taking less and less time for the public face to crack and the griping to begin.

i was staff 20 years ago, left, then came back 5 years ago - i have never known moralé so low and resentment and blame pointed at HQAC so high.

i accept absolutely that this CAC has been spectacularly unluckly to have the job at the same time as the resource envelope disappeared, but she’s been appallingly bad at communicating - not speaking words, but communicating - with the rest of the org, and at fighting the ACO’s corner in holding off the probably unintended consequences of others parts of defence making changes to things that affect us.

like your Sqn’s and Wing, mine have attempted to come up with stuff to fill the gaps left by flying, gliding, shooting and camps - wouldn’t it have been nice if instead of 900 units having to do that off their own bat, the 1X who is supposed to looking out for us was trawling around the rest of defence trying to beg, borrow and steal stuff to do and places to go instead of making it harder?

1 Like

This is interesting. Why do you think that? I’ve never known a commandant tell people what goes on behind the scenes more than this one? Also, what evidence (anecdotal or qualitative) do you have to suggest she’s not been fighting our corner (seriously, because from what I see it’s quite the opposite and I’d like to know if I should re align my views on this so I welcome a different perspective on the matter).

Whilst I’m happy to see that when this period of service expires the current CAC will have been with us for 8 years, thus allowing a period of continuity at the top, this needs to be maintained with similar minded and dedicated RCs who are prepared to input and develop the organisation. (This role should also become tour based)

Her communication with the organisation has been vastly improved with social media outlet, however I remain to be convinced that this is the correct medium, there still remains to be improved communication through official channels and the CoC. Still too often do I see things either on here first, or another wing’s (very good at pushing things out) SP and it can take weeks to reach us locally.

I strongly believe that the current CAC has a far greater understanding than her predecessors had because she has been on the ground and speaks with both cadets and CFAVs. The HQ however appears to be spinning too many plates within the 2020 strategy, and should focus on the priority and implement a solution, before moving onto the next plate. So that we see improvements on the ground sooner.

You want more “official” communication yet you have local problems with communication…
Your problems exist somewhere else my friend “lol”.

Local communication is a problem

But national communication could improve and would prevent ‘local’ spin

Local Spin? I take it you are vaguely new? This has been an issue since the late 90’s.


i find out often because of this page weeks before other Staff at the unit do and on more than one occasion befroe the Wing informs us…

Social media is great and CAC has done a better job of it because it is more “socially acceptable” and so readily available to us all…but that is only good for “news” not announcements of the official nature, this is still as bad as ever

[quote=“Plt_Off_Prune, post:8, topic:1880, full:true”]

[quote=“glass_half_empty_2, post:5, topic:1880”]such camps and parenting, that are supposedly in progress and something done to ensure flying in any guise is a viable activity. This may require losing the RAF to an extent
[/quote] so if we loose the RAF, what camps should we do instead? Serious question here. [/quote]
It is quite evident to anyone who’s been in the Corps for more than 20 years that the RAF hasn’t, isn’t and increasingly won’t be able to support us in terms of camps and logistically to a greater extent as the years go by, compared to how it used to. This started to happen in the 90s with the first ‘defence reviews’. We may retain financial support to a lesser extent.
The fact that Wings and squadrons seem compelled to run their own camps etc is the evidence of this and the occasions we get when things like uniform and other things haven’t been available to us and caused no end of problems. We went to surplus shops to buy uniform or face potentially losing cadets as we couldn’t put them into uniform, because someone in the MoD forgot to do contracts. If we controlled this, it wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) happen, ergo I think we should be running our own procurement for uniform and looking to break the ties, otherwise we stand to lose out.

The issue we have is that our SLT are all old school RAF types and I don’t feel can see any other way. It would be difficult and a strange way for them to work, (having to sever the umbilical) but I feel the longevity of the Corps something needs to change.
We have lost cadets due to no/reduced flying and no gliding, shooting restrictions and have at times had to keep cadets in uniform that needs replacing, is this how we want the Corps to be? If not then HQAC need to look at different operating models.

in short, its results.

in 16 years as a regular Army Officer, i never met anyone at whatever rank/position who would go out of their way to reduce what the cadet organisations could do. some had no interest, but even those could be persuaded when it was no skin off their nose, and most would be happy to do what they could to help. i don’t think, from what i’ve heard, the RAF is any different.

so, in that climate how on earth can shooting have been so badly mishandled? i simply refuse to believe that if an RAF 1X had approached an Army 1X and said ‘look, i know this policy is on the cards, but because of the way we’re resourced/organised, this is going to absolutely rod us and stop 40,000 kids going shooting every month’ that Army 1X wouldn’t have moved heaven and earth to fiddle the policy to ensure the ACO could keep on shooting. if that hadn’t worked, i also refuse (having seen how the cadets were considered an important effort at 3X level even while two land wars were being fought) to believe that even if that hadn’t worked, that CAC would not have got a hearing at CAS level, and that had CAS mentioned it to CGS during a tea and biscuits session (i’ve poured the tea at such a session, i’ve heard the trivial stuff that can be aired…), CGS would not have ensured that progress was made.

this is the thing. i, before i joined the Army, had no understanding of how much goodwill there was to all the cadet forces at all levels within it, so i find it very difficult to believe the narrative that ‘the Army stiffed us, they don’t care…’.

flying/gliding is a different matter, no one is going to fiddle about with airworthiness concerns when kids are concerned, and i understand - to some degree - the lack of RAF resources that have been plowed into sorting out the issues, that said, the marked lack of movement on getting alternatives going, particularly given the amount of pay and HTD the ACO is saving by having Gliding ‘paused’, is not indicative of high level interest in the subject - not that HQAC is ‘high level’, but it has friends who are high level…

the communications issue is the facebook drivel - ‘jolly hockeysticks’ someone called it - its superficial stuff, and much more importantly, none of what i’ve seen/heard suggests that there’s much real understanding (interest?) of whats (not) happening at the coal face and how/why moralé is going through the floor. if others, who meet her privately, get a very different view when she gives a very blunt expanation of where we’re at and why, then great, but the proportion of people who get to have those conversations with her/her senior staff is pretty small.

pretty long, and not wonderfully qualitative, but my experiennce tells me that whats happened should not have done so, so something has gone badly wrong.

1 Like

So are you saying the boss is telling porkies on Facebook in order to put a brave face on things?
Or have I missed your point entirely…? (Quite possible, long night shift and no break, damn public sector droids)

I could understand why we don’t air too much ditty laundry in public. It gives the green jobs more ammunition (pun intended).

more subtle/nuanced than that…

i think that her previous career in the RAF has not served her well in understanding the horse-trading, jointery and the power of using your patrons and allies. most importantly i think, its not prepared her for the enormous power of a cross service, high level chat over tea and biccies.

to a large degree, i’m not sure she/her staff really understand that these powers exist, so they don’t try and exercise them. hence putting up a ‘result’ on facebook without realising that either there was a negotiating process before that result came about, or indeed that there’s a mitigating process after that result.

a bit like thinking that general election day is all there is to politics, without seeing the compromise and horse-trading of candidate selection, the election campaign itself, and then the positioning and policy development involved in forming a government.

i think they are honest, and as open as they can be, i think - mostly - they are decent people, i just think they are ill-equipped to deal with the environment that they’ve been thrust into. personally i assume they are using ‘blame the Army’ because there will be precious few senior Army officers who read CAC’s facebook feed, whereas if she’s blamed the RAF for leaving the ACO high and dry it would be read by people who both knew the tawdry detail, and have a impact on their careers.

One of the flaws perhaps of social media in that it is so open that (and I’m not defending it in any way) it has to be ‘jolly hockeysticks / huzzah for the ATC’ and all that. The problem with this is that it creates a massive dichotomy between the social media profile of blue skies and sunny days and the reality of the cloudy / misty / drizzle that we all see. Effectively social media is a lie. Has she done a FB entry like “just had mtg with OC 2FTS more problems so no gliding for at least another x (time period)” smiley face. I doubt it. It might not look good but the credibility would rise. I’ve sent letters to parents explaining why we don’t have flying and gliding.

The fact that the ivory tower sitters aren’t totally open with us about what is going on is creating the problems in morale among staff and this is transferred to cadets. I don’t know of many parents who treat their children like it’s all cushy when it’s not and our company SMT keep us fully appraised of what’s going on. We might not always understand the language, but the message is obvious.
We get told that we can’t have or do BUT never told openly why, which gets the rumour mill running an drives morale even lower. The email trail sent to me by a mate after the problems with shooting relating to clearances, was an eye opener and not in a good way.

When we had the stop on FMS a cadet, yes a cadet, asked me if it was because a cadet had died. I couldn’t comment as I (a squadron commander) didn’t know as I wasn’t told, but they had heard that this had happened and linked the two. Nearly 18 months on it hits the media.