Commissioning filter interview


Hello everyone,

Last night I was informed that I have an opportunity for a filter interview on the 12th of May, basically in one weeks time. I was a cadet for seven years and have been a CI now for three, so I am aware of the rank structure, history of the ATC etc. Does anyone have any tips on things I should look up and be aware of for this interview?

Thank you!


Current (Last 12 Months) Affairs both Domestic & Overseas try to have 5 of each available to draw on, they will only ask about 1 of each, you just need a general understanding and an opinion.

Understanding of RAF Current Operations
Understanding of Air Power and how this is used by the RAF (ISTAR is popular at the moment)
Understanding of NATO and UK/RAF Involvement (this has been dropped by OASC though)

Why you want to move into a uniformed role, and particularly as an Officer rather than an NCO.


Second that - I’d guess that most candidates are OK on their ATC knowledge, but don’t realise the level of RAF and current affairs knowledge required.


Make sure you have a good idea of who is who within your Wing and Region, a rough idea of the structure of HQAC.


And what the difference(s) is / are between the two.

[quote]Second that - I’d guess that most candidates are OK on their ATC knowledge, but don’t realise the level of RAF and current affairs knowledge required.

I appreciate this is off topic, so feel free to move or ignore, but since they’ve made so much of a fuss about uniformed personnel not being in the RAF now, why do we have to abide by RAF filter interview requirements? Why is it necessary for a uniformed member of the air cadets to know what the current RAF is doing?


Because as they put it at OASC, the young people who we “look after/support/develop” will likely have an interest in our parent service, and it’s all part of being a credible RAFAC Officer…

Equally, ask anyone who is over 12 months past OASC and I bet they don’t have a clue unless they are involved in Filter Interviews.


Speaking from experience, that includes people joining the actual RAF. After OASC you’re not asked again at any point through IOT.

So you’ve got to wonder, what’s the point? How much is it costing us to put people through RAF selection standards when it has zero bearing on their ability to be a cadet instructor?*

*I say zero, because we’re perfectly happy to have people who never went to OASC still instructing (and, indeed, preparing others to go…) - and CIs who have no requirement to go - still doing exactly the same things day-to-day on the units.

It’s little more than a “look at me, aren’t I great” badge.


I would say that was a given, for our side and Civ Comm side as well, as well as a bit further up the food chain.

Better know too much than not enough.


we are moving off topic now but this really grips my chain.

and something I have never fully grasped.

If we have WOs as OCs and in some cases FS or Sgts and even reports of CIs what value does OASC offer??
and that is only on the topic of being a Sqn OC.

Some of those going to OASC will be avoiding the role of OC as best they can for whatever reason (lack of interest, lack of time, no commitment to that type of involvement, not suitable) so what does a Plt Off/Fg Off need that a Sgt/FS doesn’t – what is it they do on Sqn, are responsible for, what skills or qualities do they require that justifies OASC for them and not the NCOs?

We all know of SNCOs who would make great Officers, some even competent OCs, we likewise know Officers who are better placed being CIs yet we have this format which decides who makes a good officer yet the commitment of either flavour, SNCO, Officer and to a lesser degree CI is the same. All attend twice weekly, all attend a variety of courses/complete various forms to remain members all are equally capable to conduct a training lesson – yet somehow OASC indicates a two tier system to allow those who wear a stripe rather than a chevron to do the same role

(and yes I am aware i open the door for SNCOs to do OASC as well. personally I think if Officers should then why not SNCOs? it should be an all or nothing as the only difference is the cloth worn on the shoulder - ATF concentrates the mind on the role specific skills and qualities)


It is indeed probably best to have an idea right the way up to Chief of the Defence Staff who is indeed an ex cadet. You would be surprised how many people hit filter boards with no idea who their WATTO is.


The points raised question the whole need for adult uniformed volunteer staff. It would seem it is only there and persisted with to give some allusion to a military link, that is losing it’s relevance.
We only persist with uniformed adults as the higher organisation needs to have someone to apportion blame to when things aren’t going right. For those who will no doubt come back with “but we need uniformed staff and could easily lose CIs”, think about it, and this is directed at SNCOs mainly, how often do you think that’s an officers job, but I could do it better and similarly CIs who say that’s for uniformed staff and not for me to do, but I could do it better. Both sentiments I encountered as a CO. The insignia people choose to wear constrict themselves and limit the organisation in terms of development, but only because the higher organisation lets persists with and sees certain roles as being only for those wearing uniform and particular insignia, for no real reason, other than an institutionalised thinking. I would go so far as to say do we really need ex military in all the senior HQAC roles?

A question for those going to OASC and ATF to ask could be “why do they think we need uniformed adults in the ATC”? I doubt it would they would be able to get much beyond clichéd answers.

The insignia we wear bear no relevance to whatever role(s) we undertake. The insignia we wear bear no relevance to how competent we are at doing the job and I would suggest that extends into the regular forces. I quite like being a CI again because as far as the wider organisation is concerned I’m only just able to go to the toilet without asking. Yet I could do any of the jobs and not really break into a sweat, but as a CI I have greater freedom and choice in what I do and no one can play the you’re a SNCO or Officer and expect that I just fall into line and comply. The only jobs I won’t do are Adj and H&S bod as they are just too much like work and of course Sqn Cdr.

I have and will always maintain, while the system persists, if you are looking to become a commissioned officer and not prepared to be a Sqn Cdr, why are you doing it? Of course we all know that things happen in life, but of you think that your job will evolve into something that means that being a sqn cdr is unlikely to happen; if you think that if you have children it will mean you won’t have the time to do iit; in my book you are wasting your’s and everyone else’s time. Similarly if you are doing it because you think you are going to get some kudos or community standing, you will be of no use to anyone.
Sqn Cdr is the most important job in the ATC and requires a lot of dedication and sacrifice, if you are to make a good go of it. When I was sqn cdr ( family life and work notwithstanding), I rarely missed a parade night or weekend activity and luckily my wife understood this. It was IMO something I agreed to do and would give it my time. Now however while I still do most parade nights I pick and choose weekend things.


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