Continuation of Service

Any one else been having thoughts of either stepping down from Sqn Exec role or going nep during the covid 19 crisis

Not personally but I think some may and that could be a real risk to corps staffing

Been a difficult year. Low morale and slowly losing interest in RAFAC.

Being OC of a new Sqn not helping

Is that being oc of a new Sqn…

Or new oc of a Sqn?

There is a big difference.

First time in the big chair?

Rather than standing down heres a few top tips.

  1. Delegate as much as humanly possible.
  2. During this stand down period maybe only VPN once a week or once a fortnight if necessary.
  3. Ask for help from sector and wing.
  4. Get your staff team involved.
  5. Got a Padre? They are good at listening.
  6. Dont worry about state of your Sqn after this. We are all in the same boat. Gonna be a cluster…
  7. Speak to neighbouring OCs, ask for any ideas.
  8. People on here are usually helpful.
  9. Make a list of things to ‘get done’ as OC. Then tick one off each day/week during lock down.
  10. Remember we are just volunteers. Look after yourself and your family first. The Corps will be here long after we have all finished giving it our blood, sweat and tears.

Hope that helps.

Oh, and finally remember you are 1 of 960(ish) OCs and we are ALL bar none, stressed at the minute! Its perfectly normal.


Shame you don’t accept pm paracetamol

I’m somewhat of an experienced CFAV (have more time in that many wing staff and other oc’s)

I’m (just!) a CI, so the more paper driven stuff doesn’t apply to me, but I’m quite deliberately not getting involved in all the remote parade nights and all this stuff - part of that is personal life (we’re supposed to be selling our farm and moving 300 miles away and swapping sheep for Alpacas - so, you know, a bit of a full in-tray, and now everything has stopped because of C-19 and we’ve just got to sit it out with no idea of when or if…) - but I’m also just not interested in the model: I’m simply not going to spend 6 months doing something I’m not interested in…

There’ll be a new CAC when we come back - I’m thinking September - so the emphasis on the ACO may (hopefully) change. You may well walk back into a very different organisation in September, so keeping it going till then if you’re not ready interested seems a bit pointless to me…

I was strongly considering leaving before this all started, in fact I’ve started the paperwork to join another organisation.

But, I’ve had to be the one to get my squadron into the swing of delivering online training; talking people through Teams, delivering most of the sessions so far etc. Slowly transitioning back to a more normal division of labour between the staff so the thoughts about leaving are creeping back in.

I was feeling overworked and underappreciated before all this - not being on the squadron every night has helped to an extent but my attitude hasn’t changed hugely.

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You can pm me on here!

IIRC there may be a limitation on sending PMs until you have a certain number of posts…?

It’s to prevent the occasional spam or malware accounts filling our PM inboxes.

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I honestly expect to see many seeing the light and terminating service. It will be interesting to see how many Sqns close due to next to zero staff returning post lockdown. I think we may see some strategic estate review actions being triggered earlier as a result


I know that’s a big concern. Retention of staff and cadets. However HQAC need to realise that volunteers need to be recognised for the hard work that they all put it.

Maybe things will change post covid ban

In my incredibly humble and in no way educated opinion, our Wing is already too big with too many units close to one another. We could lose 5 or 6 units and the cadets would still have an option within 30 minutes travel time.

HQAC has never really recognised the input from volunteers and I cannot see this changing. We are here to be used and abused in their eyes.

There are a number of COs in their mid 50s to 60s (I know I’m one of them) who have spoken about our futures before this, either in terms of standing down or leaving on both counts because of the thankless role being OC has become. Then there are the other staff in similar mindsets. I think this current situation will prove a natural break point for a number of staff. Then there are those cadets approaching 18 will there be a total relaxation of the rules, if not there will be many just lost, not to mention the cadets who won’t just come back.

I’m a bit like @angus in terms of this folly of remote learning as we have no legal compulsion to do it and cadets no compulsion to engage. Hence low numbers doing it. Only because I’m a sqn cdr do I feel a compulsion to show interest.

I think I am in a similar position, I took over command of one of the biggest units in our wing, 7 days before we suspended face to face activity.

While I’m still working full time (from home) and I’m the lucky one as the majority of my company have been furloughed, I’m finding that cadets and the interaction I am getting is really helping me maintain a level of “normal”

I’m using this period to build a clear slate for me, (previous OC is remaining on unit) but I suspect a lot of that has gone before will be forgotten when we return, so I can put my stamp on the unit. It’s allowing us to ensure all the mandatory training is up to date as well as the background admin such as H&S without pulling me away from doing things at the Sqn.

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This is the single best time I’ve had as OC, bar none.

I’m getting no pointless admin. No emails. No safeguarding or disciplinary issues. No panicking about staffing events.

All I’m dealing with now is a wing trying to push me into doing stuff live online which I’ve already declined twice.


Obviously the above is tongue in cheek, but on a serious note why would now be the time to quit? I could understand it when we start approaching going back to normal but the timing seems off to do it now.


Being furloughed has allowed me to concentrate on producing some useful training material, and concentrate on delivering it, rather than deal with the usual unit faff, like updating RA’s, monthly checks, fire alarm checks, safeguarding issues…

All in all, it’s exactly why i became a member of staff!

Isn’t that the ATC in general, though?

I’m a member of staff in the ATC because I was a cadet, and got so much out of being a part of the organisation that I wanted to help future generations of cadets (and I enjoyed being around people who shared many of my interests).

That is why I will continue with online training, and I why I will continue to try and offer the cadets some ATC training whilst we’re all confined to barracks. If nothing else, it will allow us to get ahead in the mandatory training, so we can concentrate on doing fun stuf when we return.

That would be nice…
Unlikely though.