Current Motivation Level 0

Am I the only one, or is anyone else struggling to get motivated to do RAFAC Activity / Admin at the moment?

I’m not sure if it’s lockdown fatigue of working form home for a year and then having to sit in the same spot to do any cadet stuff combined with the total lack of engagement from the cadets across the entire period. But at the moment I have list of things to do and I can’t find the motivation to do them, playing games or watching TV is winning every time.

Anyone have any tricks on how to get your Cadet MoJo back?
Really considering an LOA / NEP so I don’t have to deal with the return to service, but know there is no one who’ll cover for me at the Sqn so it’ll all still be there to do at the end of the period.


Not the only one.

I’ve spent time and resources preparing for some fairly fun and engaging VPNs, and having little to no cadet support.

Also infuriating, when I plan something for sector or Wing level, and only a handful of the 20+ squadrons actually push it on CP.

I’m about to cancel one for this week, as have had staff interested in supporting me, and only 2 cdts.

On top of this, I have a young family, and a key worker. So when I come home, it’s family time to give Mrs Tornado some time off.


You’re definitely not the only one!

I actually enjoyed most of our VPNs, and we’ve had reasonably good interaction throughout.

Now, the thought of coming home from work, and then chucking my uniform on, driving through rush hour traffic, and then sitting in a cold building doing pointless admin tasks whilst unable to run a lot of the activities I would like to, makes me want to post my squadron keys off to Wing and forget about the Corps…

I started off mega keen and I planned and ran loads of VPNs and competitions to try and keep the cadets engaged. But, the lack of engagement from cadets and the lack of help from most of the other staff sapped my enthusiasm pretty quickly. When it looked like we could reopen again before Christmas I got a small boost, but our application is still sat with RHQ unreviewed.

Combined with starting a new full time job in October and sitting professional exams since then any motivation I had has completely evaporated. I’ve barely done anything since Christmas other than check my emails occasionally in case any cadets have contacted me.

Hoping actually seeing people in person again will pick me up, but like others have said I really don’t think that the me who goes back will be the same me who was the last person to leave on our last parade night in March 2020.

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Similar thoughts,

I want to get back to do the things i like doing with the organisation. That is some sort of a mantra im going to take forward…as much as its about the Cadet experience and delivering the best we can for the Cadets, we all forget this is our Hobby too…so im going to start treating it like that, im just going to be proactive in the things i like/want to do not do the things I probably would of done in the past that i have zero interest in and wont enjoy wasting a week/weekend of my life. Selfish, i know but if this pandemic has highlighted anything its that our time on this earth is limited so enjoy it whilst you can.

Certainly highlighted over the last year i never want to be an OC…too many hoops.


Carrying on with the VPNs hasn’t been too terrible here because we very quickly stopped any kind of training via it, using it instead for social activities, general interest pieces, guest speakers and letting the cadet NCOs take the lead regularly. Numbers have dwindled, but we’ve had a VPN every week since lockdown 1.

Our reopening has been confirmed, we met with parents last night, and we’ve got staff ready to go.

How long the enthusiasm will last for, though, I don’t know. My personal circumstances have changed so I won’t have the time I used to.

Definitely this. Slightly awkward being a sqn 2ic who’s already been asked to take over a sqn, though!

Running out of steam here too.

VPN’s got boring quickly.

Mandatory training (or more the point the lack of) along with BPSS being lost and refilled in etc has seen 2 staff leave after getting the hump.

Cadet numbers low on VPN’s.

I’ll admit, I do love my cadet stuff, so may have appeared to be one that is all over it - but I have been continuing to go into the office every day so keeping on top of emails/sorting stuff has kind of been situation normal.

Stressed generally - yes.
Fed up of lockdown - yes. (not arguing if right or wrong, I just have lockdown fatigue)
Just wanting to see family and friends - yes.
Patience running short - yes.
General bs fatigue all round - yes.
In need of a holiday but can’t go on one - yes.

And this is even after a yoga session this morning, the day started out so positive :joy: :joy: :joy:

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The biggest mistake everyone makes/forgets about in this orgaisation…and i tell all the newbie SNCOs/CIs this…No is a perfectly acceptable answer.


I’ve had more than enough of VPNs, although see that Teams training/meetings have plenty of future uses, especially for staff planning etc.
I’m looking forward to going back to face to face but dreading all the admin and paperwork that’s inevitable.

We need to restart parade nights, recruit staff (we lost over half in the last year), retrain cadets (the fun part), get the minibus back on the road and set up regular safety checks, chase RFCA to fix everything that they’ve ignored for 12 months etc etc.

It’s very tempting to walk away for a few months or get out of uniform, especially with the BS from above. Ultimately I want the cadets to still have amazing opportunities, the Sqn to continue being successful and I want to be part of making that happen.

I’m in the same boat.

VPNs fell by the wayside very quickly. We also now have a new CO due to unforeseen circumstances, which in some ways is great but also a lot of work to be done.

After working what feels like non-stop throughout this pandemic, I’m tired. I would love to hear some tips on how to get my mojo back. It’s also hard to work from home because it just isn’t an appropriate environment for it with a toddler running wild!

I’ve started with small lists and completing small tasks rather than trying to do big tasks in one go.

Definitely struggling with my staff job, because there is no date for resumption of F2F training, including flying, gliding, scholarships, etc.

Primary posting - we have been back to F2F for 3 weeks so rather better motivated there!

Definitely not alone. Actually printed off the NEP paperwork this week, it is still sat on my desk. Do I really want to fill it in? No, not really, I love my time with the Cadets, but that is actually doing something with them, not filling in all the admin that is required to do anything with them. Is there any incentive to stay as OC? Not really, I don’t do it for the rank, the uniform or the VA, could I do what I want to do as a CI? Yes. Would like be easier? Yes.

We had our permission to return granted last week. I’ve asked the Staff for ideas for F2F Parade Nights, only minimal responses and 90% of the ideas are off the table for various reasons so currently feeling like the entire Sqn is on my shoulders.

We’ve maintained VPN’s twice a week for almost twelve months now, with a good number of Cadets engaged, expecting around 40 to return to F2F. We have a waiting list of around 35 wanting to join the Sqn. Trying to juggle the return, managing expectations (Staff & Cadets), bubbles (one only can fit in the Sqn), a blended training program (no training officer), while working and studying. It’s bloody hard.

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I’ve really hit the buffer of indifference…

I love being out with the cadets, I know how important the social/outdoors/leadership/responsibility stuff is for them - it’s the real driver for my involvement - but like others my willingness to put up with the other rubbish in order to get the stuff i think is important done has evaporated.

I can’t see me turning up to the normal dross of parade nights again, not only do I just not care or think its of any importance, I’m no longer prepared to swap the time away from my own family for the influence on Sqn life that turning up for the bone stuff brings.

If I’m honest, even pre-pandemic my tolerance for the organisation was low. This has simply helped me realise it might be in the negative numbers now.

I do it because otherwise it would fall on someone else to be OC. I would say I don’t enjoy the vast majority of it. I enjoy the camaraderie and the occasions you see cadets achieve. As we haven’t had that in a year, but the ongoing and seemingly endless admin and fizzy bum gravy has continued the balance has swung very much the other way, to the point that this week I’ve been considering whether I need to go NEP or whether I’m actually being detrimental to my staff and cadets.

It might just be a bad week, but I can’t really say that I’m still committed to us.


I can’t say i have had high motivation for VPNs. I only just need a second hand to count the number i have attended and half of those have been Staff based briefs from someone at a Wing level either OCWg or SME offering details of what is coming as we neared the end of the first lockdown or simply to “touch base” with the team.

my motivation has ground to a halt the last two weeks. other than work which is going really well atm, life at home is very routine and repetitive.
I am bored of walking the same routes with my family. Off road, on road, round the houses, along the footpaths, into town, out in the fields…we seem to have done them all and has turned into groundhog day with a three week cycle. I am so ready to be allowed to get out of the town and see “new” scenery even if that is walking on known routes but i have avoided for 12 months, or to go to the River and have a picnic.

this a thousand times this.

I have been an OC before, a temporary tenure while the OC needed a break due to work. I enjoyed it but didn’t have half the admin we’ve had suggested in 2021. It gave me a taste for it, but i haven’t rushed back as the desire disappeared…although the Wing seem to think now i have been i will want it again.

I feel for my OC, they do a great job and filter a lot of the crud away from the rest of the Staff but it does seem to be a thankless task and is constantly poked at by Wing for doing X or Y…half of which by the WExO which he could do himself.


Definitely not alone in the lack of mojo.

Anyways. From my perspective, the last 12 months have been an absolute rollercoaster of absolute highs and traumatic lows. Work has proven unrelenting - coupled with 6 months of single handly managing home education whilst Mrs BF poured her life and soul into Covid response. I’m coming out of Lockdown 3 tired and demoralised. The only real highlight has been that children have returned to school - meaning I can give work 98% of my energy from 0900-1730 (and 2000-2200 whilst I play catchup) (ACC gets the other 2%). With work I’m spending extended periods of time in front of a screen delivering training, running reports, doing data management, responding to emails - and whilst my face to face contact is starting to pickup again, it’ll take a while to get used to the new way of working. All this means that VPNs haven’t really happened for me. I’m still in routine contact with RAFAC pals from across the UK and I’m still discussing ideas and stuff to take forward, but it’s largely staff development work in the hope that’ll help me refocus.

What I really wasn’t expecting is the gradual build up of BS from on high. Maybe it’s just that we’ve been outside the system for a while now and not had to worry about it to much. But over the last 2 months I’ve seen a steady stream of BS raining down on us which is slowly eroding what little passion and drive I had left in me.

For an organisation which is promoting and championing mental health, I’ve seen a lack of compassion and understanding at all levels recently. Putting on weekday and weekend “chats” doesn’t address some of the issues we’re facing. They certainly aren’t helping me tune out the “noise” of emails in the inbox, surveys, “taskings”, audits, policy changes and, randomly, threats of “Civil Service investigations if we respond with hostility to permanent staff” (when I haven’t even had contact with any permanent staff - let alone had the opportunity to tell them to do one!!).

They also haven’t helped me address the seemingly growing mountain of faff which, until it’s addressed, is going to stop my cadets doing activities - which is actually what I want to crack on with.

I wonder if the experiences we’re having now are the same as those who’ve gone NEP for a year are similar, which is why so few return?


I’m still here in spite of 90% of what it entails. Get me back in front of cadets, back among my squadron and wing CFAV, and that percentage might just about drop by 5-10%. My plan for starting up was get the unit back and stable and then NEP for a bit to rest over the winter/early spring (I’m not sure how well appreciated it is how much extra our lowly average of 3-4 Virtual Parades per month takes out of you compared to the usual 8 or so physical ones), but that won’t happen now until things slow down in November.

Somehow, that occasional keen bunny, that glow up, that shared success (and the hope of finding more in the future) keeps me hooked just enough to avoid a profane rant of a resignation or feeble throwing in of the towel.

I’m here, and probably still will be in 12 months, because of what I deliver to and can enable for the cadets and not because of the organisation itself - I wouldn’t say that I hold any loyalty or sense of duty to the RAFAC. Some paid bod somewhere would probably retort with “if you don’t like the organisation then maybe it’s not the right one for you”, but what is offered to cadets at the base level IS right for me.


I know I’ve already posted, but the thing that is still keeping me going, is the thoughts of being able to see people once more, and to deliver a great experience.


Exactly this, I stay involved with the ATC because of the cadets and what it offers them, despite all of the admin, BS and ‘good ideas’ from above. The bit of the organisation that I see almost no value from is the bit above Wing and would happily ignore it.


I’m hoping to get to the point where they stop asking because I always say no🤣