CWO - Keep or Scrap?

Edit for background: thread stemmed from here when the conversation turned to ending cadets service at 18 with the implication that no Staff Cadets = no CWO.

Simply not true. Adjust the age.

Master has been reduced to 15, MOI no longer restricted, joining age is lower…

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See also CCF.


That’s just keeping it for keeping its sake. People whinge now about inexperienced cadet NCOs of all ranks to get them to a point they can be promoted to CWO just as/after they hit 18. Keeping CWO as and when (I hope) we bin cadet service at 18, would create all sorts of unpleasant noises. Also it would make CWO more of a box tick and badge to collect than it has become since 2003. I’ve had 3 CWOs since 2003 and only one did anything I would expect a CWO to do (off sqn) for no other reason than their real lives allowed it. I never understood why we didn’t lose it in 2003…

TBH why not?

There’d be a saving overall with not having to make bespoke CWO badges. (Leave off the staff cadet bit, it’s inherently redundant anyway.)

As for people complaining, the RAFAC have started using aircrew ranks without too much consternation which are also hard to gain, as is WO in the regulars.

Oh okay, so by that logic we should bin off FS, sergeant, corporal and brassards to save a few quid. No.

Not really, as they’re the same as the regular ranks. And the brassard is useful for the extra badges that cadets can earn, saves damaging the rest of the uniform :smile:

Then why did you submit their recommendations?

The weakening of standards is something that irks me, but the fault is with the staff who don’t develop their NCOs well enough and then promote too soon, culminating in a CWO recommendation purely out of time served or because they wanted one.




How on earth do the other cadet forces cope with having WO ranks for their cadets when they all age out at 18? They develop their cadets - why don’t you Teflon?

Why do you need to keep CWO as an 18+only rank? I recently had a 17yo CWO and she would have beaten most 19 year old ATC CWOs I’ve met. Not because they are bad, but because she was great. In the ATC she would have had to wait a year to get the rank she deserved.
(Just to add for fairness I’ve seen some truly dreadful ones in the CCF as well, especially in schools where they promote to establishment rather than ability - i.e. the senior cadet must be a WO equivalent, senior in each service section must be a FS equivalent)

Try not to make it personal.

The SCC don’t. Their top cadet rating is Petty Officer Cadet.; and similarly the Royal Marines Cadets’ top rank is Cdt Sgt.

Ok, the ACF and the CCF then

However they start further down the rank scale with their Able Cadets etc so an SCC PO Cadet is like an FS.

What ranks do CCF (Navy) have?

We’ve had an odd combination of both in the CCF. All 4 cadet heads of section are given the rank of Under Officer (in the RAF section this is obviously honorary) to give parity to the heads of section. The RAF head of section then also carries an official rank of either FS / CWO based on merit. Could this work for CCFs?

Our Navy section cadets don’t bother carrying rank insignia (as far as I understand they do have ranks on the register) so it was a nightmare to refer to them!

Going back many moons to my CCF continent the RN section used the cadet rank of Coxswain for the head of section, with the other heads being CSM & CWO

However we did also have a contingent Cdt RSM over the heads of section - got interesting the year an RAF section cdt was put in charge. They did wear the Tate & Lyle but only locally (As their authority was only local) and never on a military Base.

All the CWO’s I have had are worth their weight in Gold. IMO, they provide a valuable service on Squadron and it would be a shame not to have them.

If someone decides to put forward a load of wood then you cannot expect to get anything from the rank. It is better to keep a high standard and recommend someone that will fulfill the role properly. If Wing’s are not going through due diligence and just promoting for the sake of it then that would be a very bad move.

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Might as well bin off over 18s and have them go straight into uniform as adult cpls. Or probationary adult sgts. Probation for 2 years.
White tapes would differentiate them on stations, but they could still use the sgts mess.

If camps return…


Interesting! Our head of corps was appointed a Senior Under Officer (double bar, purely an internal thing) with the corps 2i/c (along with all the heads of section) a ‘normal’ Under Officer. I was lucky enough to be appointed Head of RAF and so wore the bar with greens (only internally) but the CWO insignia wiith No 2s!

I think the adult cpl route is a good idea; And gives 2 years to complete the ATF course.

Then straight to full Sgt at 20… if they haven’t done the course they stay as Cpl until they do.

Anyone 20+ joining same situation as now. White tabbed Sgts.


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