Demise of Dark-Blue Working Shirts: RAFAC options?

As many of you will be aware, the clothing supply contract for the famed RAF dark-blue “Shirt, Working, Collar Attached” has apparently not been renewed.

My understanding is that it was already withdrawn from issue to RAF personnel serving in trade groups traditionally entitled / expected to wear it.

The closest sister-service equivalent shirt (which we did sometimes see worn on Air Cadets’ backs) previously on issue for RN/RFA ratings (& Tiffy/ Subs Offrs) was the AWD shirt worn with No8s has been replaced by the Navy’s rather-smart dark-blue ‘MTP’ uniform.

A parent who was (validly) phoning Cadet Direct to purchase some items of uniform was told today “they are no longer stocked, and won’t be available in the future”.

So what happens for RAF Air Cadets? Do we go into partnership with the Sea Cadets, and create our own manufactured version via some company, despite it no longer being an issue item for the RAF?

Do we at long-last issue Cadets short-sleeved shirts? Or fund (@ £1 per sleeve, & a pair for £2) the shortening locally of the sleeves of a third wedgewood shirt for each Cadet?

Dark Blue Working Shirts have been useful. They are tough, not as chilly as wedgewoods, yet not thick enough to cook Cadets. But they may now become a thing of the past.

Since RAFAC appears to always directly-follow RAF dress regulations with almost zero variation, if nothing is done to replace dark-blues, then we must dress Cadets in wedgewoods and black tie permanently (which is impractical and not going to be popular)…and Cadets would,officially, lose the right to bare arms (a bad joke, but you can see what I mean !-)

What are the opinions from the forum? And if anyone has a definitive insight into the official strategy, don’t stay buttoned-up!

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Australian cadets wear short sleeve wedgwood style shirt all year round

My first 5 years as a cadet were in light blue and tie, with 4 of those in BD. it didn’t stop us doing anything but I imagine the shirts were a higher quality than they are now and BD was almost indestructible.
Whatever happens we do not want to be going into MTP or other cammo as a ‘working dress’ as I feel we have to maintain a distinctive look to the ACF and silly little badges won’t do this. Not only that cammo looks shabby at the best of times.
It is a shame that the WB are going, but given IIRC we only got them due to a mess up in the early 80s, done well to keep them this long.

If I put money on it…this will be the outcome

I know it will, but you have to hope and prey something different will happen.

Can almost guarantee that’s what’ll happen.

And we’ll still have to buy our own.

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MTP - in and up - wings up, and feet on Dawn’s desk. If her stick wielding creature walks in, just call him ‘sport’.

Job jobbed.

I’ve heard grumbles (the question has been asked) about that not being the case…nothing official just mentioned by one of the types in the know

You all have far too high hopes of our organisation.

No more working blue shirts = HQAC saying “Well you can still wear Light blue long sleeved shirts, we do not really see what your problem is”.

Squadrons will go into greens 80% of the time for a while until its cracked down from up on high that we are a blue organisation and cadets as normal attire, should be in blue uniform.

Teddy throwing will then commence on here about the edict from HQAC, we will eventually then move on with our lives and cadets will wear long sleeved light blue shirts as normal practice.


Adding on to that, i need to order working blue shirts. Does anyone know if there are any stock still about? Or am i on a hiding to nothing ordering them in the first place?

If so, my squadron in less than a month will be in Light blue shirts.

Who’s turn is it to ask RC North on sharepoint?

We have anonymity Alex, i think its always your turn :joy:


What we need is for HQ to take control of this issue now. Look for options, issue a consultation on the different alternatives, costs and views. They should do it now before the problem runs away with them and show some leadership.

In other words we are well and truly rubber ducked.


If we could do it open collar then I’m all for it.


But I did Tate and lyles! (Only because it impacted me…but still!)

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What’s the issue with just putting cadets in 2B?

The problem will be supply of shirts.
Make it Wedgwood all the time, we will exhaust the stocks in no time and then we’ll get into the RAF/MoD coching up the contracts and then we’ll not have them again.
We need a cadet specific uniform with lots in smaller sizes.

There is currently a grand total of 0 shirts available in the RAFAC and RAF right now…regular units going to no3 as a standard working dress as a result.

We will not get issues any more shirts

Hence my prediction of no 3 becoming a norm with the new fancy TRF

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I’ll resurrect an idea I threw out there a little while ago.

We need a RAFAC Official online shop where uniform, and casual wear can be purchased.

Uniform should be subsidised for squadron purchase via RAF etc.
Or uniform should be “minor profit” for individual purchase.

This allows squadrons the autonomy to decide how they will manage their uniform inventory, be it the cadets purchase via the sqn, or the sqn maintains an inventory that cadets purchase from, or cadets charged a deposit for uniform, or given away. whatever.

This official RAFAC store should stock clothing and uniform independent of the RAF, direct from our own contracts with industry, but in harmony with the RAF dress regs.

Profits from individual purchases of uniform, and the sale of casual wear provide salary for a few people to operate the “business” expanding as necessary, and we could rent a hanger somewhere given that i’m sure there are plenty sat empty.

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Just allow the wearing of the light blue shirt in the same way as the dark - ie collar open, sleeves up or down. For formal wear, sleeves down, collar buttoned and with tie.

Issue two Wedgwood shirts to each cadet. Easy.