Enforced squadron transfers


I’m interested to hear experiences and opinions of local policies which require new uniformed staff to move squadrons.

My wing has a policy of requiring new uniformed staff to transfer for “staff development” reasons, although this is only ever used to fill staffing shortages.

Would be interested to hear how widespread this is and whether people feel it’s an effective policy.


Pointless exercise UNLESS the person moving requests the move and they go to do something specific.

Wing push the development side like drug dealers trying to make a sale “this will be good for you” sort of thing, but unless the receiving sqn has lots of staff all suitably experienced so that one or more can be spared to ‘develop’ the incomer, there is no point.

The only thing this does is give you a view of how other people do things.


I am a great believer in not forcing moves. At the end of the day we are volunteers, and if we get moved from a unit 5 minutes away to one half an hour away, all of a sudden parade nights seem to be more like a chore than something enjoyable. I would certainly not be a happy bunny if I was suddenly told to move to a different detachment and would resist very loudly. Units run FAR more effectively when their staff are local.


I’d like to see it strongly encouraged - especially for cadet-staff changes. But I don’t think it’s reasonable to force things.


The problem with strongly encouraging it among the young ones, makes it seem like it’s normal and the canker remains.


It should be normal…


No it shouldn’t.

You’re volunteers in a youth organisation. Your not signed up to a military contract that requires man power and or trades/skill sets/rank else where.

It’s a youth club not an operational unit.


Hence why I said it shouldn’t be forced.

But I’d wager that if you did a straw poll on here of everyone who transferred squadrons for a bit (me included) they’d say that ultimately it was a good thing.


You have to look at both sides of the equation, the “plus” side equates to some stability, & knowing how the existing sqn works. However, what could be seen as a “negative” factor is possible over-familiarity with cadets, rather than having a clean break by moving to a different sqn to build up more maturity / experience of other methodology.


Say you become a new Sgt at a squadron with plenty of uniform staff. so you plod along doing one or two duties, but not the duties of a Sgt. How can you justify Promotion?


Ah, the quaint concept that rank in this organisation is closely associated with particular duties.

No promotion can be justified since no role at a unit really requires a higher rank. We have CIs and NCOs running units perfectly capably; promotions are a reward for time spent and boxes ticked.


Not in my wing, you need to have done the time and ticked the boxes before your promotion board.
Yes we have SNCO’s running squadrons, but not straight out of the packet ones. It’s all about gaining the experiences required to be the Flt Sgt and then a great teacher/leader of SNCO’s when you eventually make WO. But not every Sgt will make Flt Sgt and not every Flt Sgt will make WO.


My wing has the same policy. As a CI who had come to the wing from another (with several years break in between being a cadet & staff), when I went in to uniform I had extreme pressure put (read for that almost forced) upon me to transfer.

I argued successfully against it (as did my CO). My reason being that my Sqn at the time were struggling for staff & taking me away would make absolutely no sense because every other Sqn around me was better staffed. My Sqn would lose out just because of a blanket policy that did not apply in my case.

For a cadet who has aged out & wants to come back as staff, I believe it should be ‘encouraged’. I disagree staff should be moved (like my example) just because.

But it should be done where practicable. If it won’t work due to distance, or because it would leave one Sqn under strength, then it should not be done.


If your squadron was having another staff member for the 6 months your away then I understand.
But to leave a squadron short of staff is crazy.


One of the squadrons in my wing has two brand new Sgts, who is supporting and teaching them? If they swapped one of them with a more experienced SNCO, they would both have a mentor




Surely that’s where area/sector NCOs come into their own?

As you say yourself moving staff away and leaving the sqn short is crazy.

Having been through the adult system and now back as a CI, moving people around just destabilises things. When I said I wanted to return to being a CI, I was put under pressure to move elsewhere, which I didn’t want to do, so refused. It wasn’t liked but that was their problem. I feel sorry for new staff who get bullied and harrassed into moving squadrons just because of some idiotic notions of betterment.


Speaking from experience, I have served on quite a few squadrons and have picked up some useful things. Hopefully this has made me a better WO and better OIC when I’m asked. Plus more experiences to pass onto my squadrons cadets.


Being a former Sqn Cdr I have been on more than one unit all effectively forced moves to be the OC, but I don’t ever feel I picked up anything useful (that I didn’t pick up from my cadet sqn staff) other than contacts and a hearty notion that lots of people do a lot of hard work and do good things for the cadets, despite the efforts of the various senior commanders we get lumbered with, the ATC and RAF/MoD.


However, in the example given a staff swap would have likely been beneficial.