Enforced squadron transfers


I have 2 opinions

  1. If you are an ex cadet on said Sqn and moved into an adult staff position then you should be encouraged to move to another unit for a couple of reasons. Firstly it moves the ex cadet out of their Squadron ‘bubble’ and gives them valuable experience at other units. Moving from a well established unit to one that is struggling, you fully understand the difficulties that said sqn is having and how to overcome them. Secondly, it gives the essential separation between the ex cadet and his chums on unit that he’s left behind. Said cadet is now a member of staff and should be treated as such and not as an ex cadet ‘mate’. Theres nothing to say they cant move back after 6 months or so.

  2. If a CI moving into uniform then there is no need for them to move. The respect between cadet and staff is there just that they have moved into uniform, however, if a smaller unit is struggling for staff and is logistically just as far from their current sqn then they should be encouraged to move.

Personally, I have 3 Sqns within 3 miles of where I live and 2 out of the 3 are in different wings


That is quite close. The next nearest detachment in my ACF company is about 17 miles away, or about 30 minutes during rush hour! The willingness to transfer is not strong with me!


Even that would cause problems for both sqns because it needs all parties to be absolutely committed to their respective moves and support their adopted units for the period of the move.
I’ve seen moves like that happen and one or other of the parties hasn’t committed and it hasn’t been a success. You can moan at the individuals but if they give you the bird what can you do? Sack them? From what?

I’ve seen a sqn locally to us have several OCs in fairly quick succession as they didn’t really want it, arm up the back.

The only good things to come out of being on another sqn are as I say extending contacts and seeing how others do things, outside of that, the development argument is just flannel. I never moved away from my cadet unit when I became a CI or even WO, as when I aged out as a CWO like so many in the old era, I had no ‘cadet mates’ on the sqn as they were too young for me to consider them to be mates in that way. What would I as a 21 year old be doing hanging out with 16/17 year olds? If nothing else you’d be a sad git.

Moving cadets becoming uniformed staff direct from cadet service may be seen as getting them out of “their bubble”, but is that really necessary? I would suggest that if they are deemed able to go into adult uniformed staff, they should be able to understand how to behave. If not are they really suitable for adult unformed staff? An argument for delaying adult uniformed service until 22, like it used to be for the vast majority. I knew a few who commissioned at 20 and not too many stayed the distance.


I am not sure what the ACO hopes to achieve by pressuring staff to move. I know that you need an even spread of staff to benefit everyone, but I am aware that many staff flatty refuse to go into Uniform to avoid exactly this scenario.

If you are forced to move against your will, you begin to question your commitment because it impacts on the rest of your life. I have seen a good OC hung out to dry because he was having marital problems, was the ACO sympathetic? There is always a at which you begin to question commitment.

So you might get paid some money, but does this buy back any loss of personal time?

The ACO is entirely voluntary, although there are those who see it as a vocation, and pretend they are real life RAF people. Some even give up paid employment to devote their time and whilst they are parading in the Officer’s Mess, you end up with all the menials. In the real world where Employment Law exists, the ACO would have been laughed out of court, time and time again.

Regrettably similar tactics are deployed against Cadets; we all like to believe that we are in charge of our own destiny, but the ACO has a rather different idea. It aint what it used to be.



I was told at my wing filter interview that it was wing policy to move newly commissioned officers for 6 months and I know the last person to be commissioned before me in the Wing was transferred, although the last person commissioned in my squadron was not moved, I think due to the lack of staff we had.
I was commissioned myself last week and so far, nothing has been said about a move for me. Personally, I’d rather not move due to the proximity of my place, and I’m not convinced of the value. I left the ATC as a CWO when I timed out in 2003, and rejoined as a CI 2 and a bit years ago, but at a completely different squadron in another region. We are currently short of uniformed staff so am hoping I don’t have to move; however, if I do, I can’t say I wasn’t aware of it beforehand so I’ll have to suck it up I suppose.


I don’t think forced moves are a good thing however I do think a change of squadrons can benefits anyone (not just the ‘young’uns’) as you get to see different views and see how other people work or don’t!
My wing tries to swap people so no squadron loses out and as long as the person or people moving don’t have extra expense then I like the idea.

As for newly promoted sgts or anyone for that matter, we are looking to introduce a mentoring scheme where people can be contacted for help. This can be new Sgts / FS or even OC’s / OIC’s and even as far as wing staff.


That sounds like a good compromise.

As an OC, the thought of spending time and effort developing and integrating staff cadets onto the staff team, only to have them transferred onto another squadron, doesn’t fill me with joy.

On the other hand, I know first hand how useful a new perspective can be.

A mentoring scheme sounds like a good halfway house.


I did a move many years ago on the agreement that it was for a limited period, but then Wing got it into their heads it was permanent. They weren’t happy when I just ended it, I had a frank exchange with the senior WSO and my CO and said we had agreed it was for a 9 months and at no point had I or the other CO said it would go on for longer. As said they didn’t like it. Being a little older and less inclined to submitting to bullying tactics stood me in good stead I feel as if I was younger and little more in awe of these people, I might have just stayed.

As for anything positive from the move, other than finding that an HTD of longer than 7/8 miles one way is too much to properly commit to a sqn, nothing.

As for people being forced I have fought tooth and nail to stop it and there hasn’t been, from a wide experience of the organisation, any detrimental effect they’ve all gone on to achieve whatever they regard to be their dream in comparison to those who have moved under duress.


I’m in two minds…

If a Wing is struggling because some Squadrons simply do not have sufficient staff to properly operate then I can’t say I see anything particularly wrong in theory with introducing TORS to require higher ranks (maybe Flt Lt and WO) to be moved to another unit within a fair radius as required.
I.e. - You don’t want to transfer to the unit 10 miles down the road? That’s fine… But you won’t be promoted above Fg Off/FS.

But of course we are all volunteers and anyone who doesn’t want to transfer cannot be forced under our current regulations - despite what I’ve heard some senior officers say.