Ex military - CI process



Hi everyone

So I started my CI process in December 18,

Had a few issues along the way as normal , but one thing that I don’t understand is why I must follow the same process as everyone else even though I have military service and qualifications …
I’ll explain

I have 8 years service in the British army,
Ex light reconnaissance
Then worked recruitment & training at my unit, also at pirbright training centre
I also worked … classified
And then a few other jobs as light reconnaissance/ heavy armoired
where I was then
Medically discharged in May 18

I have operational experience in Afghanistan and deployed to other countries on exercises

I hold qualification in teaching recruits to become soldiers( military quals) , level 3 and above in education , coaching. Promoted to acting cpl with sjar & mpars for sgt, also done JNCOand numerous other courses

And yet I still Have to be supervised even though My DBs has come Back fine… the worst thing is I have more experience and quals that most if not all of the staff on unit .

I’m getting frustrated that there is no system or policy in place that when a volunteer with previous military service joins as a CI a special recommendation can be made to ether make it go quicker or go into uniform and have a weekend course to reupdate.

Does anyone know how to help with this situation or am I stuck waiting for my cI time to finish ?

to be honest I’m limited on what I am allowed to do on the Sqn due to the fact I don’t wear a uniform, and not Air Cadet Quslified to teach the subject, even though I done it as a lifestyle and career for 8 years so I think I know what I’m doing . I’m dead keen and yet I feel that my service and my experience is only being noticed by cadets when instruct them rather than the wing staff …
Is there anything I can do to get into uniform quicker ?

Sorry for the spelling , need to rant as my sqn staff aren’t really listening



There isn’t a fast track and there shouldn’t be. I came from a similar situation - though in an amusing reversal I had no interest in going into uniform but kept being pestered to do so - and it took a little while to twig that while many of my skills had, what appeared to be, a direct transfer, the over-arching one, that of training and dealing with soldiers, didn’t.

Chill out. Relax, explore the ACO and find out what Interests you in your new hobby, not what looks a bit similar to your old occupation.

In our language, if you keep pushing with the ‘i can do this, get out of my way’ attitude, you’ll come across as a massive throbber, and your Sqn staff will be far less likely to want to put you in uniform.

What is it that you want to do, that you can do, but you aren’t allowed to do as a CI?


There is a system in place already to recognise previous service of SNCO’s.

The position you are applying for is as a youth worker that wears a uniform, not a soldier that plays with children.

You can apply for SNCO at anytime but the starting point is the recommendation of your Squadron Commander. If you want to commission then you have to do 12 months as a CI first unless direct from cadet.


Im looking to do fieldcraft … i know there in the process of updatedjng ACP 16, but have been told that im there as assistance not to teach , also DI which you can do as a SNCO


Ii didnt realise that as i was told that you have to do CI… no matter what , is there any reference you have to that … is it in any ACP or is it word of mouth kinda thing ?


It is in ACP20 PI301:
para 2:

Potential SNCO adult members of staff may be recommended for appointment following ATC cadet service, CI service or upon leaving commissioned service.

Edit: that was from v7. There is additional relevant info in v9 quoted later

Your fieldcraft experience seems useful, though I am not personally clear on the current fieldcraft instruction hoops that need to be jumped through. It has been fiddled with recently.

Drill instruction can be done by any competent person who knows the subject, but to be a recognised DI in the air cadets needs you to be SNCO RAFAC and do a week at ATF to get the sign-off. My primary concern here is that you will not be familiar/current with RAF drill and may need to re-tune before you can be sensibly let loose to teach teh subject to cadets. That muscle memory can be tricky to overcome.


It’s great that you’re keen so please don’t lose that.

But just relax a little, the process is frustrating, but we’re not the forces and there are some differences in how we operate. To a degree, there’s some reconditioning to do much as you would have been doing with your recruits.

Don’t take it as anything personal or “anti-vet”, the process is the same for all and (unfortunately) the way we’re structured can lead to authority being held by those less qualified.

This shouldn’t be the case.

My advice: have a sit down with the OC and TO, lay out your qualifications and experience without arrogance, explain that you understand things work differently but you want to be as involved as possible and use your skills to benefit the squadron. I’d be biting your hand off, but I would still be keeping an eye out while you bed in.

You will have some box-ticking to do. That’s just our life these days. For fieldcraft, have a conversation with the Wing Fieldcraft Officer. It may be that you can shortcut at least part of the process.

We use the ACF Cadet Training PAM for FT which is available on Sharepoint and without an M Qual once signed off you can teach lessons 1-19.


To clarify, the full process as per ACFTI 1 is:

    • Self-study lessons 1-19.3

** Paperwork and authorisation process lesson

    • Complete wg-led 2 day consolidation exercise
    • Complete wg-led assessment exercise (assessed teach)
    • Relevant WHTs (if weapons involved)

I believe that you may be able to negotiate shortcutting some of it, but your Wing FTO will advise accordingly.


Yeah i have been told tney are updatiing the ACP, and a course is meant to follow shortlh after,

To be honest, the drill itself is slight different , but jot by mu h but i completey agree with doing a course to bring me more in line with the RAF, and your are right with muscle memory haha :slight_smile: haha


I have had the talk already with the OC, and i think its more protdcting the cadets if something was to go wrong that it wouldnt be covered for insurance as it isnt being taught by someone who holds a qual … if that makes sense…

I may have a think about approaching the field craft officer as i dont want it to come across that im going behind my staff back, which is not my intentions as i want to use my skills for the cadets, to make there experience better,


Its not that i think its anti-vet or personnel but its using your staff to the full potnetial to met the aims of the ATO… but for me , i dont feel that in my case, with my experience snd skills that it is not being expolited … maybe expolited is the right word but allowing me to use my knowledge and skills to benefit the squadron and wing,

I do understand what you mean though by keeping an eye on me by what your saying, all considering as people said the air cadets is not the forces.


Meant to say wrong word not right… haha i hate predicted text


Hi woody,

I understand your frustration but you are in a different world now (and a different service). Your military service is good and valuable but its now less of a case of what you know as whether you can adapt and apply it in a different (and very changeable) environment. Whilst I’m speculating a bit, when training recruits to be soldiers who are conditioning them to change from civilians into individuals who use the same thought processes, to think in the same way and reach the same goal. In the Air Cadets we a getting a bunch of teenagers to think creativly, asks question and challenge appropriately. If we do our roles right we get the cadets to the stage that they can be positive disruptors and help drive change forwards.

Hope fully you have been inducted properly and shown Ultilearn and all the other systems. Use them to research and understand your topics. Any member of staff who is able to teach should be able deliver the basic classification topics.

There’s numerous opportunities you can get involved its just some will take time, some hoop jumping and some general frustration with the organisation (fieldcraft, shooting, flying).

A quick win would be to get yourself on an activity first aid course. You will need this for various other areas such as shooting and AT but it allows to also deliver Heartstart, and deliver and assess youth first aid and assessors are always useful.

If you are worried about appearing to go behind peoples back, speak to your CO and cc them into to the email to the field craft officer - its then open & honest and in plain sight (but tell your CO you are doing it first!).

I have an ex army bod on my squadron and whilst they sometimes have a slight culture clash between Army/RAF Mentality they are very good and bring a different view point (i.e. non-ATC) to the cadets which I find very valuable.

One thing to really bear in mind (and its good that you have been able to vent), because we do this hobby because we choose to, we all get more passionate about matters then we would in our day job. This means we all can get frustrated quite easily especially when all we are doing is trying to make a little difference to the cadets. There are time where you feel just saying sod it and asking whats the point and why do you do it and other times where you can see the difference you’ve made to the cadets and aer just so proud of them. Main thing is make sure you talk to people and raise any concerns early on, which will hopefully make things easier for you.

Hope this helps :slight_smile:


Wise. Fieldcraft officer is the SME and holds the key to getting you qualified. Maybe ask your OC to email them or if you can email direct and copy the OC in.

Protecting the cadets is undoubtedly in the mind of your other staff. I have known incidents where ex-regulars have gotten into trouble when they haven’t shaken the old mindset.

I totally get this, and hope you don’t become disheartened. I will say though to just relax and adapt to your new surroundings for a bit. There’s no need to rush and you can create more problems longer term if you do. Take the time to enjoy your new hobby!

I second what @Chief_Tech says about the learning the 1st class subjects. It’s knowledge that will help you and also an easy way to get involved in delivering training.


Hi mate

With your thoughts on how the army recruitment, your near enough there to be fair , and i do understand that its a different kettle of fish when it comes to the ATO, which i am adjusting too haha, slowly …

Ive got myself booked on a few courses already like activity first aid,

Yeah will think i should do that, as im not one to go behjnd peoples back , as i have exactly the same conversation with with my CO , it’s just looking at the process
There are some positives but there are a lot that needs work


This is great because unlike the majority of our new staff that come from off the streets you have instructional experience, it also means there is no need for you to complete a RAFAC Method of Instruction Course, unless you want to refresh and see how RAFAC deliver this training (It’s not the best, but is in the process of being refreshed by HQ)

To become a really useful member of staff, you’ll need to learn the RAFAC subjects, as has been alluded to already, It might be best to start with the First Class Training material, as this is what every cadet gets taught. Equally your squadron might have this covered off already, and there may be a more advanced subject you want to teach, all of the HQ provided content is available on Ultilearn, your login for this is your RAFAC Service Number.

This is not true. You are unable to attend the unit until your DBS has been returned and viewed by your Wing HQ (mine accept scanned copies) once you have this you are free to attend normal parade nights, and assist with the training.

You do need to complete the AVIP (Adult Volunteer Induction Programme) which includes your safeguarding training, this along with HeartStart, Responsible for Information (UltiLearn), Health & Safety (UltiLearn) and Fire Training (UltiLearn) MUST be completed within your 6 month probation period. If they are not completed in that time and this isn’t due to extenuating circumstances, your appointment will be terminated.

Assuming you want to become an SNCO the following applies

If you want to commission then the following applies

The requirements and application procedure for a uniformed appointment are detailed in ACP 20 - Personnel Regulations. If you don’t have access to RAFAC Email/SharePoint/SMS [Project Bader] then speak to your OC as they should be able to get you connected.



So my DBS has already been cleared by wing.

So with the appointment of SNCO , because I only had recommendations of reaching this rank, could that be grounds to appointment me early or could they use my experience in favor ?

As I’m keen to get into uniform sooner than later but not sure if I would still have to do the full time as CI

I think learning the first class is still in my favor to do so as that will help me gain more knowledge ,

Thanks for the heads up though


Your previous/current employment is totally irrelevant here, as you are looking for an appointment as a uniformed youth worker, which is what all Officers/SNCOs are in RAFAC although many may try to pretend otherwise.

My bold from the text originally quoted above, remember that previously served here is in reference to RAFAC, and not any Regular/Reserve Military service you have had.


The counterpoint is that it’s the youth worker bit that’s new to an ex-reg; there’s no particular reason for them not to go straight in to uniform as they’re already au fait with the uniformy-bits.


You can be fast tracked to a point, but the paperwork process goes however fast it wants to which holds up 90% of all applications “Fast tracked” or not.

Most wings are more looking for you to have a grounding in how we work and have a basic knowledge of the ATC and RAF (which will be tested on your wing board) alongside a couple of mandatory things (AVIP/First Aid etc).