Hi all. Does anyone know what the process for reaching WO (Ex-RAF) in the ATC? Do you start at [adult] Sergeant and work up or do you go directly to the rank of WO. Also are there any pre-requisites such as minimum rank achieved/years of service?


No… because there is no such thing.


It depends when you left service. There is fast track progression as a minimum - but not sure on exact details. Best option would be to get in touch with the local wing headquarters (administration team) and get them to check?


If a WO in the regulars they enter RAFAC as a WO with eligibility to wear tate and lyles.


It’s only at discretion of the RC, if someone has been out of the services for an extended period of time it’s not automatic retention of rank.


Slight deviation in thread, but…why? Why should an ex-RAF WO instantly become a WO in the Air Cadets? Not only is it an entirely separate organisation, but one is a military organisation and the other is a youth group (you decide which is which!) When I see a WO in the Air Cadets I assume that they have been involved for quite a long time and are therefore experienced, capable and well regarded - otherwise they shouldn’t be a WO.


Firstly, an ex-RAF WO would be “experienced, capable and well regarded,” it’s much harder to get the rank in the forces than it is in the ATC. Secondly, they can carry over skills that can be specifically be applied to a certain trade to help train cadets, trades where they would be experts in. They’ve already been through OASC and they clearly have a strong knowledge of the RAF and a certain trade so why couldn’t apply that to the Air Cadets?

I understand where you’re coming from, that the ATC is a completely different organisation etc etc, but surely with some time you can understand that the RAF WO would be caught up with the needed knowledge plus a plethora of more


Yes, in the RAF. If they’ve been a Service Instructor and have a PVG then that’s fine, but having experience in the military doesn’t mean a thing in the Air Cadets until they’ve been involved for a while.

I completely agree, and ex-regulars should be encouraged to join. Rank has nothing to do with ability to transfer skills though, they could do that as a CI, an officer, an SI…

I don’t think WO’s do OASC! Happy to be corrected.

Encourage them to join as a Sgt like everyone else, get their experience of the organisation, then have a fast track promotion scheme. Same applies to ex officers.


Normally when teaching other people skills it is normal for the teacher to be of a higher rank than most of the students; so if the ex-RAF is teaching other CFAVs, it’d be slightly awkward if they were Sgts teaching FS’ and WO’s. Not saying it’s impossible but it’d allow for a more “at ease” classroom environment as the “students” may respect the person up at the front more because of their rank.

I believe this is only for current serving personnel, we’re talking about ex-RAF

Highly disagree with this. Fundamentals such as Drill, History of the RAF, a lot of MAC syllabus would be best taught by someone with hands on experience in the sector. The purpose of the air cadets is to: “promote and encourage young men and women a practical interest in aviation and the RAF” and “to provide training which will be useful in both the services and in civil life” (directly from Aims of the Corps in the 3822). Surely an ex-RAF WO is more than equipped with the ability to aid in this? Especially in specialist courses such as QAIC or JL


Not Quite… Officers, NCO Aircrew and SNCO Air Traffic do OASC. Rest do airman entry tests at the careers office


There is a massive assumption that an ex RAF WO would have been doing or know “cadet centric things”.
In the RAF and services generally, people work and gain promotion within a trade that could have minimal relevance to the Air Cadets.
So whether they retain their rank is largely irrelevant.

If they were a WO at Halton or Cranwell then they may have some immediately transferable knowledge, but even then they’d need to tone it down and remember these are teenagers who have no real intrinsic interest in the military, as they joined an organisation with some mates to do things.

However we shouldn’t try and kid ourselves that very many ex-servicemen/women see ‘cadets’ as the next step. Most ex-servicemen I’ve met who’ve left in the last 25 years have felt very bitter towards the MOD and any involvement with it is not on the cards. One of my mates who was Navy mad at school, joined the RN became quite annoyed with the way things were going and eventually only stayed in for 22 years to get the pension and left at 42 and I tried to get him to come in as staff. As a mate he was very polite in his refusal. He has only just responded to an old boys get together for one of the ships’ he was on, despite getting asked for the last 7/8 years.


Constant cycle of war, exerises, deployments and operations, family separations for extended periods since the mid 90s all contribute to ex service people not wanting to participate in the cadet forces.


Whilst they would indeed have a very successful military career behind them, and the indicators from this would be that they should prove to be a massive benefit to a Squadron, they have to be viewed like any other new Staff member first, and ask are they the right sort of person and suitable for our organisation and people, the Cadets especially. If they turn out not to be, then what rank they were, could be, and what rank insignia they wear is utterly irrelevant.


Correct, although MACrs would have done.


My bad, cheers for the correction


If you mention drill or parades to anyone in the RAF (except QCS) they run a mile :slight_smile:


I do belive the participants of the RAF100 parade in London were voluntold


Wow!!! No wonder we have a lack of staff in this orgainisation If this is the way some of you talk to volunteers wanting to help young people. good luck arshamMG. Hope you go your local wing to get some answers.


based on what i hear from regulars I know there are very few RAF persons who volunteer for public parades! RAF100 or otherwise.


Thanks for the comment, luckily I’m asking on behalf of someone who’s thinking of joining us and I’m used to the toxicity here. Think we need to be less ready to attack people who ask questions