Has somebody confused “discussing the pros/cons of a policy” with “speaking to volunteers”?


I’m slightly concerned that you are referring to me. What toxicity are you on about? I merely disagree that a member of the military, regardless of rank, should automatically be given a specific rank in an entirely different organisation; I think they should instead prove themselves to be capable in that organisation first. Hopefully you don’t consider a different opinion to yours to be toxic :slight_smile:


Just spotted this. Once again I completely agree that ex military personnel can be useful (not always), but rank is irrelevant in this. Any ex-military person could join as a CI and do exactly what you described. If they wanted to join as a CFAV then great, put them through the same system as everyone else to begin with. Then, like I said before, have an accelerated promotion pipeline if they’re so obsessed with rank…


Wasnt referring to you or anyone in that matter, but the forum can sometimes be quick to bash people. No one is toxic there are just certain toxic behaviours I see every now and then. I don’t want to feed trolls any further though so don’t reply to this and back to the topic please


We do seem to have a pompous attitude of everyone should want to be a member of staff in the Air Cadets, because it is such a wonderful organisation and treats adult volunteers with respect. I look at the reality of how many people volunteer anywhere and even in those many instances where volunteering is just turning up and saying I’d like to help and away you go. Compare and contrast with the Air Cadets with its job like application process and hoops etc to get through. Which is in place for no reason other than having it to keep public sector people in jobs.
Too many have come in with all good intentions, only to find the organisation, not the local people, is not keen on having people join as staff and actually doing things, which other organisations seem to do very easily.
When it comes to former service personnel, many seem to have a mindset that everyone is interested in their old job. I’m more interested will they be able to turn up and muck in, anything else is just a bonus.
The question I suppose is how important is the blue suit and badges. If it’s all important, are they really adult volunteer material?


In your opinion.


OK then, when trying to coerce people into volunteering is ever more difficult as the general sense of helping / community is becoming lost, do we need to have such a convoluted set of application processes. However I don’t think that because someone leaves the armed forces they should have some sort of short cut as the armed forces and cadet forces are chalk and cheese and not everyone will have transferrable skills and even those that do will be required to do some cadet course or other…
Could I suggest (if you aren’t already) go to a local community group and say I’d like to help. I could almost guarantee that you’d be fully active from that moment on. If you are able to use the skills etc you have that you use in the ATC, you’ll be even more welcomed. I started helping formally with our church’s youth group just over a year ago; online DBS and safeguarding course (akin to the information protection one) and within a week (DBS and course) I was done. I’ve taken the kids on walks and this simmer hols a camping weekend, which will be a joy, as it’s one consent form for parents to fill out and not the turd fest that is a similar activity in the Air Cadets, even more so as we now have TOPL.


I think the reason the process is so long is because it normally takes a fair bit of knowledge about the ATC to be an effective member of staff. It’s not as easy as other community groups where you can just jump in and start working, but in the ATC there’s a chain of command, a rank structure, predefined levels of knowledge and ability and so much more. I highly doubt the church group you attend (which sounds wonderful) has the same capacity as the RAFAC (which runs nationally compared to one local church)

Also, there’s probably a lot of people that apply and i doubt it’s very easy for HQAC to have courses and everything completed within a week. It’d be an unreasonable and unfeasable task.


The question still remains though be you ex-service or bloke/woman off the street, the route to becoming staff needs to be much easier. Becoming an “effective member of staff” is another thing entirely. I’m just talking about from off the street to being a member of staff doing things. In this day and age it should be two weeks tops. If needed the safeguarding could be a general child protection online thing, HQAC might need to buy into it.
If other organisations can manage getting volunteers in and doing things quickly it why can’t we? Hence the comment about it just feeding work into an administrative infrastructure for no other reason than that.

As for basic knowledge we used to have a book, ACP42, which was for preparing cadets doing Staff P2 (I’ve probably got one at the squadron) which had all about the ATC and and how it was organised, roles of staff and instructional technique. There was also a questionnaire to help prep for the Staff P2 My cadet CO gave it to new staff to read and it explained everything. This should be revived and revised and given to all new staff and cadets moving beyond 18, it could probably do away with some of the new staff course people do.

Consider someone starting at work. Our new starts get a site induction on day one which includes getting the necessary access to business systems. Then it’s on the job training. With the ATC I don’t think it helps that some courses are over two days and or several weekends with no flexibility attitude of do it or else.

What needs to be answered is what is so special about the ATC that we need to have so many courses and “know” so much. Why do we need to know the ins and outs of the RAF? Who or what does it benefit? I’d been at work for a year if not longer before I knew who some of the people were, but it didn’t stop me doing my job, even now there are new people/changes and it doesn’t make one iota of difference. Apart from Staff P2, WO and Commission interviews I’ve never been asked who is so and so or where is and as it stands I would struggle if I was asked, but then I wouldn’t be overly bothered. I did Staff P2 interviews but had the answers. If knowing this meant I got paid more, I’d make sure I knew it.


If an ex RAF WO comes into the ATC as an ATC WO, why does an Air Commodore (for example) have to be, at best, a Flt Lt unpaid?

(I know the answers, but still.)


Because (currently, and that’s another subject), WO is not linked to a billet whereas all officer ranks above Fg Off are.