Feeling unrecognised and forgotten both at sqn but in the corps as a whole

Bit of an odd one I do not mean to come across as whiny or ungrateful. I have been in the organisation just shy of 4 years and have recently become a staff cadet. I have come to the realization that no matter how much I volunteer for I receive no recognition, I wish to make clear I DO NOT sign up for course to garner favour and recognition but it does feel like a slap in the face when I have quite literally signed up for every course I have been eligible for using all my annual leave from work to attend RAFAC events and yet there seems to be no notice taken.

My question boils down to, how is one supposed to get selected for things like IACE, JL etc when the wing commander has not visited your sqn in 3 or so years? It seems like no matter how much effort and hard work one puts in they are exactly where they started. When I have spoken to other cadet sncos in the wing they say that they have the wing warrant, or wing commander every couple of months.

I have a great passion for the organisation and would not be the person I am to day without it however I can’t help but feel (especially since becoming staff) like my sqn and to a much lesser extent myself is forgotten by the wing and organisation. Am I the only one that feels this way? How do staff and to a further extent other cadets deal with these emotions and feelings?

Got to remember the wing commander will have circa 20 more Sqns…and the amount of other stuff to do is insane. I dont think half of that is seen.

What i would say is has the Wg Cdr been invited but thats not the point.

Your original Q - it will vary wing to wing. In my wing Sqn OCs nominate. Selection day at WHQ.

JL/QAIC - just follow the application process. QAIC will have a selection day of sorts next year, or so SMS tells me.

Thank you for your reply, I understand the application process and the wing commanders large responsibility, maybe it’s un-healthy envy but having just returned from a wing weekend seeing other with the same rank and perhaps fewer qualifications getting recognition favour always the first to be called on, I don’t know perhaps I am overthinking however it kind of sucks to go back to sqn to the same routine etc. I just want my chance to prove myself, things like lord lieutenant’s cadet, CWO etc I have aspired to achieve since day one and the wing staff most definitely have sway. Upon induction they told me if you work really hard and put 100% effort in you can achieve all these amazing things! yet I sit feeling left out despite staff and cadets generally as far as I am aware hold me in high regard. I really do not wish to come off as asking “why dont i have this, this and this i am entitled to such and such” because at the end of the day that’s not the organisation we are and I am glad.

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What i would sat is pick your battles…as a Cadet you cant influence when wing team visit but you can influence how you sre percieved… do the external stuff and be seen, be heard and be known.


You appear to be suggesting that the wing is the problem here. The WWO or OC Wg visiting your squadron will have very little bearing on its cadets being selected for opportunities or activities with a finite number of places.

The person you need to ask to speak to is your Sqn Cdr and let them know of your aspirations to take up these opportunities. They’re not mind readers and will often be focused on their many other responsibilities placed on them. They may also be able to offer you more direct constructive feedback and suggest areas for improvement.

Be mindful that you’re not the only cadet who may be interested in these opportunities and the Sqn Cdr may need to decide who is more deserving/would benefit most at the time of application.


Thank you for reply I haven’t thought about it being the OIC’s blind spot, I will have a chat and let them know, in regards to your last comment I am one of only three NCOs on the squadron. Thank you however for your comment perhaps it is worth chatting to the boss to see what I can do to better represent the squadron!

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Cynics view:

Welcome to life.

No. Many people don’t feel recognised, both in this organisation and elsewhere.

Not an attack, but a genuine question:

How much ownership have you taken over your application?
Have you made it clear to squadron staff that you want to do these things? Asked when the application date is? Asked them near to the date if they’ve heard anything?

Your staff should be keeping an eye out and sending things in your direction, but there’s literally hinder of things floating through our heads (most of them not cadet related) and things do get lost. Sorry. Help us help you by reminding us.

Ultimately, things (in life) don’t just happen unless you make them happen. This applies here but also in work situations. If you quietly get on with it, no one will notice. Get yourself noticed (in a positive way).

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Bad idea, I myself am quite enthusiastic about going on events even if I might not enjoy them or they might not be for an award, etc - but (unless its some very temporary job) don’t use up all your annual leave for cadets. Leave some time for yourself too because otherwise you’ll burn yourself out and there’s nothing worse than burning out.

Seems to be a bit of a luck-of-the-draw thing really (at least from my POV). If your squadron staff know your wings SLT quite well and you’re busy being useful they do often feed it up to them. Aside from that, turning up to wing events and running wing/sector events will definitely get you recognised by your wings SLT. As already mentioned JL/QAIC are just an application.

A wing can be a somewhat broad area, and often WWOs and OC Wings visit when they have a reason to. They do have 20-30 squadrons to look after!

With your squadron, can you speak to your staff about how you’re feeling? As in let them know you feel forgotten? Staff cadets on my squadron all have roles and we also run awards nights, etc, etc.

LLC will depend on wing, CWO is something you should speak to your OC about as they start that process with a recommendation.

I’m sure you’re doing a lot, and if you feel like you’re going to burn out then take a break. Take ownership over what you’re doing, make it known to your staff, and get your ambitions out there!

Hi there - I think you’ve received an enormous amount of really helpful advice already, but I thought I’d throw in a couple of points from someone who was a cadet and (much) later a CFAV…

Trying to be as pragmatic as possible… for a start, the amount of activity being delivered has been slashed since Covid, but this in my mind had already been wound back from my youth.

This isn’t your fault, your Sqn’s fault or even your Wing’s fault necessarily - I think it’s reflective on the stresses of everyone’s workloads - their availability and to an extent enthusiasm to deliver.

Admin burden is sucking up a LOT of volunteers’ time.

All in all, where there may have been multiple opportunities for certain activities, this may be wound back to just one occasion - and naturally demand is exceeding supply.

As for “recognition” - is it that you you’re looking for a bit of praise, along the lines of “well done for achieving XYZ” or “look cadets - this person is who you should be looking up to…” - or, is it form the point of view that you want to feel “noticed”, that you’re doing all the activities etc and trying to get on, and demonstrating this at every opportunity - but that you’re not “known” about on Wing - which is why you fret abojt being overlooked…?

If it’s the latter, then I’d certainly share some concerns - as undoubtedly you always see certain cadets that seem to “always” be the “anointed one”… and frankly, there can occasionally be some unfair reasoning behind this - but at the same time, it is often because the individual has been quite proactive about getting themselves out there.

As for being selected for key activities such as IACE, QAIC or JL - because of the exclusivity of all these events, I would have the light that it was likely you’d only get a crack at going on one of them… but that certainly wouldn’t stop me from bidding for all three!

What has heartened me the most in your initial post was that you recognised the positive impact on your OWN personal growth and development.

THIS to me is what staff always hope for… and often only really comes home to individuals long after they’ve left.

As with everything in life - enjoy the journey - do the courses / activities that inspire and interest you, or which you can see could have a very positive effect on your future education and career. If along the way, or at the end of the journey there’s an extra treat, then so be it.

To help with raising your profile and enhancing your chances of being selected for those big ticket activities - perhaps try to engineer an opportunity to speak to them, and ask how did they get there (without asking “what’s so special abojt you then?)

Being as well qualified and experienced as you are, I suspect you ARE already on the staff’s radar.

Is there a member of staff that you can speak freely with, to raise your concerns?

As has been mentioned above - ultimately all staff want to see their cadets excellent and exceed their own expectations - there’s an immense sense of “m/paternal pride” of your cadets shining above others - so maybe ask them, if there’s something you found be doing better…?

If this was work, and you felt that you were being overlooked - your best move would be to discuss it with your line manager - to share your concerns and to ask for pointers SAS to how you could make yourself “promotion ready” or given the plum jobs etc.

If you don’t give the bosses the chance to help you - then change os likely to be harder to come by, if at all.

Often, candidates that I’ve encountered that have been on either IACE or QAIC, or who have been given once in a lifetime back seat rides in Hawks etc, it has often been as recognition for over and above commitment, in terms of laying back into the Corps - typically instructing / leading / supporting etc.

Could you possibly try and carve out your own little world at delivering something that is under catered…?


Hi again - it’s a week later - albeit with a bank hol w/e…but have you had a chance to speak to your OC, Adj or Sqn Trg Officer?

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