Fieldcraft policy update - Dec 2018


It is infantry training, but there is a difference between providing infantry training as an experience, and training cadets to be infantrymen.

I don’t think that anybody running these courses will be expecting or trying to turn 14-year-old cadet Bloggs into Rambo. Instead, they will provide an experience which is representative (not necessarily wholly accurate) or being an infantrymen or in the RAF Regiment.

In the same way, we don’t train cadets to be pilots - there is no provision in the Corps (as far as I know) to allow cadets to attain a PPL. We can help them on their way, and provide them with an experience of what it is like, by providing air experience flying.

I don’t have a problem with cadets experiencing fieldcraft training with rifles any more than i have a problem with cadets experiencing flying.

In fact, I think cadets will really benefit from the teamwork aspect and some will fall over themselves to do it.

Some people though, allow personal bias on what they think cadets should and shouldn’t do and providing it’s in the spirit of the Corps - let’s have it.


The amount of blank and pyro that a SATT has isn’t worked out by the x per cadet basis. Most SATTs have a similar allowance but it is bid for on a year by year basis.

The associated costs are on the increase as we do more and more with it but it is generally not that expensive compared to a lot of activities that Cadets get up to.

Blank and Pyro will see minimal use anyway, as I said above, it’s not for individual units to be doing but higher level Wing and Regions that should really be using their M Qual staff to deliver consolidation exercises.


And I think this is where it will start to fall over. It will rely on Wings and Regions to do these often enough so that the cadet’s training is reasonably fresh.
Also WRT adult courses our Wing started off well enough, two or three courses in fairly quick succession, but the chap who instigated it and rook the lead moved away and one of his cronies changed job and lost his weekend availability and due to the way the “team” was set up, ie several mates getting together, others didn’t feel welcomed and got given shitty jobs and it fell apart. We haven’t had one of these for a couple of years as others have left in the meantime.


I know I said I wasn’t going to reply any more, thank you. I never said anyone was training cadets to be full time Infantry Soldiers. But if you are providing Infantry Training, surely staff should be at a standard, both in training, knowledge and fitness to provide this training.


I don’t know tbh. I just always feel when I write a Training Programme that I have way too many objectives to train towards and never enough time.

One positive way Corps could improve my FT training is by realising that we don’t really need TOPL just to pop down the Local Authority park, sit on a hill and do judging distance. We sit on the boundary between two LAs, we used parks in both for training (not exercises) and our last approval for the areas got bounced for lack of TOPL. The LAs didn’t even reply to my emails asking for dialogue on the topic. Why? Because there is literally nothing in it for them but hassle.


Maybe this is an area where HQAC could be more proactive and they enter into a dialogue with local govt at a ministerial level, so that it’s covered.
As much as it’s not my bag, if people want to do it you need to be able to do it locally and avoid unnecessary hoops and barriers.
We used a school field until they turned the school into something resembling a prison.


I have just been sent a video from HQAC of the planned replacement for the L98 to ensure safe use of firearms when on exercise.

No more from me… honest!!


Pointless! Just give them sticks if they are not going to be fired! That’s all they are, without any BFAs or blanks.

Nope, not allowed, “simulation firearms” are expressly forbidden


My tuppence worth, both as a former infanteer (jock reg), and as a CFAV within RMC (fieldcraft TtT) that closely supports my old air cadet unit

No, its not “infantry” training, if you actually had amy gumption, you’d see that the lessons theyre pitching are infact CMS (core military syllabus) and not CIC (combat infantrymans course), secondly, in regards to fitness?, unless the instructor delivering the lesson is an absolute clown, they’ll pitch to the lowest common denominator, ergo, if one cant run, then none of them run, lastly, nearly every single of the leadership element within the fieldcraft syllabus can be transferred to DofE, orders, model pits etc, i for one think this is a fantastic idea, many young lads (and in future lassies) go into specialised branches of the RAF, the one that instantly springs to mind is the RAF Regiment, i think by implementing FC with close liaison and input from the reg, it would be wholly relevant to both what the kids want, and what is within the RAF at present, surely I’m not the only one that can see this as a beneficial aspect?


This is an interesting point. Most seem to use leadership as their main Training Objective or developing people for JL.

Both are a bit of a none starter as leadership can be delivered in different ways, JL has a low entry level as everything is taught, but due to lack of a proper syllabus to provide the justification for training the Corps has a bit of an issue there.

Be interesting to see what Regions come up with to enable the training.


The irony is that many cadets will be involved in the other things before they do fieldcraft, so I would argue that fieldcraft plays little or no part in developing leadership. Also most cadets will have had their “cadet experience” be out of the Air Cadets and be doing other things, before getting a magic bullet from fieldcraft. Also given fieldcraft’s patchy history in the Air Cadets many have acquired leadership skills without it and I doubt they would have been better. Go back further and we never did it and we all acquired leadership skills. Ergo fieldcraft is a minor contributing factor to all of this and this new way will take at least 3 years to embed properly, as to try and rush it will see holes appear, as we have seen in our Wing. They rushed a couple of people through a few years ago, which hasn’t seen it develop, except in small pockets. Which the MO in the Air Cadets, as while we may all be staff in the Air Cadets, interests differ and in my experience different things attract different sorts, there are very, very few who do it all, as people become staff for their own reasons.

This of course is on the assumption that youngsters want to join the RAF or any of the Armed Forces. I’ve had too many youngsters who want to go into the Armed Forces disillusioned as the thing they want to do isn’t open, when they are ready. They don’t wait around for the Armed Forces to say we’re ready for you now, they get jobs. When I was a cadet there were chances that you could change to something else, if what you’d signed up for wasn’t working out, but that went out of window.
Going back to my teen, only 30 years after the end of the second war and 15 after NS stopped taking people, the family history of enlisting in one of the Armed Forces had all but gone. So seeing fieldcraft as something that sort of prepares youngsters for a life in the armed forces is off beam.


Best part of this policy is that any FCI irrespective of rank/role within RAFAC can organise an FT Ex now, which also extends to Staff Cadets, if signed off by the FCO.


Sensible moves!

It’s utterly stupid that for years we’d sometimes be running concurrent courses… My fieldcraft colleagues (regardless of their qualifications) were not permitted to have weapons, yet, alongside them in the woodland I and the other WIs on our L98 IWT course could be teaching “Reaction to Effective Enemy Fire” and “Firing from other positions and use of cover”.
I even remember a visiting officer getting all upset about the “unauthorised fieldcraft training with weapons”…
“No Sir, that’s a Skill at Arms lesson… The fieldcraft students are the ones covered in camocream, looking wistfully, and wishing they’d signed up for the IWT instead…”


I am scanning my way down this thread and you are the first one so far that has spotted that fundamental error in the way that the policy is written (although I am sure that this is not what the authors meant), That is:

a) TEAM skills and knowlege are contained in AC71966, Chapter 2 - Tactics which the policy say can only be taught on the the Junior Leaders Course (JLC).

b) INDIVIDUAL skills and knowledge of are contained in Chapter 1 - Fieldcraft and that is the limit of the vast majority of us who are not part of JLC.

If applied as written, that means the ONLY entity within the ATC that can teach, practice and exercise cadets in the likes of reconnaissance patrols, observation posts and patrol harbours - all of which are easily achievable with cadets without weapons (let alone blank and pyro) - is the JLC. The rest of us are - as written - limited to teaching INDIVIDUAL skills without any TEAM framework within which to develop such.


A cheaper and more sustainable option than using L98/L85 is an Airsoft variant, they currently sell at £35 for a spring model, it can be easily modified so that it cannot fire anything so no accidents can happen. There would be no need for a BFA however something covering the front end like a barrel plug in bright yellow to show that it is not a live weapon or even have various plastic parts coloured differently to the actual RIF (Real Imitation Firearm, classified under the VCRA 2006) the same as the white coloured Drill purpose with the red ejection port.

It gives the cadets what they want without breaking the bank and without having to use and possibly damage L98a2’s. Held by wing and ordered out for various training. If Squadrons brake one then they replace it, like I say they’re currently £35, if you reached out to the manufacturer then we may get it cheaper ?

However I know that a lot of people don’t like BB guns or Airsoft RIF’s and this will probably get “shot” down… See what I did there ?.. Yeah i’ll show myself out

The Image is not mine, I found it on the web to demonstrate what I meant. I do not own the rights to it.


Also specifically banned, so very unlikely to happen.


Do you know the reason why ?


FT Progressive Syllabus Suggestion.pdf (271.0 KB)

Any thoughts on my suggestion? I’m not particularly strongly worried about the badges, but I do think that qualification levels are a good idea and given that we have a PTS for pretty much everything else, I don’t see why not.


It looks really good, I can see the Train the Trainer course being interesting as well.

Instead of a badge for the Brassard how about something similar to the JL flash that changes with progression? As we should only be doing FC in DPM/MTP I think it would be a good way to display the levels of training that they have. Obviously there is an expense in making them etc but worth it.

Progressing into Silver… it may have to be run as a wing team as Sectors may be down on ECO’s which I’m guessing you would need…

It could be interesting to take the Cadets out of the wing as well. I am a former Airsofter (I gave it up due to lack of money and increase of responsibilities) we used to Airsoft at Whinney Hill training area in Catterick, Copehill Down Village and we even ran at STANTA in the mock Afghan Village, I am sure the Cadets would love to go to such training areas. Although I doub’t we would get xlearnace


I had thought that the badge would most appropriately worn on the No 3 uniform, if for no other reason than a lack of space on the brassard!