Hello - Thinkng of defecting


I’m currently a Sergeant in the Army Cadet Force (adult Instructor) and thinking of defecting to the Blue side. Before I do just want to get a feel for sort of issues affecting ATC volunteers. How silly is the paperwork, is it possible to deliver the full range of experience at squadron level due to qualification requirements etc.

the cynical answers are:
Very Silly
Not really.

The longer answers are probably better than the ACF in some aspects and worse in others, to both questions!

Because we seem to give more latitude to units than the ACF, it can depend very much on the local circumstances and personalities. My advice would be to think carefully about WHY you want to move, and then to go and speak to your local unit and see how things are there.

If you just want to get away from the less beneficial aspects of a military command chain and retrictions caused by applying MOD rules and regs to a youth organisation, then you probably have little to gain!


I am an ACF SSI and DC. I’ve done all that Frimley offers, ALM, SAAI and KGVI (now ECO)

I’m range qual’d up the yahoo, and a minibus/LR/Trailer fam’d. I am a BSI and will probably do an HF course next year

Consequently, I am never bored, or stuck in a rut and in demand across my county.

However there are days when I could just take a Fukitol pill (500mg) and walk away shaking my head. However, after all I’ve done I’d be throwing that away.

For the first 3 years I came very close to quitting, but now in my 8th year it is now looking like I will be in it for a long time. There are many things I am unhappy about, but I do see progress and improvement, perhaps not at the pace it should be, but progress nonetheless.

Now before I joined the ACF I was a CI in the ATC. I saw inertia, incompetence and some truly spiteful and childish politics. I’m not saying that the ACF has none of these, but at least it is tackled and not seen as the elephant in the room because of the strange way the ATC is managed from squadron to squadron.

The ATC does a sterling job for its cadets, but it treats its adult staff in a truly dispiriting fashion. At least in the ACF the policy seems to be motivate and train in. My experience of the ATC at every level above squadron was we don’t want you, need you and we won’t train you and consequently you will never be good enough. A clear case of pulling the ladders up. It seemed to me that as a CI expressing an interest to do anything was guaranteed to result in someone up the CofC telling you you can’t do that. You had to wait to be asked. Disastrous attitude in a voluntary organisation short of volunteers.

My advice is stick with what you have got. Talk to your OC or the Commandant. If you are any good they will find some way to keep you in and happy to soldier on. Thats what I did when I had some doubts about the point of it all, and walked out of the meeting as a DC and my name down for several developmental courses.

Well I’ve done it, (defected).

It wasn’t so much the military rules applied to a youth organisation (although that is a pain) it was the local administration which was lacking. Essentially company HQ officers infighting and getting in the way of delivering to the cadets.

Very impressed with ATC so far, again largely due to local administration. The squadron commander has been there for years, seems to know his stuff and puts on the sort fo training program we(they now) could only dream of. Funnily enough my 2IC defected with me and out of 37 adults, they lost 9 this month. that in itself speaks volumes!


What you will find is that squadrons do their utmost to deliver, it’s only when it gets to Wing and beyond that it goes wrong similar issues to what you found within the ACF at County level. However all squadron’s have their ‘characters’.

What I hope you will find is that everyone should be doing their utmost to deliver to the cadets, it’s generally when you get Sqn Cdrs who believe that they own the ‘train set’ and can behave how they wish regardless of the direction and guidance given from above, that things go wrong.

By the way, if you didn’t like the military rules applied to a youth organisation when you were in the ACF, well funny old thing, we have much the same, despite several people’s grumblings, that’s what MoD-sponsored youth organisations are about.