How did staff cadets come about?

As we know staff cadets are a hot topic of debate about weather they are really needed in the ATC and if they should be abolished. But how did they begin? Like if they were going to through so many spanners in the works then surley they would of never of been set up in the first place.

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This is bringing back bad memories of being a cadet in the age boundary when the LASER review brought them in. Staff cadet used to be a two part thing. Part 1 was what is now Master Air Cadet and part 2 was MOI plus an interview where you had to show knowledge of the ATC, wing, region etc and of all the relevant ACPs which then got you the yellow lanyards. When they got rid of service from 20-22 with the review they initially called those in the 18-20 category “Instructor Cadets” and at some point that changed to staff cadets and they made the lanyards MOI only.
Initially we had to wear white tabs above our rank slides to indicate we couldn’t be trusted.


I went from instructor cadet during my time as the transition happened then.

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Simple as above…
They began because the organization became aware of the problem of having cadets who are legally adults in charge of younger cadets.
In order to be legal we had to ensure that those over 18 cadets were treated as adults in a youth organization (with all the legally required checks and balances) and given appropriate training.

The alternative would have been that all cadet service beyond 18 was binned.

I take it this would of been the easier option. As I do see alot of people on here saying how staff cadets are in a sort of limbo in terms of getting stuff like fuel money back.

I would vote for this.


Would’ve been an even bigger step at the time, considering that before the review CWO went to 22.

It was a lot easier then than it is now.

Exams (instructor cadet pt1 - basically Master), interview (instructor cadet pt2), MOI, BASIC (now AVIP).

No BPSS, no ACTO99.

Yes and no.
The experience and leadership amongst the cadets that would be lost is notable. Especially as we have a number of courses that are only available for the 16/17 yos.

I well remember wearing the white tabs as an instructor cadet. I’ve got a few certificates where I’m called Instructor Cadet Flight Sergeant Old Newbie. Nice having a long title, but a tad unwieldy.

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Also, the LASER review brought in the Adult SNCO rank structure.

Before hand, you would enter as a 22 Yr old AWO… Now it allows progression, from A/Sgt, Sgt, FS into WO.

Was one of the last who did their CWO service to 22, before commissioning as a Plt Off.

As will the current rules, you had to be 20 to hold a qualification to run a range. So you could have a 20/21 Yr old CWO running a Rifle range, in charge of staff.