How military is your Squadron?

As I’ve been around different units, different Sqns have different ways of doing things, based often on military traditions they have picked up. My new command is not that military but it’s something I am hoping to change, with your help!

What does your Sqn do that is based on military tradition? Is there anything you have seen anywhere you’d like to implement?

Have you joined @Teflon’s unit?


How are you defining military in this sense?

Need to be realistic about this, if ATC units were really like the RAF these days, they’d be an awful lot more relaxed and casual… The real military is not Full Metal Jacket.

I’m referring to standards and discipline, alongside traditions that embody the ethos of the RAF.

The sqn I am now commanding is a uniform away from being a youth club!

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Then whatever you do, do it slowly.

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Or do it fast… but at least let us know of the fireworks! :joy:

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What’s your position on the squadron - in other words, how in control of the direction of the squadron do you believe you are? What are the other staff like? What do they do that does have a military theme? And what other youth groups are there in the area?

I had to work with a sqn like that in my sector.
Our sqn cadets always yes sir/ma’am there cadets were on first name terms. When you told them to do something it ended up a debate as they were not in habit of just doing.

You need to get a good level of discipline introduced, but be ready to loose some cadets who won’t like it and be ready to clamp down hard and fast as the older ones won’t want to change.

I always put it to my cadets if you don’t do what your told when your told in simple tasks on the sqn how can I trust you on the range or out in the hills.

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What do you want apart from the yes/no sir/mam, saluting, standing to attention where appropriate, a bit more rigour applied to dress items and courteous manner. That’s about as military as we need to be. This is all that was ever expected when I joined the ATC and is how I’ve continued. Anymore military than that as said we are not FMJ but we are not like the real RAF either. Even my mates who were in the Army during the 80s and 90s and did things with the RAF on secondment, said the RAF had a more relaxed air about it, that wasn’t a bad thing in my book.

I wish at times we could break away from this constant military basic training ethic and have a more working environment. It does feel after a day at work of calling managers, all but senior man, by their Christian name, like stepping into a pretend world when you put a uniform on and arrive at the squadron.

As said do anything slowly. Do it quick and you may not have a squadron or components thereof very quickly and rebuilding is a long process. But then if what is happening now works why get too bothered from the outset. Sometimes its easy to go in as someone new think I don’t like this or that and then instigate changes for the sake of it and just end up brassing them off and as it’s their spare time they can find something else to do with it. The ATC is not as special as it might have once been.

The most important thing is to explain, in prescriptive detail, exactly what it is you want people to say and do.

Change may or may not be appreciated, but I absolutely guarantee that if you require people to do ‘something’ without actually spelling out what you want them to do, and then get the hump when they don’t do what you want, you’ll have a catastrophic morale problem in less time than it takes the rest of your staff to say ‘tosser’.

I understand where you’re coming from - I once served on an ATC Sqn where female Officers were addressed as ‘Ma’am Surname’…

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Things like “Ma’am Smith” and anyone who says See-WO when dealing with a CWO would get my boot up their backside on Day 1!

My Sqn is quite relaxed but still makes sure the basics are there.

For example we very drill orientated and AT orientated. Drill is very serious, has to be right etc. AT ranks and surnames go out the window

We do the usual DofE stuff, couple of musicians but we are a sport Sqn. Not like back in my day with learning from a blue book with multiple choice exam. I couldn’t tell you the last time ours were in uniform and when they were it looked like their uniform was dragged through dusty bushes. Drill is questionable and a chore to get the right NCO to teach as the cadets often MESS about :confused:

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So you’re a scout group?


A post was split to a new topic: CWO: how do you address yours?

Split topic as that question is a whole can of worms on its own!

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Can I like that more than once please?


I concur. I was serving during the late 70s and through to the late 80s and we were pretty relaxed.Certainly when I went to Army bases they were pretty strict in comparison.Getting back to topic though the RAFAC ATC is meant to be a military based youth organisation.Some discipline is needed.I know at my last sqn it was the oldest sqn in the wing so had a bit of tradition and history behind it which I was very proud of.The cadets overall bought into that and it led to a good esprit de corps.

Chain of command…but mean it. Not sure how large the Sqn is but from the top down don’t interfere. Hand out responsibility to staff and they in turn to cadet SNCO’s. Allow the cadet SNCO’s to feel like they play an important role in the day to day running of the Squadron. Mentor and encourage ideas and let the cadets see them through.

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Clear behaviour expectations.
Consistent enforcement and sanctions.
Model behaviour: if you even once call another staff member or a senior cadet by their first name rather than rank, you immediately shoot yourself in the foot.

It’s really hard in a CCF unit - you see the same kids a couple of hours later in a completely different context where you might be Mr Smith and they might be Johnny, but at CCF they must understand it’s Flt Lt Smith and Cadet Jones. Most of us get it wrong.