Is it really that bad?

Today on Twitter I have seen a CFAV Resign over a request to remove a photograph because a cadet was wearing his blue jumper over his cs95s.
The cadet was clearly happy as Larry to pose with his new blue Gliding wings for the photo.
Well done you!.

We don’t know the full reasons for why he has his jumper on… Maybe it’s cold. Maybe he doesn’t have a smock. Maybe the jumper was the only option to keep him warm. With the requirement laid down to all volunteers and cadets to ensure everyone is safe at all times during all activities regardless of weather conditions (Climatic injury policy)
Should it really make a difference that a cadet is improperly dressed in a photo. Bearing in mind Joe Public will have no idea that he is.

Should we not just be spreading the great news that our cadets are flying and having a fantastic time?


I found the “offending” picture myself earlier. Cadets looked happy with there wings! The buzz they are having, the ability to show off these new badges to their fellow squadron members.

Yes, there’s a clash of uniform… but… it’s not hurting anyone.

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What. I’m sorry H and S of any cadet (s) I’m with comes first if that means mixed dress due to weather do be it. It’s not the first time i have allowed a cadet to wear his jumper with combats due to change in weather . In fact I understand Army have started to wear green jumpers with MTP so what’s the issue here . I mean you could be inside for example to cold with a shirt, to hot with smock or to bulky , jumper might be the bill

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It is that bad - HQAC deliberately set a loose a generation of uniform obsessed maniacs with no understanding of nuance or practicality, who have been told, trained and had it continually reinforced that uniform regulations are the holy of holies in the ACO, and that nothing else in the cadet experience overrides their importance.

This is the inevitable conclusion to that idiocy - the tradegy is that HQAC and its village idiots will be thinking ‘good riddance’ while another cadet weekend gets cancelled because there’s not enough staff.

Employ an administrator…

If somebody is that inclined to throw their teddies out of the pram then I’m not sure they should be in a position of leadership!

I also saw the photograph and it looked like a dose of laziness and stupidity on the part of the photographer to publish it. Is an announcement about flying badges so urgent that they couldn’t wait until the guys were in blue before taking the shot? Even if that were beyond possibility, the cadet could take their jersey off for the duration of the photo then stuck it back on if it were so cold.

I am assuming they had been on a range and it was a bit chilly, so a jersey was thrown on. I have no real issue with that temporary fix. Were the others not chilly too though? It happens. It doesn’t need to make it onto social media though.

I know there are people on here who prefer to play fast and loose with all sorts of rules because they think they know better so I expect they’ll all be flapping their gums about this too. See, one has started already!


Would I get a flap on about it? Not really. I do think that resigning over the matter is going a bit far though!

They aren’t but we acquire them anyway.

We could say similar things about range days in that I consider that pretty much anything goes to keep warm so long as it doesn’t impact safety, but when you step into the realm of media we need to adjust and tune the image we are portraying.

We’ll make an effort to check berets are straight, collars are away, ties are adjusted etc, so why would we not take the time to make sure we comply with the other aspects of the dress regs before taking a STAGED photo?

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Agree with incubus on this one, got to make sure the photos are right before publishing. The jumper didn’t look thrown on from what I could see as the cadet had his brassard on too…

A multitude of reasons why it could happen but (like it or not) we need to portray the best image that we can to the public.

WRT a resignation over it, maybe it’s the straw that broke the camels back but once something’s in the public domain, be prepared for criticism / correction. Dress regs are laid down so we follow. There are nuances on squadrons but I have shut down requests (e.g. GPJ’s for cadets) before because they don’t follow the rules.

Generally with Rob on this one.

(A) the photo. I have no issue with any deviations from the regs if there’s a compelling reason (and lack of insulation would certainly qualify) but the regs are not hard to follow so if you’re taking a photo, either adjust dress or wait until everyone is properly dressed.

(B) The resignation. By the sounds of things, it sounds like:

  • CFAV breaks minor rule
  • CFAV is asked to correct the situation
  • CFAV decides to resign instead.

Either there’s some story missing here or that’s one tantrum-prone individual.


In the current climate the words … camel, broke, of, straw, that, back, the … come to mind.

I recall in the 80s massive debates about cadets even wearing “combats”, but in the end common sense played as Ace over King and people wore whatever they had. Prior to and during this time many cadets wore coveralls for what is now called FMS.

People are getting more and more fed up with pettiness and petty-minded people who are rule obsessed and want to create a little world for themselves as their own lives have little or no meaning and

There are those who are becoming increasingly obsessed with little things, that completely confuse the rational people. We had a H&S inspection 2 years ago and we had used an old style form, the H&S idiot marked us down. The difference on the two forms; issue date, version number and the title had changed, all the information was the same.

The thing to be wary of is using SM as again it seems this bloke has been tried in the 3rd or 4th person, as I doubt whichever insect told him to remove it, saw it first hand. I think the Corps should initiate a rule, that if you’re not there and only see it on SM or it is sent to you cannot comment etc etc etc. If I looked back though photos I took as a cadet and staff there will be many with ‘sins’ on them. But as they were personal and for squadron use if they paid for reprints, no one would see them and back then no one was really bothered.

I wouldn’t be so sure if I were you. Perhaps not seen first hand initially, but it is easy to send links to the post in question.

First hand means being there at that moment, not seeing it first online or having it passed down the line.

Definitely unless it is showing something dangerous or stupid should people be told to remove the article/picture.

We should have a ban in the Corps on people being hung, drawn and quartered for what they do on social media. It would save the CAC a lot of aggro.

If you are suggesting that you only have a right to flag an issue (which is what this is, like it or not) if you personally witnessed the infraction face to face, you are a fool.

I would argue also that the real infraction here was posting the photo in the public domain, and we can all be first-hand witnesses to that :smiley:

People should not be pilloried for this sort of thing, but cannot expect for it to go without comment and must expect to be told to rectify the issue. If they are unable to self-censor it will attract attention and perhaps they’ll learn to apply more thought in the future.


What happened pre-social media?
Things happened and no one was any the wiser.
A photo like this (I’ve not seen it) might get into a local rag and or put on a photo board at the squadron and that would be it. Having been a WO and CO this isn’t something I could get that bothered about to the point of telling someone off and getting all uppity.
Did the Corps fall apart? No.

But in the past people seemed to have less time to get excited about non things and making jobs for themselves in the ATC, because they were fully ensconced in doing things on their squadrons. We see this faux excitement throughout society and it does / has done nothing to make the world a better place. Personally I think we should remove social media sites as they don’t seem to do anything positive.

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Squadrons would stick stuff in the RAF News or Air Cadet magazine and the whole organisation would see that they were being slack with the rules and setting a bad example. It would be unlikely to get wide, national coverage but by it did there would be nothing we could do about it.

The world has changed and global publicity is now trivial, We also have a mechanism to try to correct our mistakes but it is better not to make them in the first place because the communication of those mistakes is essentially instantaneous. We need to adapt to that reality and make sure the publicity is as good as we can make it. There is no use bemoaning how it used to be, because that is not how it is now.

Stop living in the past.


I’m going to throw in another vote for “If it’s wrong - don’t splash it on social media”.

In an ideal world, sure, a cadet would not have to wear a blue jersey with their No3s. Sometimes it doesn’t work out like that and we have to make the best of the situation. No doubt that is what has happened here.

But there always seems to be a supply of people ready to start complaining because they’ve been told to adhere to dress regulations.
If people will provide the very evidence themselves then they have no right to grumble as far as I’m concerned.

Cold cadet? Fine, if there is no other alternative then break regs and keep them warm… But don’t post a photograph of it and then complain that you’ve been picked up on it.

…and hells bells! If being asked to remove an “offending” photo is grounds for resignation then - off you trot…

The other question is “Why did the cadet have to wear it?”

Maybe the cadet foolishly didn’t bring warm clothing.
Maybe the staff didn’t brief the cadet properly.
Could the cadet have removed the jersey for two minutes to take a photo?
Could the photo have been taken at another time when the cadets were all properly dressed?

It’s always the same gripe about light blue shirts with ties removed and sleeves rolled up… “It was too hot for the cadets to be in shirt and tie! Health and Safety is more important!”

Brings up two questions:

  1. Was it really too hot? In which case, which idiot ordered shirt and tie in the first place? We have other uniform options available.
  2. If the occasion absolutely required shirt and tie then suck it up. Ensure the cadets are watered, monitored, and given shade when possible. Then change the uniform once the requirement is no longer there. If everyone was at risk of death simply because the sun is out and they’ve got a tie on and long cotton sleeves then half the world would be dropping dead every day.

Not very many squadrons put things in the ACN or RAF News. We’ve tried and never got anywhere, whereas we have an almost 100% hit rate with local papers, which is a far better medium for us.

Individuals in the Corps have become far too obsessed with things that don’t matter, like this. 99.9999999% of people who might see it couldn’t give damn whether the uniform’s right or not, many will see it and value what it represents, which seems to be a youngster achieving, ignoring the banal uniform aspects. This is what we should be relishing and celebrating NOT what they are wearing or how they are wearing it. We seem to have generated too many little people with over inflated views of themselves in the ATC micro bubble, who have lost all sense of proportion. I’ve listened to many SNCOs and wonder if they actually have lives outside the ATC. The approach in this instance should have been good stuff, just be a bit more careful about what they are wearing in the future. Not as it appears fly off on one, as it seems to have instigated the loss of another member of staff, which we can ill afford to lose.

The message should be, don’t want to get upset do not subscribe to social media. I thought 1984 was a book not some take on what reality should become. Unless of course you subscribe to Stalinist or Nazi doctrines with the thought police concept and people encouraged to ‘dob people in’ to get in someone’s good books.

I suppose my point really is two-fold.

  1. That it should be easy to satisfy both requirements - H&S and Dress Regs for the sake of the photo - so why not do so?

  2. That whether or not we consider adherence to dress regs “important” in this case; somebody obviously did and asked the person to remove the photo. If that person believes that the proportionate response is to resign then okay, that’s their choice. But it seems awfully petty to me. Certainly no more or less petty than asking to remove the photo in the first place.

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The problem is that the Pace Stick Wielders have gotten too big for their boots. I won’t comment too much on this particular photo as I haven’t seen it.

However I have had numerous issues in my pervious Wing with the Wing Weary Officer jumping up and down over photos on Social Media rather than looking at the context of the photo and asking what’s more important a minor uniform infraction or a once in a lifetime oppourtunity for cadets being publicised properly.

This led to a huge amount of pettiness in response to his pettiness including but not limited to me deliberately getting photos he had complained about “your Cadets hair is too long” published in the local press & taking photos of my service helper in a ubacs where you can’t see his planking plates just to trigger a stroppy email so that I could respond with a “your wrong wind your neck in”.

I do understand all of the brand image stuff and I get that we want to portray ourselves in the best possible light, but we have to ask ourselves what is the primary point of our use of Social Media, is it so we can show off to other units what we have been upto like an RAF Stations in house magazine or is it a recruiting tool for the 21st century.

If it’s the latter then surely we must focus on whether publishing the story is in the best interest despite their being an error in the photo.

As for people resigning over something like this, I don’t think those above realise quite how bad morale is at the moment. Maybe they should consider looking at what our volunteers are doing that’s good and rather than saying “oh I know you managed to get cadets a once in a lifetime oppourtunity to do X but you have to publicise it with no photos because Cadet X needs a haircut” maybe they should be saying “well done what a fantastic job you did that must have taken hard work”.


Is that actually the problem though?
It could just as rightly be said that there would be no problem at all if people made the effort to adhere to the uniform regulations in this Uniformed service that we’ve joined. At the very least doing so for the few minutes it takes to snap a photo.

Is it petty to ask for the photo to be removed? Possibly (I haven’t seen it. But unless it was a major infraction then it probably is petty)

Is it petty to complain about being picked up for not following a simple rule which we all know we are supposed to follow? I’d say yes.

It seems to me that the problem is that there are people on both sides who refuse to consider that the other has a valid point.

WWOs are being lent on by the RWOs, who are being lent on by the CACWO, who is being lent on… blah blah.
It’s not really fair to blame the WWO for doing his/her job. Certainly some of them I’m sure are muppets - but not all.

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