Can anyone please help me and remind me why we do this?
Constant demands from Wg staff, under appreciation/complete lack of appreciation, and wherever possible let’s make things more difficult/bureaucratic.
I’m really wondering why I bother. I love certain aspects and activities just struggle with all the politics and lack of genuine support and respectful communication.


Remember the old adage ‘floggings will continue until morale improves’.


We’re all in the same boat and will identify with the points made.


99999, its a difficult thing to answer…
I left the corps last year… why? Fed up with unrealistic demands from Wing, constant battles with people building their own empires and blatantly lying but nobody willing to back you up, more likely to stab you in the back!

I still enjoy listening about some of the corps and miss some little things but on the whole I don’t miss it as much as I thought I would… so dont be afraid to take the step out the door.

But before I left I tried just to shut things out concentrate on what I wanted to do, no running after sector, wing or region just concentrate on what you want to do in the corps I found it helped and kept me enjoying it for a few extra years.
So concentrate on you and your sqn, an old friend did the same and came back as a CI does what he wants when he wants and if someone tried to tell hime what to do he tells them in vivd detail where to go and he is really enjoying it again so that may be another option for you.

ultimately though you need to make sure YOU are ok as nobody else in this organisation will!


I do it because I’d run out of Netflix to watch otherwise…

I do it for examples like the following:

Cadet comes on a course, severely lacking confidence but capable, little pep talk and they tell me they want to get promoted. 4 months later at another event the same cadet comes running up to me to announce that they were promoted. That applying what they learned when returning to their squadron, the advice I gave, and my report to their staff helped them get there.

Another example closer to home, cadet walked through the door at 13, quiet and shy, will now easily make CWO and has been a wing nominee for best cadet.

There are countless examples.

However, altruism aside… I have a second family, comrades-in-arms almost. When i get to do what I like doing with the people I like doing it with, when I see the fruits of my labour… I have the most fun and all the work and rubbish I put up with suddenly seems worth it while shielded from the real world in that little bubble.

All that, more, and yeah… It gets me out the house!

There have been numerous times when I’ve been slogging through and questioned the effort and stress, we all do. There have been times when I’ve thrown a little internal paddy and mentally resigned in a spectacular blaze of glory. There have been times that just as I reached the light it moved.

For you though, my advice would be to weigh up YOUR pros and cons. Think about what you do enjoy. Focus on what you want to do and prioritise that - you’re a volunteer, after all.

Don’t be afraid of going NEP for a little trial separation. I’ve known many who have and it’s told them all they needed to know - either a black cloud lifted or they missed it like their favourite arm.

And please, don’t burn out or put your health at jeopardy.


We all have the little nuggets that make it worthwhile. For me it’s the countless cadets I’ve seen come in shy, quiet and awkward and by the time they’ve finished with us you wouldn’t recognise them from the little boy or girl who came in through the door in many cases 2 or 3 years previous.
But the over-riding problem today and a number of years is bureaucracy and never ending nonsense emanating from a corner of Lincolnshire.
I was looking back on the DYER summary recently which contained comments like

“cadet activities can be subject to over cautious and inappropriate service regulation”

“service officers do not generally have experience of managing volunteers”

remain extant, and, people carry on despite and in spite of these to give the young people who join all 3 cadet forces, not just the ATC, something to do and provide parents a cheap night to themselves.

I wouldn’t suggest the deferred resignation of NEP, primarily as I’ve never understood why anyone should need to ask permission effectively to take a break from something they volunteer in. It is an obsolete notion and maintained by people who as stated have little experience of managing volunteers. The only person you need to speak to is the sqn cdr. You could understand it if we were salaried and wanted a sabbatical.

But as said if you have had enough it is time to move on. A deferred resignation is not going to make any difference as it will be exactly the same when/if you come back.


This was me.

I joined on my 13th birthday. CWO was the first person I met, he was 6’5 or thereabouts. I was a terrified, timid and shy kid. I was terrified of my own shadow.

This organisation has made me who I am today. I’m glad my parents supported me to stick at it.

This is why I am staff. This is why I went to OASC recently. If I can do this for at least one cadet in my career then that makes it all worthwhile.


Much of the politics comes about as at HQAC we have too many chiefs and not enough Indians and the chiefs are all trying to urinate up the same wall, but don’t have any real clout to make anything happen and creates a nonsensical situation. We have to play along with whatever crap comes out of the MoD which no one can or has the kahunas to challenge as they are in deference mode.
As this percolates through the ATC, all the CFAV trying to make a name for themselves stick their bit on and oar in and by the time it gets to squadron level, no one knows what is happening or meant to happen and disillusionment kicks in. As a result we all try and justify to ourselves, as illustrated above, why it is we keep on coming back for more, other than we feel in our heart of hearts that if we leave, given volunteer staffing levels, you could see the local POC of the ATC vanish.
If there were more staff to pick the baton I think people would leave with any pangs of guilt.


I know the value of our organisation to the cadets and what I enjoy is seeing that change.

What I don’t enjoy is the dealing with jumped up people who forget you are a volunteer, have a job and a family and that do all they can to be difficult, impolite and demanding.

Often you get the attitude that they won’t process this for YOU or approve this activity for YOU. But it’s not for me, it’s for the cadets and it’s not me who loses out if they refuse to be flexible, it’s the cadets.

Over time we have lost far too much from the inability to come up with creative solutions and the insistence on bringing in nonsensical rules that preclude safe, we’ll run activities.

I safely remain an advocate for what the Corps can offer but it does take a toll on the staff. I’m certainly not resigning but I will continue to keep myself to myself and support local activities and projects where I can work with a trusted and dedicated team, which avoids as much politics as possible.


+1 to this. Since leaving the uniform behind I’m enjoying it more, and have not done anything I don’t want to.


In that case, it makes it all worthwhile for me too


I do it and have done for 36years for simply 100% selfish reasons.

There are many but usually the reasons join around 13 and stay a few years and then leave becoming better and more experienced thanks to us, which is miles better than all the alternatives for them and me.


As a CI , alway slightly outside the formal office stuff, looking in, uniformed staff will often hear me saying ,’ they want what , that’s bloody stupid '! , or some such remark.
The level of paperwork to do a simple activity means we cant just decide to pop out ti the local rugby club for a run , its bloomin ridiculous.
My squadron is small and so is our physical footprint , and resourses are small so we rely on the generosity of local sport clubs and even the local scouts, to provide space . Getting permision is so silly now we miss a lot of oportunitunities to go off Squadron.
With so little flying and almost no existant shootings , the scouts offer so much more , regular, outdoor activities, which is shameful and a blot on ATC history.
Having said that, so many youngsters respond so well to military training , confidence and leadership, the pluses cannot be overlooked .
I’m 58 , ex cadet, i love the Corps, despite all the frustrstions.
Generally , the , certainly my sector , share and assist where ever possible; everyone does their bit .