Well you are. What have you done about it?
My experience of being a CI and seeing what has happened to one of my colleague CI’s has not been a happy one.
It seems the way that RAFAC works is that they put a monkey in a uniform and they then have, in their opinion, power of life and death over CI’s.
This attitue has led to one of my collegues just calling it a day. He couldnt be bothered with the all the politics and frankly, the bigotry against CI’s by the uniformed staff. I have found the whole thing very demoralising and the appaling lack of man management from Wing and Region is quite staggering.
The only thing that keeps me coming back is trying to keep our squadron open and running and putting something back into my community.
I saw that myself as a SWO and an OC. Mind not on any sqn I served on.I always found the uniformed staff and CIs got on well together.Of course you can never plan for the power trip loons who you sometimes find in the corps.
CIs are the backbone of the organisation without whom the whole thing would collapse overnight.
I’d like to think I’m not like the officers described above - and hope that anybody who felt that way would challenge me on it - just as I’ve challenged Officers and NCOs where I’ve witnessed (or heard) about their lack luster attitude towards CIs.
In the last year I’ve heard “CIs aren’t allowed access to Bader”, “CIs cannot do X/Y/Z”, and “on my squadron only Uniformed staff can run canteen”.
One OC I challenged on it said they were using the Bader access concept as a “tool” for “encouraging the CI onto uniform”- without realising that the consequence of their action was actually doing more harm than good.
Often the biggest culprits of the "them and us divide (although not exclusively this group!), are ex-cadets who transitioned straight into uniform roles who’ve never been a CI. Those that have done time as a CI often have a far more supportive attitude.
As has been said over and over, whilst cadets are the heart of this organisation, its CIs who give it the backbone.
Them and us is institutionalised.
This then spawns the rest of the nonsense. I wouldn’t blame the cadets coming through straight into uniform per se, they are not intelligent enough and only mimicking the actions and words of older uniformed CFAV so they can fit in. But the older CFAV should know better as many would have in all likelihood been CIs themselves.
This is also a problem where we ape the RAF and other armed forces where the badge(s) you wear delineates what you can and cannot do and who is in charge of who. Those CFAV in uniform, generally follow the party line. As CIs don’t fit into the Forces’ norm they are discriminated against in a way that in modern thinking would be frowned upon. There is also the fact if CIs were allowed to absolutely everything why go into uniform? Therefore some of the games have to be restricted to uniforms otherwise as I say who would want to wear a uniform.
You can liken this to CS civvie WExOs being appointed the ‘rank’ of Sqn Ldrs, for no other reason than people within the forces aren’t able to reconcile speaking to someone without a rank. I asked the question why they have to have a rank and was told this.
I felt I should comment seeing as I started this thread. Firstly, thanks for all who have given quite the insight into things and also I’m afraid to say I’m still struggling. My emails are often unasnwered and I’ve decided that whilst I’m not going to give up, I’m going to slow down even more, as I learn more about the organisation and what to do next. Ultimatley I think I’m going to move to another Squadron, and try again there. If I experience the same issues there (and assuming it’s not me, I know it’s not, but none of you do of course) then I’ll call it a day having known I’ve given it everything.
Whilst I can’t say too much I know Wing are not happy with our Squadron at the minute, commenting on some of the things I’ve experienced first hand (especially around communication & admin) at least justifies me somewhat, that it’s not just me. I’m not sure whether volunteering for the RAFAC is ultimatley worth my time, considering what I want to get out of it.
The people I’d consider ‘nice’ are still in their minority, with almost everyone I meet across the organisation in uniform having this strange Borg-like indoctrination about them, it seems more a cult than a youth org.
Sad but true in a lot of cases not all thankfully.
You really have had a bad experience!!
Some people can have a fixation on their status and rank, but there are lots more who do it for the cadets!!
I take some of the advantages of being in uniform, but that doesn’t make me superior to anyone!
I wish you luck at your new Squadron!