My Sgt told me I’m ‘NCO material’

I’ve been in cadets for like 3 months now, like halfway through first class training. I love cadets a lot and go really often, basically every night. My cadet sergeant told me on the way home that the NCO’s and staff think I’m ‘NCO material’. I feel like it’s pretty early for me to be thinking about being an NCO but what did the comment actually mean? What even is ‘NCO material’?


3 months in your priorities are enjoying yourself and trying to learn.

If they’ve said that it suggests they think you have potential to one day be an NCO. It’s a good thing.

But don’t let it go to your head, you’ve still got a long way to go in terms of building up skills and experience. Don’t wish away your time as a cadet!


While it may be a good thing to hear, don’t really worry about it. getting promoted really isnt something you should think about until maybe about a year of regular attendance. best thing to do is relax and take your time, instead of trying to speed run cadets and burn your self out, or end up a prat. Like Rexan said:


Thank you everyone, I won’t take it egotistically, it was just a nice compliment. If anything I kind of hope to be an NCO one day since I’m already 15 and most of the other people at my squadron who are my age are already cpls and sgts.

Out of curiosity, what actually are the qualities that are looked for in an NCO? What did the comment actually mean?

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Don’t worry about rank in relation to age, everyone is different.
If you prove you have the qualities of a JNCO you’ll get there with time. Work on developing yourself as a cadet and enjoying your experience first.
The comment probably meant that you have the early potential to advance in your time with the ATC. I help train our new intakes, and even from early on I look for who has potential (though I don’t normally voice it to the cadets).

Qualities can include of early signs of leadership, developed their basic knowledge on the first class syllabus, continuous good conduct/behaviour, wanting to take part, being respectful and responsible, good communication, punctuality etc.

More information on the role and responsibilities of a JNCO can be found in ACP 048 on Cadet Portal.

But for now, enjoy the experience. There’s no shame in looking to advance, just remember that your priority now should be learning your basics, and enjoying your cadet experience :smile:


It’s a good sign, but a word of warning…

I remember seeing an older individual joining “late”.

They were accelerated through the ranks to sgt, because at that time you needed to be a sgt to stay in past 18.

This rightly the experienced cadets who were overlooked.

But more importantly (and relevant to you), he was a sack
He couldn’t even stand to attention without looking terrible.

He lacked any credibility (and seemingly didn’t care to graft to make up the cavernous deficit).

It was a huge mistake by the boss.

Now, I have nothing against a rapid rise. If you’re NCO material (and your age could be helping with maturity here), then that’s a great foundation.

But if you want it, make sure you get the basics down perfectly. Then study hard (though don’t burn out).
Make sure that if you promote ahead of those that have been there longer, they look at you and think: “makes sense”.

Naturally, this goes for everyone. But NCOs need to strive for excellence so they’re capable of leading by example and supporting their juniors through the process. It’s an extra challenge for you, because your cramming more knowledge acquisition into a shorter timeframe.

Work hard and enjoy yourself. The extra responsibility (note: not “reward”) of promotion will come later.

Good luck!

Edit: Not sure why the forum served me this one 9 months late. Would love to hear how you’re getting on. It’s like binging a box set!