New Commandant

So we’re in August now and we’ve started the one year countdown before the Supreme Leader retires. Does anyone know if they’ve started the recruitment process or when they will do so? Any body you’d like to see in the role?

Id expect some noise post Xmas.

I’d of liked to if seen Eddie Cole take the post as he was an awesome RC but hes now joined the MOD


Theresa May?

Chris Grayling?

That bloke who signed off on the 737-MAX?


They’d be an improvement


I think RC(N) would be a good fit, but then again I like him being our RC, and god knows who we’d get in exchange.


I’d put my money on him being favourite

From what I’ve seen of him he’d be good. But will they be looking to bring someone in from outside the RAFAC. I hope not as they will want to do big changes for their own stamp and we really need the current changes to bed in.

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The Commandant came to our Wg conference earlier in the year and alluded to the fact that now ‘thanks to her’ the air cadets has a higher profile in the RAF, so it’ll gain higher calibre candidates from the pool of Air Commodores in the RAF.
Think that discounts RC(N).

Personally I would like to see someone from outside and preferably aircrew as opposed to another admin type.

If I had a choice I would say AVM Chris Luck would be a great fit now that he’s retired.

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I genuinely wonder if she’s not unwell

When, nearly 30 years ago, (yes, I know, proper old fart warning) I spent an afternoon on the flightline at RAF Coltishall among the Jags (I was 14, it was emphasis ace…). Pretty much every single Jag pilot, and the Stn Cdr, and everone in between, had been an air cadet.

I think the woman is deluded, or deranged, or her brain is so traumatized by her galactic incompetence that she thinks she’s a piece of glass in Louis XIV’s palace.

Or she’s just spouting rectally, like normal.


Hes still in the civil service. So eligible to apply.

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I doubt Eddie will though as he’s moved into CS from an FTRS post so now goes back to full pension etc.

Unlikely he’d move on from this new role in 12 months, would of been different has it been a RAFAC post.

There’s an Air Cdre that acts as a sqn president in our wing that has this year come to 2 wing events, unsure what he gets up to day to day but he may be interested.

As a now outsider looking in I ll be glad when shes gone.Shes a nice enough person and ive met and spoken with her on a couple of occasions.She has changed though an awful lot.When I first met her at Cranwell in 2014 she went out of her way to be approachable and spoke at length to every member of staff and every cadet.Last time I saw her was at a North Region Parade last year.She seemed withdrawn and very distant.Not the same person at all.
I think we all want the best for the cadets and anyone that comes in has to take a step back (although that ll be hard for them) and let the many changes that have occurred over the last years bed in.I still care about the organisation and actively promote it to anyone with kids but the bottom line is any new incumbent has to be a better communicator (and I dont mean via twitter et al).They a;lso will have to rebuild the relationship between HQAC and the front line staff which has become badly damaged over the tenure of the current CAC.


So she is basically saying she only got the job because noone else wanted it?


That was exactly my take of it, yes.


While she is ultimately responsible for all of the problems we voice concern about, it is possible that the high velocity face-to-wall paradigm that saw Eddie Cole leave exists even for her. I’ve even seen RC(N) express “frustration”.

I don’t doubt that she has maintained the best of intentions and she’s undoubtedly had to weather many a storm over issues not directly (or entirely) within her control - flying, gliding, changes to shooting, issues with FT and the evolving nature of its training, CFC. Plus there was everything she inherited from the Cooper era and some quite problematic RCs.

We are a relatively large organisation with many moving parts and, stepping back, I would say she has sat in a mire between a rock and hard place with the RAF and MOD diktat and obstinacy above, surrounded by people who seem unable to “get it”, and demands and incompetency below. She’s found herself pulled in too many directions as she firefights on one side and tries to push progress on the other, taking the hits along the way for miss-steps on her and her subordinates’ part. Gliding, the Vigi, and VGSs for one was a situation she had to react to and didn’t initially create.

But, the buck stops with her and she has undoubtedly failed to grip her staff and resolve even the most basic of errors which keep popping up like a game of whack-a-mole (I’m looking at you, communication and implementation).

All that said, there has been some positive progress that we will reap benefits for. Implementation and comms around them has been rocky, and not all are finished, but the foundations are there:

  • PTS - I do really feel is a good step and is now working reasonably well across much of its breadth
  • Cadet Portal
  • SMS is getting overhauled
  • Talk of the future of Ultilearn
  • Shooting appears to be settling, weapons roll-out to units is beginning in earnest, and SATTs are taking more local control over staff training
  • Inroads into dry FT and Blank and Pyro
  • More professional FT training policy (poorly launched, but we’ll get through it)
    *Flexible FT training with introduction of ESF and unit authorised training
  • Introduction of STEM
  • Introduction of Cyber
  • Specialist camps
  • I’m looking forward to the Space Syllabus coming online - another forward thinking step
  • VoV - specifically “Ask the Team” - clearly RC(N)'s baby, but if CAC carries overall responsibility for the negative (regardless of who’s at fault directly) then that is progress made under her tenure too.

If we still had gliders and if she wasn’t surrounded by morons charged with implementing half of this stuff… I don’t think her reputation and legacy would be focused so heavily on the negative. AEFs are also an issue, but we’re somewhat hamstrung by other factors currently.

Bottom line, she has tried to push the organisation forward (and modernise it, including future-forward schemes) and has had some degree of success in setting those pathways. As it is, though, her successor is inheriting a broken reputation and will certainly need to get a hard grip of many of those at HQAC and/or kick out the chaff.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to a new CAC as much as anyone and hoping it’s someone with the cojones to be accountable and fix the problems, but let’s not pretend it’s all negative…

I’d say that’s spot on - the large-scale tinkering is done for a few years. Let’s fix the management, focus on improving the lives of CFAV, repair HQAC’s reputation, and ensure the projects already running go as smoothly as possible.


Nice to see a balanced view. The current CAC has undoubtedly been dealt a difficult hand and I , for one, think she has dione as well as most people could in the circumstances.
In terms of " kicking out the chaff" there is (or certainly was) a huge problem in trying to remove civil servants. There is (or was ) quite rightly a robust system in place to ensure individuals are properly managed to improve their performance. If the various stages do not produce results “restoring efficiency” measures have to be taken. The individual then has a set period of time to demonstrate an improved performance. If that is achieved the action is closed. If they then fall below the required performance for a second time the whole process starts (or started )again and possibly again…

From where we sit, there appears to have been a problem with performance reviews - maybe a lack of recognition and insufficient debriefing. I apply this to projects and people. I imagine something like this has occurred several times:

“We have rolled out Project A”
“Was it successful?”
“The CFAV are complaining, but we have rolled out Project A”
“Why are they complaining?”
“They don’t know man, they weren’t there!”
“Is the project complete?”
“We have rolled out Project A”
“Jolly good, carry on”

I say this because we are always complaining about the same things, so the issues we complain about have surely been ignored, hidden or somehow justified with cowardice, or not recognised through lack of robust review.

And this is the problem - we’re left here to ponder these things and make such suppositions, because we don’t see any (or adequate) action to rectify or explain situations.

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I would question that point.

L144s are being removed from a lot of Sqn armouries, pending upgrading. Most squadrons will never hold live firing weapons again.

L103s have been removed, and will never again be stored at units.

Lack of local available will mean that the amount of staff and cadets with current WHTs on those systems will fall again.

Numbers of qualified and current cadets have fallen already since the start of the year, and will continue to do so, simply because of lack of opportunities to complete WHTs.

I agree, but lack of badge availablity is affecting the enthusiasm of my cadets, and I know of other units facing the same problem.

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Same here, especially now I’ve decided to stop using my VA to buy them from the extortionate supplier

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