New to the ATC (North East England)

Hi folks,

Just dropping in to introduce myself. I had a brief stint as an SCC CFAV, made it to Acting Petty Officer, but then went through some medical stuff and eventually moved away from my local unit. Now I’m keen to volunteer again within the cadet forces in my area, and want to get back into uniform.

I’m going for a chat soon with the local squadron adjutant and the OC. I’m wondering, providing this meeting goes well and I’m still excited by the prospect of volunteering with the ATC, if anyone can shed any light on the sort of timeline I might be looking at from walking in to being back in uniform?

Will my previously being an A/PO (SCC) count for anything or am I likely just to start from the very beginning and spend at least six months as a CI again?

Thanks in advance. :slight_smile:

I suspect that you may have to do the 6 months again as you’d need to get bedded into the “Air Cadet” mindset. Saying that however if you make it clear from the start that you want to go into uniform, don’t expect it to happen within 6 months!

Thank you for replying. So I should set my sights low and expect it to take longer?

Indeed. It’ll likely be six months before your CI papers are processed and you’re allowed to start attending.
But it will be worth the wait, despite how we all moan on here.

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Wow, it sounds like a lot of bureaucracy but also it makes me feel a more confident that they take time to dot all the Is and cross all the Ts. Sea Cadets (in my experience) were much more blasé.
Thank you.

You can apply as a direct entrant to be appointed as an SNCO

I would suggest putting CI & Sgt paperwork in simultaneously, CI tends to run faster.

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Ah, thank you for digging that out for me. That makes the process a bit clearer.

I have tried getting someone in your position into the organisation using the method @themajor has posted and my WHQ rejected it outright.

Be prepared to start from scratch completely. Also be prepared to wait up to a year before getting into uniform if that is your intention. I explain it to every person i have signed up to the organisation that these things do unfortunately take an inordinate amount of time. Dont get frustrated by it.

The only thing that can speed up your application is if you have a new DBS issued within the last few months, i managed to skip 2 months of waiting with a new CI because they had a month old DBS i could send to wing.

Ah well it looks like I’ll be waiting a bit because my last DBS is dated 2017.

Speaking to our sector commander at our recent wing conference he said he has known people take anywhere from two and a half months up to two years to get into uniform - I’m hoping when the time comes I can aim for the lower end of the timeframe.

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Follow up: I visited the squadron and they were very welcoming. Said they’re excited to have me aboard. We’ve sent off my DBS and I’ve got an interview for next month. I will have to do my six month probation as a CI again, but it’s all looking good and it seems like a solid team. Thanks for the advice folks.


Good luck Jessica as an ex uniformed staff member on the Wing I think your joining I think you ll find a good spirit everywhere you go and some great people across the Wing.Make use of them although im pretty sure knowing them as I do they ll go all out to help you.

Sea cadets were more ‘sink or swim’?

Hi Jessica,
Hope all goes well! If it’s any consolation, padres often take just as long, and I’m now deputy wing chaplain so officially “part of the problem”! Usually manage to have a lot of fun despite the paperwork tho, so thanks for joining in!
Very best wishes,

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Ps I was allowed to attend (with dbs) before other paperwork finished, but under supervision - this does depend on squadron staffing levels tho…