No Pockets For Females?

Sadly, I don’t see how it will.

The regulations and uniforms are designed for the regulars, they don’t actually spend all that much time in blues and when they do, the females can have handbags (or will be wearing jackets with pockets).

Uniforms are always going to be designed with them in mind, because that’s where the money is. Cadets (and cadet staff…) just have to deal with it.

As said, female cadets have had this limitation ever since they were allowed to join and, while it’s an annoyance, it’s never resulted in change. I wouldn’t hold your breath this time. You’ve got to remember, the armed forces work to a different set of rules.

That said, the issues that female cadets face can also be faced by female adults in the cadet forces or the regulars. If we continue to highlight the problem it might actually drive change from above.

No harm in trying. I just hope it doesn’t end up with us all in unisex PCS

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I agree. Equal should not mean identical. My daughter would like to wear a skirt - but with a pocket. It does not seem like a big ask.

Have you tried the usual places like cadet direct, online surplus shops?

It means a fundamental redesign and subsequent reissue of a (non-operational) piece of uniform issued to ~20,000 people, organised by the Government.

That’s a big ask!

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Unfortunately, it is - as previously explained. There is no such item for the regulars & chances of it changing are slim to none. Best solution is “adapt & overcome” - as with the Royal Marines. :wink:

You can buy a skirt from local military surplus shops, Cadet Direct*** or via here***, then add a pocket inside the waistline. (***Not a recommendation per se, just a possibility)

MOD change suppliers and patterns occasionally: see the variety of jerseys we’ve seen in the last couple of decades as an example. All it needs is for the next redesign to be amended in a favourable way and eventually things will change for the better.

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Do they no longer make new uniforms? Is it too much to ask that any new uniform made in the future include a pocket so that eventually the old ones are phased out? Maybe my great granddaughters will not have this problem.

Uniform is made to a standard pattern and issued to RAF regulars, reserves and cadets. If a change to that pattern is made, all new uniform conforms to that pattern (more or less) and becomes the new pattern of uniform and is then issued to wearers.

For the regulars and reserves this issuing tends to be an “all at once” thing, where a new design is rolled out to every serving person in one go. Cadet forces are permitted the latitude to use older designs of uniform and these eventually (over years) fall out of the system.

There is very little we can do to directly influence the RAF’s clothing committee. We are small-fry and the bottom of the pecking order.

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They do, but they don’t prioritise us, is my point.
Male staff have been unable to get one particular type of blue shirt for over a year now, as the RAF focuses on the regulars and simply refuses to issue them to us.

It’s not all happy days on the male side either - at the last contract change some muppet altered the cut of trousers so that now they are 1" lower in rise and sit on the hips instead of the waist and the side pockets are tiny.

to add to incubus’s comment:

Any change will need to be agreed by some MOD Committee = not likely a quick process if only because those who make those decisions don’t meet frequently

any change will have to come at the end of a clothing supply contract = could be some years away

once the contract is renewed, the change(s) made to the uniform will go to the regulars first = ie cadets at the bottom of the priority list

once supply is universal across the whole of the RAF and only then will the Cadets starts to see the “new” kit reach us with any reliability and quality we can issue to Cadets.

it took at least two years before the new “greens” uniform reached the Air Cadets, and now, 4+ years on we haven’t made a 100% transition yet this is kit which is readily available on the shelf and can be bought from any and all army surplus shop, various online retailers and other merchants such as eBay and Amazon.

although I appreciate the situation our hands are very much tied as indicated by above.

can things be changed? of course, but if even it was rubber stamped tomorrow it could be years before Cadet Squadrons saw any of the new kit due to when the contracts change…

When I was a cadet the girls on my squadron either carried it their waist band, or more usually in their bra, though that resulted in an “interesting” look.
Thankfully the CCF(RAF) don’t have record of service books that you have to carry around at all times so we don’t have this problem with our female cadets.

However long it takes to complete a change, never beginning takes longer.

There’s literally nothing we as Air Cadet volunteers can do about it though - the people who make these decisions operate so far above our heads that they might as well be on the moon.


A uniform change request needs to be raised by a 1 star minimum I.e. Air Commodore or above, Members of the RAFAC (and including parents or guardians )have zero influence on the direction of uniform in the RAF

It then goes to the uniform committee…this process alone can take up to 2 years as a solid business case needs to be developed for the reason of change and the meetings only happen quarterly which they are already backed up with requests…mostly pilots wanting ribbons on their shirts. Then procurement kicks in that takes several months and then supplying and distribution will take probably another 3 to 4 years to actually reach the wardrobes of cadets…

The RAF work at snails pace.

My old WO used to cut pockets out of unserviceable trousers and suggest the girls stitch pockets into the waist band of the skirt to carry the 3822.

Purse belts were a kind of compromise, but IIRC you couldn’t even fit a MOD90 (the ID card) in the pocket, which made it pretty useless for anything beyond some spare change.

I’m not quite sure what else needs to be said here; please can we close this thread, we are going round in circles.

Cadets get (free) uniform supplied by their branch of the Armed Services, in our case the RAF; even when there are no “design” issues, we may not be able to get our full entitlement, or, it may take years to drip-feed down to us.

There is no perceived need for the RAF to fit pockets in skirts, nor will there be, as it is not a safety, “operational” or dress standard issue. Ergo, cadets will not get pockets in skirts. This will not change, however much we might desire it.

Sensible “self-help” solutions have been proffered.

Incidentally, the RAF banned female personnel from wearing skirts on parade!

It was actually wings on shirts! :stuck_out_tongue:


Thank you all for your responses. I have (for the most part) found them helpful.

Get a tailor to install a hidden pocket the sits inside the skirt attached to the waist band. I’ve seen this before and seems like an easy solution.