OASC soon


Good evening everyone,

I’m sitting OASC quite soon. I’ve practiced my DST, I’ve revised the ATC/RAF and I try to keep up to date with current affairs. Hopefully I have done enough.

These may seem like silly questions but the only silly question is the one not asked so they say.

Should I arrive at RAF Cranwell in a suit?
Will I need more than one suit?
Do I wear a suit in the mess?
Can I arrive earlier than 1600? I would like to be able to gather my surroundings before kick off.
How much cash will I require for the mess?

I haven’t got a lot of experience on RAF stations even though I was a cadet for 7 years and I have been a CI for nearly 4, so I am anxious regarding this whole experience.

Any other helpful tips and advice would be appreciated!

Cheers, Valiant.


My advice?

Ring your Wing Ex O and ask them to give you the contact details of the last handful of people from your wing to go to OASC.

My other advice would be:

a) yes, turn up in a suit - it’s easier to tone it done if it’s a bit OTT (whip the tie off, get rid of the jacket etc…) than it is to turn it up if you feel a bit scruffy.

b) yes, wear a suit in the Mess (insert obligatory RAF Mess being a bit, well, non-U joke…), the same rules apply as above. Double Denim is very definitely out. Even in the RAF…

c) if you have a spare suit, take it. Trousers are more of an issue than the jacket - nothing with dent your confidence like having a baked bean stain on your trousers while you’re being interviewed. Take two shirts for each day.

d) assuming you don’t have to pay for meal - check that - just take what you’d need for a night in the pub. Don’t feel that you need to get involved with a drinking culture, if you prefer soft drinks, or just a cup of tea, have them instead - after all, being an Officer is about leading, not following. A young Officer who can’t stand up for what they think is right at the bar is unlikely to stand up to a grizzled old Flt Lt OC on a safeguarding issue…


Yes, arrive in a suit - and ask for directions to the candidates’ mess when at the guard room (it’s where you’ll pick up your key)
Yep, arriving a bit earlier than 4 is fine. Time to sort out room etc. Briefing is at 1830, dinner is before that - yes, suits in the mess but not everyone will know that so it’s not really enforced. You’ll be told to sit at the circular tables.
Meals are in Sergeant’s Mess, a hike across base from accommodation. They give you a map. There is a small car park near the OASC accommodation but the main car park isn’t too far.
No charge for food in the mess, as long as you wear your ID.


It’s been a while, but from memory :

  • Arrival before 16:00 is fine, if accommodation is not ready then you can sit in the mess lounge
  • You can wear a suit or chinos, shirt and jacket for arrival and for evenings in the bar, you will be fine. Don’t forget that you are always being assessed. Whilst the staff in the Candidates Mess are civilian contractors this doesn’t mean they can’t report back to OASC staff.
  • The Candidates Mess main building is really just a reception, bar, lounge and briefing area. You will collect your keys from there, but the accomodation (which is single rooms with shared ablutions), is a short walk away. Food is in the Warrant Officers’ and Sergeant’s Mess, about half a mile away. There is no charge for food, but you will need cash for the Candidates Mess in the evenings – The bar is cheap, but be cautious of over indulging. If just buying for yourself then £20 will be more than sufficient, but don’t forget that if you get in a round then you may spend more !
  • The first full day you will be in sports kit (ensure that you wear jogging pants and a long sleeved Tshirt etc as legs and arms cannot be uncovered).
  • The second day is interview day, that is the day to wear your best suit !

Hope this helps you?


Thank you, everyone! :blush: