OC Survey on SharePoint - Keep Staff Cadets or Not

So there’s a survey on SharePoint asking whether the move to give Staff Cadets has worked/changed things and would we support keeping it.

There’s another proposal that we end cadet service at 18 and allow either CIs or Cpl CFAVs.


So based on previous surveys what decision have they already made?


Not helpful.

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Which part of the original question?

If we stop at 18 then I think CIs would be the way to go.
I would have a few reservations about going down the Cpl route especially on RAF station camps.

Regarding staff cadets at 18 then no I don’t feel it worked. I had a few on the squadron and they just really were not to motivated to get involved with staff stuff only what they wanted. Speaking to other OCs they felt the same and we were trying to get them involved

Staff Cadets or Adult Corporals? How would our Parent Service see 18 year old Corporals with the RAF Badge on their berets?
Adult Corporals would mean the end of the Cadet Warrant Officer Rank!
I prefer to retain Staff Cadets, but as btb states, surveys don’t have much credence in the Air Cadets, so I await to hear the decision.

How about LAC (RAFAC) for 18yr olds if cadet service ends at that age?

We could have:

18-20 - LAC (RAFAC)

20yr old - SAC (RAFAC) (or commission at 20 with appropriate training)

24yr old - Cpl (RAFAC)

28 yr old - Sgt (RAFAC)

32yr old - FS (RAFAC)

38yr old - WO (RAFAC)


The half cadet /half staff thing was never really going to work although I can see why they tried.

Cpl may be a good idea and I’m not sure that the parent service will mind in principle (and may prefer an 18 year old Cpl than a 20 year old Sgt) but where will they be accommodated on camps?

There is already precedent in the RAFAC for 18 year old staff as CCF allow you to be commissioned at 18, they also have no age limit for CWO so ATC wouldn’t lose that.

Personally I think if we decide to end ATC service at 18 then we should just follow the same route as the ACF (whatever that is)for staff to create some consistency across the board

That was my first thought. But, on reflection, is the accommodation on camp that big a drama??? How many staff actually go on camp these days? With fewer RAF stations about, plus fewer places, we see more things happening on DTE with mixed messing. Even when you get on a real RAF station, accommodation used by camp staff recently had included transit, a house or a local B&B. I don’t think the accommodation argument is really one to get too hung up on.

As for the “but what will the RAF think”? Meh. There’s a saying about opinions and what they are like! :wink:


So like RAFP and PTI acting Cpls then?

I do think the system we have is working just fine.


Just a shame I am not allowed to take part in the actual survey, not being a CO, it must mean that my near 30 years of adult staff experience is not considered worthy. Sounds about right for the current ACO!


I have thought some more (real busy today so far)

maybe we need to take a step back and look at the entire uniformed staff process.
we all know staff who did the minimum to get into uniform and it turns out that they are total and only interested in the uniform.

Using Gunners idea instead of age groups maybe stages, stage 1 can commence at 18 yo.
Stage 1 LAC (RAFAC)
Stage 2 SAC (RAFAC)
Stage 3 either NCO or commission

Stage 1 and 2 should take a year or more dependant on commitment and the person should be learning about being staff, get some AT/Shooting qualifications and get used to being a staff member taking “supervised” responsibility. Finally they are assed and maybe helped into the right branch (SNCO/ Commission). hopefully by the end of the 2 stages, the staff that are left are willing to take responsibility and be a part of the organisation rather than a wannabe RAF officer who likes to ponce about!

Accommodation at RAF stations could be an issue as there isn’t any sufficient space for Cadets, so during this training period they don’t go to main blue camps.

The other issue I would see is VA, would this be the start of HQAC’s master plan of everyone gets a set allowance per day regardless of rank and responsibility or do they introduce a new VA grade but will that take money away from where its needed??

Perhaps your OC will gain the opinion of their staff before submitting a response?


Perhaps adapt the ACF structure and introduce the PI rank? It could also be a useful bridge between CI and uniform roles.

We do find staff cadets a useful resource, esp for off Sqn activities.

In Scouts you have to leave on turning 18, and it is pretty brutal for the individual if they have to separate from their mates.

Although you can apply to become an adult leader at 18 it doesn’t suit everyone.

Can CCF stay until the end of their school year?

Is the current system truly broken that it needs fixing? Or is this more tinkering around the edges?

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In my previous life i was an officer in the ACF and saw exactly what 18 year old staff were like. As a current OC i will be voting against changes down to 18.

What i saw was a good number of ex cadets coming through as staff in the ACF not having the maturity to be left alone to run activities. Most of the 15/16/17 year old cadets were and still are there mates who for quite a few they were still in the same school. Although there is only 2 years between 18 & 20 it does seem a world away in maturity level for the majority of staff i have come across. At least when our cadets reach 20, most of there friends are in the same age group which is 18/19 and most have gone off to uni or work.

Sure there was a number of excellent staff that came through the system at 18 but in my eyes they were the minority.

In terms of training, the ACF are way ahead of us and in theory an 18 year old cadet should be getting 18 months of training as a PI before they are qualified instructors. In reality it doesn’t work that way and the lack of trained staff see some go through in 2-3 months (and one went through in 2 weeks, he lasted 4 months before leaving after that).

If used correctly, 18+ cadets can be a huge asset.

We need to nurture and develop these individuals. Not just put them into staff roles because they are 18.

They should be trained to take on the responsibilities of command and control early, so they can make an informed decision should they be offered command. Not just take it because they want the kudos or because there’s no-one else.

How many 18 year olds have their careers and family lives planned out and ready for the demands of this hobby. At that age I was forming a career, but not settled with a partner or family.

Having been in the organisation a few years, I have seen many young staff being pushed into command roles and not been ready for it. Squadrons suffer.

It may not be the case across the board, just my feelings.


Surely there is a potential move to have all cadet organisations limiting cadet service to age 18?
I would suggest it’s going to happen, despite a survey and would certainly fit in with the ongoing cadet expansion programme to open more schools units?

Personally I feel the ATC offers a great deal to young people between 18 and 20 where they still have the freedom of being a cadet without the burden that being a CFAV brings on occasions?


A limit of the end of U6th form rather than 18 may be better and would tally with school activities (not just CCF)