After a number of years lurking I’ve decided to take the plunge.
I’ve been in the Air Training Corps man and boy and just about to hit my 40th year. Say it quick and it’s not too bad.
Tried for the RAF many, many years ago and when I was told no, I got a job in the real world and never looked back. No regrets at all about that decision, the RAF decided they didn’t want me and I reciprocated as after the 2 year period I was almost married and settled in a job, which for those old enough will know that in the early/mid 80s giving up a job wasn’t a good move. If I hadn’t made that decision I wouldn’t have had the life and family that I have, which has been satisfying. We now have 4 grandchildren which gives life a whole new perspective.
I reached the dizzying heights of CWO when it was worth something, became CI, then AWO (old style) and eventually Commissioned. I’ve been a unit commander for 20 years (3; one DF (initially as an AWO) and 2 squadrons) and never wanted to go onto Wing Staff, despite several approaches. They don’t ask anymore. My experience has (over the years) with a very few exceptions it’s been people who IMO couldn’t hack squadron life and don’t do anything that end up on Wing. I’ve watched some bloody good squadron commanders get lured onto Wing and had the life sucked out of them, like the victims of some Dr Who alien. who have returned to squadrons and not been the same. Squadron’s are where the ATC is at its most vibrant, it is rewarding and frustrating in equal measure, the latter is caused by people running the show who turn up after a long career in the RAF but have no idea about the Corps and people that volunteer.