Opinions of other cadet forces

I saw this on an army cadet forum a few years back and though it would be interesting to hear your impressions/opinons on your own and other forces.

SCC- I am a sea cadet. Very little funding as they’re a charity. Lot’s of opportunity to train and do lots of different things: PT, Drill, Meteorology, Marine Engineering- the list goes on. Look smartest on parade as all cadets get issued 1’s. Some younger cadets drill can be bad but overall very good quality, as most units have at least one member of staff who is a drillie. When you get higher up you can become a cadet drill instructor. In the summer lots of boating whilst in the winter more taskbook/ PLT work. Probably the worst berets but monthly inspections of 1’s so they’re nice and smart. Certainly end up with most on your CV (lots of civvie boating qualifications)

ACF- Never personally worked with them but always look scruffy on parade (Not really there fault,they only have one uniform). All army cadets I have seen are from the Rifles regiment units so the drill looks rushed (The rifles do there drill at an increased number of paces per minute).

ATC- A good bunch of cadets, look very smart on parade and lots of opportunity to do a mix of things ie flying and fieldcraft. Some cadets have an air of superiority about them, on a FA course one tried to convince me they did more boating then the SCC! Other than that not much exposure.

CCF- (I’m part of the RAF section). The army are the biggest section and that makes them feel best, encouraged slightly by staff. Always look bad as a lot of them don’t want to be there, worse in the RAF section as it is all the people who don’t want to get dirty. Certainly do a lot but never focus on things like appearance and drill. All of them seem to want to think they beat the community cadet forces. As a CCF(RAF) cadet you get to do a lot of fieldcraft and camps with the army section as well as do RAF specific things so could say it is the best of both worlds.

if you want the controversial version, the ACF cadets and detachment staff that i’ve met (as an ACO CVAF, an ATC cadet, and as an Army Officer), are the least likely of the three/four to achieve top third at RMAS…

certainly when i was a cadet there was a very marked difference between the social and educational recruiting grounds of the ACO and ACF - i don’t think any of the ACF kids i knew at school stayed on post-16, while very few of my ATC cohort didn’t. of the ACF people who joined the forces, i don’t know of one who went commissioned, whereas of my ATC cohort it was a 50/50 split between commisioned and non-commisioned with people going to all three services.

my experience of CFAV’s while in the Army broadly matched that - the ACO and SCC people were the most forward and had the most initiative, while the ACF staff below Coy level had the least to say and did the least thinking - which of course is they way they are set up, but its not awe inspiring to watch… that said, at Coy and Bn level the ACF staff were bright, interesting, involved and mirrored the qualities of the best ACO staff, the ACO Wing and Regional people however were the opposite, broadly they were dull, tedious, unthinking, uninterested and utterly devoid of imagination or initiative. not a few were as thick as mince. the SCC people i met - not many i admit - were impressive at all levels, and i’d have to say that as an average they pipped the ACO people on quality and intelligence/initiative, quite possibly because of their having to do everything on a shoe-string.

in terms of the whole package, i long took the view that the ATC was the best - its people, its resources, its opportunities - with the SCC behind by dint of its lack of resources and the ACF at the back with the thickies. now, given the losses in flying/gliding, and the assault on shooting, and the cronicly bad ‘leadership’ at HQAC, i fear that mantle has slipped, and not by a little.

the CCF were always, and will always, be populated by the greatest male members . the cadets were usually either awful or vile, and the staff were worse. :smirk: their arrival on every barracks i worked on was universally greeted with horror and distain.

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Whilst I wouldn’t use quite those words, I can agree with the sentiments. Certainly as Camp Com. on a large number of continuous gliding courses, it always seemed to be the male CCF cadets that gave the trouble, particularly bullying. This usually could be traced to two male cadets from the same school. I never saw bullying happen with ATC cadets.

Of course, there were some great guys from the CCF, but in the minority.

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It is all much of a muchness really. All cadet organisations have units they can be proud of, and units that they are a bit embarrassed about. I don’t really have enough dealings with the local CCF and ATC to pass judgement and certainly not enough exposure to multiple units to draw conclusions about the organisations as a whole. What I can say is that from a high level perspective the ATC seems to have far more red tape and weird rules than the ACF does. Also, the local CCF don’t spend much time on their berets.

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From What I have seen and witnessed over the years. The ACF are a joke to all…

No respect for themselves, their property or others.they are constantly smashing windows, doors etc. The ta centre compound we are in had given both units a key for access to the buildings and they have now removed the ACFs due to them damaging the building. They run the local unit as a youth club one night a week they come down in civvies and the other night it’s either uniform or platoon track suits but it’s up to the cadet when they wear it. The platoon just got a new commander went to meet them be nice etc, went over in uniform (flt lt) to see them turns out it’s a Sgt running the unit and in front of the cadet said “what are you wanting mate” whilst scratching his gonads!!! I’m not someone who makes a mountain out of rank but sometimes you need to!!

The SCC are something I just scratch my head at we have no real interaction. I have 2 units 4miles in each direction and they both have about 12 staff and about 6/7 cadets. This years rememberence parade saw one unit turn up 8 staff (2 in No1s, 1 in No1 with the gortex jacket on top and the rest in various No2s) and 4cadets. I know one of the staff who was telling me they have been thrown out of their accommodation RFCA is trying to find new premises but they keep refusing as they need a main hall 4 class rooms 3 offices and… 4 messes!!

When it comes to standard of cadet yes the ATC gets the more intelligent ones I think that though is down to recruitment and perceived image firstly then down to the units standard and bearing. If you had a strict army cadet unit with high standards I don’t think you would have all the muppets they have joining and the problems associated with them…
I can’t comment on the SCC standard

CCF… I don’t care what the schools say pull on the uniform you abide with the rules that go with it cut your hair, smarten up and stop being a shambles!!

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Your local ACF may be a joke, but the ACF is not a joke to all.


I sincerely hope that’s the case

If you saw what I see when dealing with them you would be mortified at what goes on…

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I’m going to lock this.

It’s not constructive and doesn’t paint anyone in a good light.

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