Order of dress worn by Adult Staff vs. Cadets


Maybe my perspective on this isn’t shared by others- but if so, I can’t understand why.

I have frequently seen examples from across RAFAC in pictures (and even in video) of parades/presentations & special events of Cadets wearing No2 wedgewoods, ties and jumpers and Staff wearing short-sleeved shirts (or indeed, significantly, blouses).

I just do not understand this at all. If anyone can explain the logic/sense/fairness in this, then please go ahead.

My previous understanding on this (prior to joining this organisation) was that reviewing or inspecting Staff in military formations invariably wore the same or a more-formal order of dress when present at such an event, regardless of circumstances.

I’ll go so far as to say that I’ve never seen a single instance of this happening in the regular RAF or RAFR, ever. In fact (worryingly-enough) I’ve never consciously noticed this being done in any other uniformed formation in the world

So what’s going on?


Staff are lazy.

It really evaporates my urine.


Firm believer of staff should be dressed in the same as cadets. 2B should only be used for day to day “operations”. If we mandate that cadets must wear 2a for a training course for example staff should be the same.

I know there was discussions at some level on incorporation of this mandate in 1358c v4


Totally agree. And am utterly-astounded when/if this does not happen.


Certainley in my wing this takes place. The only time 2b is worn is if they are part of the course admin team (we run several courses over one day) or the course that cadets are wearing 2c


For me if the Cadets are in wedgewoods I’m going to be the same or a good proportion of the time I’ll be in No1’s.

The only time that may vary is things like Wing Field Day when some Staff are going to be on Parade (so in No1) and others are off doing “working tasks” so short sleeves or even Greens might be more sensible.


Totally agree. On any given course or parade night, if the cadets are in ties then the staff should be too (exclusions may apply).

And if you’re inspecting in 2b… :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:


I would ask the course commander to stop that person inspecting. Its not appropriate for what you are trying to teach and enforce to the cadets


Agreed - unless there is a specific reason otherwise, staff should be in an equally- or more-formal mode of dress.


Something that always struck me as an anomaly is that in school the kids all wear a uniform but the staff don’t. They have a code of dress (which always seemed to apply to male teachers with a looser interpretation by female teachers and even looser by PE) and it doesn’t affect the running of the school or appropriate addressing of staff.
So does how staff dress in the ATC make any real difference to how things happen or are done? If I get in late and go straight to the squadron not in uniform, it doesn’t mean I’m not the sqn cdr.


Because this is a voluntary organisation? Cadets will be more willing to wear collars and ties and maintain their uniforms to a good standard if they see that we do at least the same as them.


No it wouldnt mean your not a sqn cdr. But surely as a Sqn Cdr you should be trying to obtain the highest standard possible so wouldnt try to make that a habbit?

With regards to teacher situation, ofsted dictate teachera must be dressed professionally and in business like attire. The reason for this is so it reminds and encourages students to be as presentable in post school life as it can mean the difference in securing that job or a promotion.

We have a similar ethos we want to encourage those cadets to be as smart as possible wether they decide to go into the forces or not. The difference is our powers that be dictate that if we are a uniformed member of staff we must wear certain uniforma depending on the situation… now the reason we come to cadets as stsff is to develope those young adults and part of that is what ive previously mentioned creating a culture of self discipling and individual pride. Encouraging uniform standards encourages that culture to be developed and being in the uniform we are asking them to have at a high standard gives them something to aim towards.


But surely the cadets are getting that message at school then?

I don’t really think the standards etc has anything to do with any of that, but is what we like to think or suggest.
I was taught how to “dress” if you like, by my dad, long before I joined the ATC and then all I did was mimic others pressed trousers, shoe cleaned, hair cut etc, so I didn’t get earache and TBH I see this with cadets ever since. Tell them they need to do this or that and eventually most do, to avoid the moaning. Some get a bit more into it, but I’m not convinced seeing me or other staff, bearing in mind CIs don’t wear uniform, makes the slightest difference.


Some of the blouses I’ve seen with jumper but no tie on Facebook have looked awful.

If the squadron/course is in 2A then that’s everyone not just the cadets…

I get more frustrated by social media pictures of presentations being done in greens


People never learn about SM do they.


This I’m intrigued by.

If the “Uniform of the Day” is Greens, would you really change the whole squadron / course / whatever into Blues just for presentations?


Agreed - we generally present when convenient, if the cadets are in greens/No 2C then that’s what ends up in the photos.


I’d never do any presentations at the Sqn in greens, wait for the next night they are down and it’s blues.

Only if at the end of a course that is delivered in greens.


For those who run flight systems it could be a good month before all 3 flights are dressed the same, or do you present to A Flight but not C Flight?

If you’ve got the badges and the staff are present get em presented.


Not every presentation needs a formal fanfare.