I get where you are coming from…i actually use mine with the newbies to ensure correct heel placement…with marching i take it down to the 27" option to make it a little bit more realistic on cadet pacing.


Fair point, at least you use it for training! Do the cadets listen and carry on with the same pacing you checked the next time they do drill?


As has been previously stated pace sticks should only be used as a training aid.As they were when I was a recruit at Swinderby many moons ago Ive seen certain WOs carrying them on parades and as far as im concerned thats a no no.Thing is I pointed that out once and as the person was the same rank as me I let him know in no uncertain terms that he was being a bit sad.


They seem quite receptive to it. Like to train the older ones how to use them also just add some variety to drill. I think using it in the correct manner certainly aided the fact my Sqn got to region this year in the drill comp


Used for the intended purpose, they are a very powerful tool which does have an effect on and improve the experience of the cadets.


Almost every parade night I had mine open and turning for teaching.


Mine is barely ever out of the boot of my car. On occasion it is useful for ironically demonstrating the length of pace or actually assisting with the heel/sideways distance but most of the rest of the time it is just something to get into the way or to be dropped.

However, my objection to pace sticks is with people poncing about with them or thinking it makes them special. If it is to be used as a genuine teaching aid then I am perfectly happy for them to be available for use by absolutely anybody who knows how to use them for their intended purpose: as a big pair of dividers.

This “DIs only” rule is what has made them into an affectation and not a training tool.


Shouldn’t it be used for measuring out a parade etc.


You are often as well simply pacing it. Maybe for huge parades, but I have never been involved in anything of significant scale.


One of the best changes to the dress regulations in my opinion was the introduction of white belts for DI’s.

Cadets on courses react positively to being taught by and assessed by subject matter experts and having an outward sign of that it beneficial.

A white belt means that the pace stick can be left in the car or classroom which makes taking notes, completing assessments or scoring a drill competition much easier. It makes me chuckle when I see people trying to do it whilst trying to hold a pace-stick under one arm.

This thread is unfortunately a sad reflection on what “empowerment” has done to some DI’s. Many don’t have the experience or wherewithal to ask questions first. Certainly any issue should be directed to staff and not to cadets.


Odd! I have always found that standing at the front, looking smart and speaking confidently and knowledgeably about drill is perfectly sufficient without the need to introduce bling!

OK, I do sometimes wear a big hat, but not always.

Many of the affectations associated with DIs WOs (canes, sticks as badges of office, white belts, daft footwear) were brought in by a senior cadre whose egos are driving the decisions.


watching the Cenotaph footage my wife asked me “why is that guy wearing a blue sash” - indicating its is an “instructor identifier” it was met with a :confused: look - is that necessary!

does seem to be bling for the sake of bling but happens elsewhere too

Pilots in grow bags, and the Regt with their rank differences


The only rank difference with the Regt are lance corporals, and that says more about the refusal of the rest of the RAF to pay people properly for doing a JNCO-like role than it does the Regt.


8 DI’s = 8 different ways to do the same thing.

Cadets get very confused as they get told different things by different DI’s - (even on the NCO Courses)

Different versions of “the same hymn sheet”?

They are “kids” for C****t sake not regulars.

Yes we all know how good they can look if they all get it right but there are always going to be cadets that will never know their left from their right and just love to tick-tock, but who cares they are still cadets and making the effort rather than causing havoc on street corners!

Get real people and get a life!


Our deputy WWO always cuts about wearing a white DI belt, wielding a pace stick and wearing ammo boots. Makes himself look like a right tool.


Must be a deputy WWO thing


Might be the same one :joy:


Could be…


I obviously won’t go into specifics, but a wing in the north of england?


Why does he wear them?Does he have a complex or something.As far as im aware they arent regulated or issue footwear and in all my service in the RAF I never had one DI wear ammo boots.Shoes with tips yes but not ammo boots.He sounds like a right Walt to me