With the introduction of thr Advanced/Arms drill course that could be implemented quite easily…i.e. you pass that which one course is ran a year and you need the RWO to recommend you …but by doing that you will probably have 100’s of lunatics charging at HQAC waving their pace sticks…

Just a DI suggesting an idea…


Sounds like a better idea than the current one!


I can think of an easier way…
Just make our DI course tougher.


How about the ability/willingness to remove their qual/authorisation? In other areas, if you don’t maintain the standard expected, you will have your qual nullified.


I’m sure that there would be a willingness to remove the qual from someone if it could be demonstrated that it was required. They’d have to be sufficiently sub-standard and first be given the opportunity to meet that standard.

There had been an intention by the D&C WO and CACWO to implement a 4 yearly reassessment, but that was eventually squashed from above on the grounds that the RAF don’t expect DIs to be reassessed so nor will we.

On balance, of course not every qualification requires a formal reassessment.

To compare us again other cadet forces… I work closely with the SCC and Royal Marine’s Cadets and I can tell you that their process is far tougher than ours.
I see no problem with our DIs having the authority to use pacesticks; but I would like to see our standard raised.


Instead of a reassememt have mandatory CPD so your not being reassessed but your showing that you are still current. (Same as we expect for outdoor qualifications and DofE assessors).


I think the pacestick rule is there to stop non DIs and those not trained on the use from having them, but has instead become a badge of office and is taken out just to show off rather then be used as a training aid.


And if it is, this should be addressed by the WWO, who I think should be granted the power to remove or request removal of the poser’s authorisation to use. If someone cares enough about their ability to wield a giant plotting compass then I’m sure they would care about not losing it.


How often do you see a Station Warrant Officer or a DI with a pacestick in their hands, not that often, unless they require it to mark out a parade square, give instruction regarding pace or distance between feet. This is normally at training establishments that they maybe used more frequently.

I was part of a SERE course at Cranwell and we had the undivided attention of the College Warrant Officer to teach us drill, never once did he have a pacestick with him. The gentleman in question was of short stature but gave the impression of being a giant. He was a gentleman even when I went to his office and asked him for a copy of AP818 for a friend who was an ATC WO. Mr Robertson where are you now?

This idea that it is a ‘badge of office’ is an army thing which the RAF never adopted.

A Warrant Officer is effective by dress, deportment, knowledge and personality, not by shouting and waving a set of wooden dividers in the air.


The problem is that a small minority of SNCO and WO within the ACO really believe that they are a cut above and beyond the normal adult volunteer.

Give them a chance to do a DI course and then allowing them to inflate their ego even further by wearing ammo boots and carry a pace stick is a recipe for trouble.

A certain WWO that I am aware of is exactly this, and gets all emotional over minor trivial things but won’t get involved in sorting out members of his cadre in his wing carrying pace sticks on Parade and other infringements.

If a snotty email can be sent regarding an officer doing something ‘wrong’ on a parade but he is blind to his own cadre blatantly doing something wrong then what hope do we have ??

The whole scenario is a complete mess and is being driven by the senior members of the SNCO and WO cadre.

Rant over.


I’ve never met a SWO who needed his cane for me to know who he was…

Also never met one who wasn’t an absolute gentlemen as long as I introduced myself at the start of camp, rather than after we had had a disaster and I had to apologize…


First rule, go visit the SWO in his/her office, ‘good morning Sir/Ma’am I’m WO xxxxx ATC summer camp’ goes a long way and if they are in the mess offer to buy them a beer. Having the SWO onside from day one on a station can ease open a lot of doors that otherwise would be closed.


Agree, meeting the SWO (or stand in)before the start of the camp is a must in my view.

Often by doing that other doors open to you for as hoc/extra activities/visits.


In fact the camp commandant in my view should also follow this advice. The SWO can be a wonderful ‘friend’ and a devestating enemy.


Yes - being CCF we have no camp WO and we may lose our TEST SNCOs from camp, so I’m talking as Camp Comdt. Usually I would go for a recce the week before if I can’t make the Friday handover. Only thing is I can’t easily buy him a beer…


It is handy from a distance.


Never believe they haven’t seen you though. I tried to avoid one certain College WO by going one way and guess who came around the corner with a salute and a ‘good morning sir’.

Edited to add:

Is a pacestick actually of benifit to SNCOs and WOs considering that you are dealing with cadets of various sizes who may actually not be able to march to a standard 30 inch pace comfortably or without discomfort? Or, is it an affectation which is not required beyond very very few.


A pacestick is a useful tool. Even if it weren’t, DIs use pacesticks. Simple.

I don’t really see what all the fuss is about.


I believe the fuss is not about pace sticks it is about DI spouting off about the rules and then ignore the rules them selves IE the no pace sticks on parade rule.


Well, as I’ve said many times over the years on many topics… If the RAF don’t worry about this stuff, then why do we?

Plenty of examples of the RAF doing likewise, and also of WOs wearing white belts on parade, and ammo boots, and whatever else.

These fora in particular always seem to have a wealth of anti-DI sentiment waiting eagerly in the wings to be spewed forth at any opportunity.

I get it… Some people don’t like DIs because they’ve had a bad experience with some wally once… But actually I don’t think the “problem” is anywhere near as big as this thread (or any of it’s predecessors) makes out.

Drillies seem to be an easy target for the “If that’s the biggest thing you have to worry about…” brigade who conveniently overlook that each cliqué has its own, equivalent, quirks.