Parade - Armed Forces Day

I’ve been a lurker for a long while but just wanted to get peoples opinions because an email staff in the wing tonight has really demotivated me and I am not sure if perhaps I am looking at it wrong.

I understand the need for a high standard for the armed forces day parade - it’s a national event and in all likelihood based on previous days there will be royalty there. There have been two selection events of which squadrons were asked to be selective of cadets going on the selection events - I believe there was around 135 cadets bid for a place in the end, for one of 90 places.

There is also a full training day in the lead up for the event.

The reason I am demotivated is because the email tonight states they are 8 short for the parade and could we nominate high standard individuals who can attend the training day as otherwise the parade is at risk of being reduced (so cadets removed who have been selected) so not to have any gaps.

My questions isn’t about the event in particular but a more general would it not be better to have very enthusiastic cadets and spend the training day getting them up to a decent standard (after all it is a parade so no complex moves), and ask Squadrons to do a bill night the week prior to the event to help with uniform. Than provide a smaller parade of “high” standard cadets?

Normally an event like this, with 90 cadets needed, would have many reserve cadets. It would surely have been better to select 90 cadets, with 9 reserves. That allows them to attend the training as required.

Seems a bit odd that they didn’t plan ahead on that one…


Jsmithplymouth92, there are 15 Cadets who were not selected as they are not up to standard. They could be used as reserves if needed but training time is the issue. No one wants to reduce the number on Parade but it needs to look right on the day. Perhaps rather than asking questions on here you should email or call the person who sent the email, I know he’ll be happy to talk to you about it.

If only we volunteered for a training organisation…


Seems a tad weird. If there were 135-odd cadets bidding for a place as you say (was that to the AFD itself or the selection event?), then it should be no problem getting 90 Cdts plus reserves at an acceptable standard.

Personally, I’d say not rocking up with the asked 90 would be worse then a few cadets with wonky drill. Might be someone’s standards expectation is too high?


The 135 was for the overall event, some Cadets didn’t want to be part of the parade so didn’t attend selection sessions, it was more like 102 overall. Selections were as fair as can be. Standards are high, they should be this is a very rare and high profile event for any Wing. With the cancellation of a major event recently announced the 90 should now be easily achievable.

Email, the person who sent the email, he’ll be happy to go through it with you. If you are a Cadet, copy your OC or a Staff member in.

For this but so taking out the AFD parade - for me yes absolutely.

Cadets do a formal parade every year regardless so additional training for cadets who “aren’t up to standard” will only be of benefit to everyone.

Then you can mix in well how do you do “up to standard” the one a selection event who had blisters but was too embarrassed to say so muddled through, the one who had a really bad argument with mum just before leaving, the one who heard “selection” and got into their own head, the one who is flat footed.

A training day where it ends in a march past for all involved is a win win for everyone because how often do people get to do big parades, and actually the training to go with it. Then at the end of it let those top ones know for the parade, and the other ones for other roles on the day. Reward them for stepping forward and giving it a go.


Isnt taking part more important than having cadets look like a mini KCS?


^ Definitely this. ^

Non-specific to AFD, getting Cadets on activities should be the priority. Be it parades, shooting, fieldcraft, or whatever. Yes there will always be some form of selection (can’t take everyone every time), but this is why the run up to an event/activity is so important. See @Letsthink430 post above.

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I’m sorry, but this comes across as quite aggressively defensive.

I don’t think there’s any offense been intended here if it has been taken. Requesting outside opinions is not something that should be deemed insulting.

OP has even opened up their query more generally and not solely focused on the event in question.

Given the info available, I’m assuming this is for the national AFD and not a standard “local” one. So if that’s the case, I understand the pressure and the need to get it right. And on that note, thank you for the responses you’ve provided so far that have added context for everyone to better understand what’s happening.

If numbers are looking so tight, has it been opened to your neighbouring wing?


Only to an extent. If it’s a large public event you need some minimum level of drill competence. I get what you’re saying, but you wouldn’t really want a squad of brand new cadets who can’t march at all going to a televised event for example. I think this is different to something like a squadrons own local remembrance parade, where you want everyone involved.

I get what you’re saying, but we do have to be realistic sometimes.


Well, if it’s AFD it’s going to rotate around each wing as it changes area. I think they rotate it between the home nations son NI & the welsh wings should get it once every four years or so.

The trouble is with Drill standards is that it’s all very subjective & qualitative especially as it’s Cranwell that sets the standards (which is the bear minimum to get by). As long as they can March, halt, wheel left/right & do eyes L/R/F that’s all you need.

As long as you look better than the ACF & the Sea Cadets you’ll be fine :wink:

Over the glorious bank holiday weekend I visited relatives in Cornwall, we decided to go to Pendennis Castle (one of the venues for the national AFD) and to be frank the choice of Falmouth is ludicrous. There isn’t much space, I believe the car parks will be the main venues, the roads in the town aren’t particularly wide or straight - could be interesting to see how some of the hardware is moved into location, the idea of a challenger tank being delivered should provide some interesting sights. However from what we found out it’s planned to be very busy and the parade discussed sounds impressive so I can understand the local DIs wanting to look good.

With the expectation of a large regular attendance my guess is all the service accommodation in the county will be used (3 maybe 4 sites with 1 at the other end of it) so cadets will have to either make their own way there or possibly get buses from focal points, stay the day before going home the same way, hopefully with a meal voucher or possibly a free pie (or pasty/cream tea given location) so adding cadets from another wing could mean a veerry long day, especially if traffic is the same. I’m hoping the 90 selected include some CCF rather than just ATC to form a RAFAC contingent.

Can a Chinook lift a challenger?

Especially as I’ve seen that there are massive diversions on the A30 soon for a roundabout regeneration.

Twitches in ground crew

It hadn’t even been opened to the entire wing…

Don’t forget it’s got a big dock in it, and part of the bid to hold it there had to include how everything was being moved in and out of it. It’s not unique in its smaller entry points to and from

Theoretically beginning of June will have the biggest diversion to allow a smoother running for the summer including AFD. The roundabout in particular is only for the 3 days.

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You would hope by now with 3 weeks to go the RLC/2MT/Guys from Supertruckers have reccied the route and come up with a plan for road/maritime movement. Either that or AFD will have a display village at Exeter Services lol

If theres going to be royals there then obviously theyre going to want cadrts who have high standards of drill. Rightfully so they are picky. You dont want people to be sloppy or marching out of time or cant do simple manovers. Thats just the way things are. They have to go through a selective process to get the best of the best. It takes losts of experience to do something like that.
Fair play to you though. You being demotivated only shows that you truly care for your organisation. Hopefully there will be something for you in the near future.

Welcome by the way!