I still don’t understand the rationale. When I was a cadet we went along, did what we did, it was much more social than anything else, the occasional and I mean occasional activities were done. There was no over riding expectation that we will / would have done x by y. People left and people stayed it was the way it was and has been for years. My observations are that the cadets that leave are the ones who never do anything regardless of what gets put on the board and these are ones that don’t get involved socially. I’ve seen youngsters come in who I’d give 6 months tops and stayed for years and even become staff and others who you think they’ll go far and before you know where you are they’ve left. I don’t think a poster like this will make any difference whatsoever. The old style posters never made any difference either. The extant problem is HQAC don’t really understand cadets and the badge thing, amplifies this.
Young people don’t join the ATC with the expectation of getting some badges, doing shooting, first aid or FMS and all the other nonsense which they can get with the Army Cadets or Scouts. I had 5 cadets go to camp this year and the standout activity was flying, the first for all of them, and the primary reason they went to camp. I know this as I asked them what they were looking forward to at camp and they all said flying, the only other thing that there was any interest was high ropes. Even their parents said they were most excited about going flying and understood they had to do the other bits. I joined the ATC 41 years ago because of the general interest in flight and a chance to fly. I did other things, but the main things that stick in my mind is flying in Hercs, Pumas, Sea Kings, Chippies and 5 AEFs Husky. There are other things but are more ‘pull up a sand bag’ when I see old cadet mates.
I don’t think it’s a matter of putting cadets forward, the cadets need to want to do it and that’s where it falls down. I am constantly amazed at what the youngsters who join the Corps do as well and how they fit it all in is a mystery. Plus unless a cadet is actively involved in the whole squadron, I wouldn’t put them forward even if they wanted to do it and be quite explicit as to why not. I’ve never liked ‘takers’, if you want the cherry you have to eat the cake. I had a cadet transfer because of this and when they moved I told the receiving OC what had happened and they left the Corps not long after moving, as the receiving OC briefed them on their expectations when they went there.
I ensure notices are put up and it’s then down to the cadets to speak up, they are told this from day one. We are meant to provide training for life and at work you need to pipe up if there is something you want to do, if you were to wait for your manager or supervisor to suggest it, you could get very old.