Promotions too easy?


Why shouldn’t it benefit their squadron? They have got some extra knowledge and skills that they should be happy to pass on to younger cadets to enhance their cadet experience. If you have a cadet who has completed say Silver DofE you may well get them teaching or helping with map/nav skills, it’s no different. We had a cadet back in 90s who started work as a carpenter and he led several projects, helping cadet learn the skills using materials and tools. He wasn’t an academic by any stretch, but today he has a rather nice house in a nice area and drives a plush Range Rover, funded by his very successful joinery business.

After all, they are being kept on because they have “worth”.

One of the boxes needed to be ticked is first aid, so the cadets can teach it post 18, so by the same token do something else like QAIC or JL, bring that to the cadets on their squadron at least.

The only USP we have is flying training at zero cost. Scouts and army cadets and sea cadets offer similar opportunities for everything else we do.

But this is the mantra from on high and something I am completely anti, hence either stop cadet service at 18 or just allow them to stay on with no expectations, like it was in my day and until 2003. The only difference is that now, there is very little the 18+ can do activity wise given the lack of opportunities means younger cadets are generally targeted.


i am not saying there should be NO benefit to the Squadron - I totally agree with their added skills/knowledge why shouldn’t a Unit tap into it - but why is their attendance seen far too often as what the unit gets out of it, rather than what the individual gets as an experience??

I hear too many Staff complain that FS X or CWO Y went on a JL or QAIC or other and it made no impact on Squadron - so what!
Did the Cadet get an opportunity they wouldn’t get elsewhere?
Did the Cadet get something out of it? are they now skilled, experienced, knowledged, trained in tasks that couldn’t be achieved on Squadron?

why does all of that NEED to benefit the Squadron. there is no effort for the Squadron to send them along (although appreciate some unit CivComs help with costs) yet the Unit wants a “value for money” aspect!

with regard QAIC i would disagree as with the Aerospace camp and any other RAF/Aero style subjects/topics these are specific to the RAFAC thus as USP - even a week on an RAF Station would count.
JL there probably is a Army Cadet equivalent yes - but still a USP of Cadet forces

we do more than “flying” (or not atm) that i never did as a Scout or my Scout leader friends do - yes it is the most significant and impressive USP but there is more to being a Air Cadet than flying…

(to quote a certain recruitment campaign - you don’t need to be a pilot to be in the RAF)


From the description of the JL course it sounds like 1-4 star fieldcraft condensed into a single package. We do offer the CLC which is slightly different, but also at a younger age.


see i knew it - although remember JL is a leadership course NOT a fieldcraft course.

people seem to forget it is a leadership course using fieldcraft exercises/scenarios as a platform to implement and practise what they are taught/learn.

some Staff forget this and expect JLs to be fieldcraft experts - they do not go on JLs for this reason and why some argue there is no “Squadron benefit” from JLs as they expect fieldcraft qualified SNCOs, which they are not, far more experienced and skilled yes, but the primary reason is for Leadership


In the ACF syllabus, leadership is included.


However in my experience those who have completed JL are treated at least as high as Wing Level as being qualified as FT Instructors. (Indeed wasn’t that the justification of keeping the Lanyard as well as the Gold Badge?)


The ‘you don’t to be a pilot’ tagline has been in use for years, the posters with all the trades in the ‘shape’ of a Tornado, behind the pilot and suitable line, was around years and years ago.

However we are not talking about the RAF we are talking about the youth organisation they are keen to hang on to that pushes flying as a major and unique activity. Cadets rarely join today with a thought of joining the RAF or Armed Forces in general as a primary johb option, but they will join the ATC with an expectation to fly, over and above the other things, which they can do elsewhere. We used to get a number of cadets join from the Scouts, but now they seem to keep a foot in both camps and don’t leave the Scouts.

I am still at a loss as to why people don’t feel that cadets should use the ‘skills’ they have acquired to the benefit of the squadron? DofE is pushed as a personal achievement and serious CV tick, but we will still use those getting through the levels to use their knowledge to benefit others on the squadron.

At work people rarely go on courses just for their own benefit / jolly anymore and where I work there is an expectation that what is learned is used for the benefit of and passed to others. Do we not prepare youngsters for life after school? So the idea of there is nothing such as a free lunch should be pushed, IMO. Over the years I and others have come back from a course and been expected to deliver a presentation on it as how we feel it might benefit the dept / section and then regarded as the SME. We used to send 2 or even 3 on the same course … not anymore.

If a member of staff does a course in the ATC would they not be expected to use it for cadets? Back in the day I did courses for PofF and Air Nav and have instructed on them ever since.


The top end courses which you focus on are more of a use at Wing/Region Level that at Squadron.

JL’s are more likely to be active in Fieldcraft where the Deployed Exercises tend to be run at Wing Level, so the added skills they have is used at that level.

QAIC tend to teach at the Regional Activity centres so again the skills they have tend to be used more at that level.

The cadets who have done these courses tend to be the ones at University so you won’t see them that much during the week, which is again why Wing & Region whose activities are run at the weekend will tend to get more use out of them.

That being said these are also the cadets who are most likely to stay as staff, in which case you will get the benefit of these courses and skills a few years down the line when they come back from university.


the point i was getting at was - you don’t need to be a flyer to get the most out of the ATC.

in my Cadet days we had a CWO who flew once, hated it but stayed all the same. ended up doing everything else the organisation offered.
the ATC/RAFAC is more than a one trick (flying) pony, in the same way there is more to the RAF than being a pilot…


I know what you’re getting at, but without real flying, not poncing around on a flight sim, what is the ATC?

One of my mates didn’t like flying and stayed until he was 19, I’ve known plenty who didn’t like shooting and so on, but they like everyone had there own experience.

But without regular opportunities for real flying which we use to promote the organisation, as I say what are we?

Probably like many squadrons we are preparing for our next intake and for the last 2 years I have brushed over flying and tried to make what we do different / better than the ACF or Scouts.


When asked about it by prospective recruits, I stopped brushing over the lack of gliding and reduced flying some time ago…
You want somebody to lie about it, find someone else.


When I say brush over I just mention opportunities for flying as opposed to you will get one flight a year etc etc etc and gliding.


It’s cadets.

Unless you want to start sending kids on their Juniors at CTC?