As other threads run into this, it’s something I’ve been wondering for a while…

Would we get more value and less grief from joining the “defence” community cadets (ACF, ATC, SCC) into a single organisation?

Yes. Yes it would (sorry system won’t let me say just yes)

Would need to be supported by letting staff work across other cadet forces or transfer, or we’d lose people if their AOR or interest fell into another force’s pillar.

The big issue is always going to be financial, they are all structured in such different ways financially that it would be a real mess to try and untangle, probably to the extent that it won’t ever be a realistic proposition.


I was thinking even more combined than separate pillars (i.e. not the CCF approach, but one body of cadets and staff… and the same opportunities for all)

1 Like

Something that I have thought about in the past. I think a full integration (ie defence community cadets) would not be a good idea.

However, I think what is really needed is more working together at all levels.

At the lower unit levels, I see no reason why we can’t do more training together. Especially those units that are in joint cadet centres.

At the mid level I think there could be massive savings to be made by combining wing/region type perm staff roles.

At the top level I think the same as above would also give massive savings. But also at the top level I think CFAV training could be combined pretty well. Think combining all the national AT centres into one package etc

That’s my very brief “I’ve only thought about this for 5 minuets” answer! :stuck_out_tongue:


I would like to be allowed but not forced to work with others. We should still have that level of choice to work with those we want to. (My local ACF are cretins who have been thrown out of 3 venues including an AR Centre due to their lack of discipline.) Whereas at my old unit I much preferred my local ACF to my neighbouring ATC Squadron.

1 Like

I raised this with Cmdt RAFAC at our Regional Shooting Seminar back in 2018 - the idea of ‘Cross-Pollination’. After I explained it to her at length, she thought it a good idea (after all the CCFs already do such - I know I did as a CCF RAF cdt).

As a result I have regularly rembedded RAFAC cadets into ACF Excercises. The kids come away grinning like lunatics! Gives me a warm, fuzzy, feeling inside.


I think there needs to be more crossover of activities and join opportunities with cdts working together more.

However, I don’t think we should all merge into a single blob organisation. The admin to get us there would be immense and I think we would lose the specific flair that makes each cdt force unique


Looking at the types of cadets locally that are attracted by the ACF, and the type of cadets attracted to the RAFAC - I would say merging together wouldn’t work well.

The issue we then have is what the army do in comparison is low cost - run cadets ragged on an exercise area doing field craft - relative cost low, compared to running a VGS/AEF…

There would be a lot of benefit to us in that we could do more shooting, more fieldcraft, and maybe access to more AT folks but what can we offer back to the ACF.

Perversely, I don’t think we have an attractive “swap” to offer…

The sort of activities that we excel at I just don’t see the ACF being interested in.

I’m not talking down the RAFAC at all, I just think we are so different in so many ways.


Having shared sites with the ACF they have a totally different ethos in the way that they treat their Cadets, it is very “army” and to be honest just wouldn’t interest me as a leader to do thing their way.


I think this is just one reason why it would clash - I’ve seen one slightly enthusiastic staff member or even cadet NCO that has put good (air) cadets right off by being a little bit too into it.

I think it would work very well for general SME type things such as shooting, AT, fieldcraft etc

Would possibly also be benefit in the relevant service delivering specialist things too but some of the general cadet type issues would appear, drill, discipline, leadership, ranks, syllabus, mandatory training, VA would all take a lot of work to get some parity.

I don’t know about them but we are struggling to deliver our own Cadet Experience as it is without trying to provide flying for 2 other organisations on top.

1 Like

Not least that a Detachment commander in the ACF is ranked at Lieutenant and captains are normally only at company level and above.

I can see teddy’s being thrown when pretty much all the ACF in similar roles to us are outranked by RAFAC staff.

I would say we don’t need to change the machine, just make it more efficient. Same as VRT to CFC.

We don’t need to become one cadet force, we just need better integration of them all. Sharing of resources, staffing and equipment.

No reason why SCC/ACF can’t go flying and RAFAC can’t go sailing. It would take coordination and possibly even one online system like BADER, but that’s a huge undertaking.

There are already examples that I can name of some ACF/SCC cadets going flying on Air Days and then sailing spots on TS Royalist are offered to RAFAC. More things like that on a greater scale at local levels.


Rubbush. We regularly allow ACF cdts onto our Wing Shoots, and vice versa. Generally speaking our RCOs are (mainly) Flt Lts and the ACF Officers Lts - it has never caused a problem.

Yes but your working on the basis of mutual benefit and I’m assuming have developed relationships over x number of years. I have the same with my Det next door and regularly go in for a brew at the end of the evening, up until recent events we used to arrange a weekend camp once a year between us both.

I’m talking of forced working together, I could give you a list a mile long of people just in my wing where I know it would go down like a tonne of bricks and they would make life utterly awful.

Then those people do not have the Cdts best interests at heart.


Almost all of the detachment Commanders I have dealt with have been Sgt’s

1 Like

So are we saying that the ACF has more to offer than the RAFAC?