Raf 100


Regarding crowds, what do they expect when the parades are on a Sunday. Trying the Saturday instead and it will be a different story- although I suppose that would elevate the security risk somewhat.

The fact of the matter is, cadets seem to be doing parades left, right and centre for RAF100 for no other apparent reason than to get some bigwig standing on a box. If there had been something from the top for every squadron to get involved in (that isn’t a bag pack fundraiser for the region coffers) with a formal recognition of the importance of the air cadets, some official media distribution, which the cadets would enjoy and the squadron would gain publicity from, that would have been worthwhile.

Instead they went with the original idea of a baton- now where have we seen that recently?


The RAF contingent was NIL.Apart from the reviewing officer.I was at a loss to understand why it was held in Doncaster to be honest.I got off a train there 40 yrs ago on my way to Swinderby for basic training.I thought it wasnt much of a place then and 40yrs on its not improved from what I could see.


It would be closing busy streets on a Saturday that would be the problem and dealing with the traffic, more so than security. Not sure local / city council’s would have much interest in disrupting potentially the busiest day of the week for some teenagers to march along some roads and so someone can have a salute.
I would question requirement for the march past other than for some acquirer of braid to stand around for a salute. Especially given the aggro that comes with closing roads. But it seems to be a format we are wedded to. But if you are going to have one, it needs to be in a town, as opposed to a corner of a military base, playing to the converted. Two people looking to see what’s going on, is much, much better than a gaggle of people associated with the Air Cadets looking on.
Our Legion branch has to rely on members and others to manage road closures for our Remembrance Parade as we can’t get Police to do it. not even hobby bobbies. We’re seriously considering abandoning the march part and just have a ‘smaller’ road closure for the service around the memorial.


Good Teflon- but that just raises the question of why bother? Parades are supposed to be viewed. Issues with manning it? Why don’t some of the actual RAF support it. Plus there’s plenty of pedestrianised areas in towns that could be utilised. We did in Leicester.

Anyway fact of the matter is the parades are pointless.


Long march from Doncaster to Grantham when you could have got the train there.


If they are meant to be seen, then they need to be in the public view. As I’ve got older I’ve found the length of time we are at an event which not many are too bothered about, is disproportionate to the amount of time actually doing the marching bit. I’ve heard cadets moaning about getting up early or having to disrupt their day for several hours for something that lasts 20-30 minutes at most.

I did parade through a pedestrianised area of a town and apart from a central area which had a ‘gangway’ just wide enough through seating, we were having to almost weave in and out of flower beds. We had to fall out about 100 yds from the church where the service was, as there were steps near the church.

For RAF 100 parades there should be a large contingent of RAF, otherwise it becomes an Air Cadet parade, and while cadets are vaunted as the "next generation’ it would be better to have the ‘current generation’ as the majority participants and very visible.

Are these parades so that Wing and Region staff can say, look what we can do and brown nose senior RAF Officers. If the senior Officers who’ve had their bellies filled and egos massaged, seeing all of these keen young people making their day job look good, went back to their desks and started pushing for us, then you can see a point to it.


As the RAF is on continious operations world wide with a force below the RAFAC numbers, you’d be very lucky to get any particpation add in a constrained budget, add to that people actually want to spend time with their families when possible at weekends when these parades take place.



What just like Air Cadet staff? I’m pretty certain that we all want to spend time with our nearest and dearest.

While you can appreciate the comments about operations etc, we all work various work patterns yet we are expected to do these things. It would be nice to see the RAF putting the effort in to ‘celebrate’ their centenary. TBH if they don’t want to, why should any one give a hoot?


I treat RAF100 like a child’s homework: I will help them out if they ask for help and if I am able to, but to hell with doing it all for them!


Exactly. It’s the lack of anything coming from them that is the most galling about the whole thing.

I won’t be doing another parade for it, that’s for sure.

Parades seem to be coming out of our ears where I am. My old wing we had three a year. BoB, Remembrance and a local parade for some units of the wing.

Where I am now we’ll be up to around 8 by the end of the year. That’s too many.


i have to agree on the status of a “parade” being applicable.

as a nation the UK does pomp and ceremony very well, but that shouldn’t make it the default.

Once upon a time there was a push for a ATC Sunday parade - why? i couldn’t understand it.
there was never any public interest, it is in the depths of winter being early February.

there are several others skills or experiences we as an organisation offer which are equally (if not better) placed for the winter - a museum visit or similar as an example.
somewhere to go which ticks the interest in aviation, it is not a parade, it is a day out for the Cadets, with CWC subsidy it becomes a cheap day.

I enjoy a parade, i am an RBL Parade Marshall, but they should not be seen as a default option.


ATC Sunday is not new, I did those parades in the 70s along with the Wing Annual Review at RAF Sealand and Liverpool Cathederal.


that doesn’t make it right - “we’ve always done it this way” is not valid justification


I was just stating it was not a new idea not whether it was an appropriate use of time effort or money. These sort of ideas go round in circles and pop their head up every so often, normally to make the instigator look good or to gain ‘brownie’ points for the next step on the greasy pole.


I distinctly remember getting an email which basically stated that RAF 100 wasn’t our event and that the “ACO” (as we were still at the time) wouldn’t be getting involved in events…

Oh how quickly that changed :stuck_out_tongue:


Probably about the time the RAF realised they wouldn’t be able to release anyone, unless had at least one thick ring to take a salute from Air Cadets and have Air Cadet staff fawning all over them.


I recall these exact words yet have heard more about our Region parade (ok so i did attend) than I have about anything the RAF are doing locally.
Even the local airshow which is trying to have a RAF100 theme has struggled to even get an RAF Static presence…


I think its great our people are involved and get visibility

However, there’s a number of these parades that make me cringe with uniform issues…

  • Cadets with a mix of stable belts and the blue grey belts.
  • More pace sticks than one could count - what happened to the rule of only the Parade WO having a pace stick? In the most recent parade, each Sqn WO was donning a Pace Stick - and with white belts?
  • Staff with ill fitting uniforms…

List is quite endless


If the RAF put the money and effort into uniforms for the ATC things wouldn’t be as you suggest. Stable belt mix is done to the pie munching, moustached, pace stick wielding, master race. The pace stick thing is a problem created by the whole SNCO structure and if I’ve done a DI course I can have one. Regardless that as you say only the Parade WO should carry one. If the Parade WO had some kahunas they’d point this out.

As for uniform generally who knows.


Not for a long time.These days you have to buy one.Mind you ive never seen the need to want to do a drill course and carry a piece of wood under my arm.