Recently Promoted Corporal Advice

Hey all,

I’ve decided to pop up and say hello to you all. I very recently got promoted to Cpl and I’m generally looking for ways to improve as there’s a distinct lack of stuff at my sqn; such as lack of any Blue Comms & Cyber, Leadership or heartstart.

I hope this will help both me and eventually the whole sqn, and once again, :wave:

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Hi and welcome!

Congratulations on your promotion and well done for being keen to get stuck in and improve yourself and your sqn, but you need to apply a little focus and direction to that energy before you end up doing lots of things badly instead of a few really well.

Are you able to be a bit more specific about anything? Also, you will be most useful where you have an interest and a reasonable amount of experience, but don’t get distracted from simply bedding yourself in and getting used to being an NCO while you try to drive whatever change and development you want to see on the sqn.

I’m going to break the rest out into different replies as it became a bit of a barrage…

To give you some background on the topics you mentioned:

Blue Comms can be taught by anyone, but for whatever reason needs to be assessed by someone “authorised”. The content is 1st Class plus a cyber video, plus an on-air assessment.

Blue Cyber doesn’t exist. Bronze requires authorised instructors.

Hearstart has been replaced by Essential First Aid, and again requires authorised/qualified instructors at CFAV/Staff Cadet level.

For all of the above, speak with your staff about it as they may be able to explain where the sticking points are. It could be worth suggesting working with local units on weekend training days to cover off these.

Leadership/team building has a lower barrier to entry in terms of running it including up to Blue level, but as a topic can lose its value without whoever is running it having a solid understanding of leadership and comms skills and being able to explain that. Far too many units run leadership tasks without giving sufficient feedback across a broad enough range of skills.

Running leadership as a time filler/fun activity quickly loses the fun factor as well if it’s not working towards a goal or progression.

It’s the difference between:

“you didn’t complete the task, this is how you performed against the assessment matrix”


“you did this well but could have improved this way, when this happened it caused this and from that point on the team lost focus and person A and Person B needed to coordinate their actions but didn’t, so you should have done xyz to resolve the situation, which is unfortunate because you managed person C and Person D really well with detailed and clear communication so just try to step back and keep a broader view so you can apply that to everyone next time”.


If the leadership and team building side is something of interest to you, I can send you some details of a really simple leaderLESS task focused on comms and cooperation that is easy to run and debrief with just a few guidance notes. When/if you go to your staff about trying to get a broader range of activities running it will be in your favour to have something up your sleeve to offer.

The general issue on sqn is getting things assessed so what would count as ‘authorised’? According to ACTO73 it means getting permission from the WRCO if not the RRCO but when I finished bronze comms last weekend, it was very vague and said we cant train/assess until silver, so possibly a regional difference? Also said not to wear bronze comms till blue is sorted.

This has been a major issue on Sqn, I believe because either the old OC rarely put events up or another fact with the individuals, in any case theres now hardly anyone who specialises in a particular role and those that did left. The only 3 things that got done were drill, ‘leadership’ and lessons so I would much appreciate any form of different activity. We’re small enough as a sqn and can’t afford to lose more cadets to boredom.

Thanks for the advice.

We need a FAQ section.
This one comes up a lot.

First off, congratulations!

Secondly, if there is a distinct lack of stuff happening on your squadron, and everyone else agrees there is, maybe suggest JNCO ran nights. It really depends on what your squadron has at their disposal.

As for radio training, you’re supposed to have MOI so you can get accredited by your wing radio officer and bronze comms I believe to teach and assess blue comms.

Another thing you could ask to do is run leadership nights to get those who may not have blue leadership a new badge. I don’t believe an assessing cadet requires MOI or anything, though they have to be at least bronze to sign off on assessment sheets themselves (or so I’m told)

You could also (if you haven’t already) suggest running presentation skills so that more of your squadron are eligible for the MOI course whenever opportunities come up.

What? If you’ve passed bronze comms without already doing blue, you’ve earned that badge and any bronze comms course should pretty much re-teach blue or at least recap it before getting into the bronze level content. Bronze is already a pretty large step up from blue.

Yeh pretty much did but again he was very vague and im pretty sure i wont be able to get RRCO permission to assess myself. I’d already done all the blue stuff preCOVID, just never assessed or signed off on.

I wonder if/hope the new WO, who’s actually getting stuff done, will get a bronze cyber course sorted.

I’ve already gone through Bronze iDEA so mainly waiting and focusing on other things till then and maybe get in contact with RRCO to clarify the requirements for instruction.

Yeah, if you can radio check, authenticate A/B/C/D, use callsigns correctly, ask for a say again and do a say again, you should pass blue regardless.

As for bronze cyber, it’s really easy if you’ve already done bronze iDEA, it’s also a good idea to get started on silver iDEA.

Welcome and Congratulations on your promotion, richly deserved no doubt…

One piece of advice I can offer is don’t try and take on too much. It’s good to see that you already have some ideas as to how to improve activities on your Sqn but don’t fall into the trap of saying Yes to everything…you’ll soon find yourself too busy!. Newly promoted NCOs can be eager to please but it can backfire spectacularly…small steps are best.

Onwards and upwards…


Yeh I’ve gone through the first section on silver iDEA already. The blue comms was sorted, issue on sqn is simply getting assessed but I will be talking to the new Training Officer to try get it put through and signed, means I can get it done then.

There’s also an open university course to do for silver called “Introduction to cyber security: stay safe online” it’s very long and boring so look forward to that (if it hasn’t changed since I did it)

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Well ironically, all the requirements for Cyber on portal are bodged so I couldnt tell you, but I believe its that OR the cadet course.

So the book (acto 073) says (not the exact words as I don’t have it in front of me)

  • cadets can assess / teach Blue if they hold Bronze and Bronze if they hold Silver

but it also says

  • assessors are authorised by the RRCO/WRCO

So in this case although you are qualified on paper, until/unless your WRCO signs you off you can’t assess cadets.

In our part of the world we simply invitee qualified cadets who are interested to assist on a course, get them to do an assessment under supervision and all being well, sign them off.

We do prefer cadets to have MOI before they teach. Some of them have done a Blue lesson as their MOI assessment.

Bronze: RAFAC taught course plus iDEA Bronze

Silver: OU Introduction to Cyber Security plus Silver iDEA

Note there are specific modules you have to do for the iDEA Bronze but not for the Silver. There are How To guides on Cadet Portal.

Well, if they exist. Has the list been updated because there almost half a dozen we specified that had been removed from idea the last time I checked!

I need to check it’s been updated. But they can swap out modules as long as they meet the Bronze criteria:

To achieve the Bronze Award, learners need to have a minimum of 250 points and these points must be made up of at least 50 from each core category (Citizen, Worker, Maker, Entrepreneur).

This was certainly the word from Mr Pink on Teams, but Teams isn’t where I check requirements!

Anyway… Just a small tangent!

I had to do the cadet course, silver idea, and the openuni course.