Hello all, I first joined my local squadron in April 2018 (wow that’s coming up on 4 years ago) at the age of 12. Anyways, I continued to go for another nearly two years until of course COVID put an end to parade nights in March 2020. During lockdown I decided I didn’t want to return when sqn reopened, so I took my uniform in and I must’ve been removed from bader etc. Now it’s coming up on 2022, I’m 16 and in year 11, I’m thinking I want to give it another go, I was wondering if anyone knows what I would have to do to be re enrolled? Would I have to attend lessons for first class cadet etc all over again for example? Or could I pick up where I left off? I did accumulate quite a few badges during the time I was there, all of which I still have on my brassard that I ‘forgot’ to give back. Would I have to redo the course for each badge or would I be allowed to keep them? Sorry for the long post, after all this time I’ve lost touch with this sort of thing so I’m a bit puzzled. Thanks in advance guys!

Providing you left within the last year, if you contact your squadron, they will be able to reinstate you onto the system. All your old badge and courses should carry over if they are still in date. Your squadron staff may ask you to sit in on some basic training just to refresh your knowledge and update you on the changes since you’ve left. If it has been over a year, I believe they will either need to raise a helpdesk to recover your record if it hasn’t been permanently deleted or will need to create a new record and manually re-add all your previous quals.

Uniform may need to be re-ordered from your parent station as squadrons were told to not re-issue any returned kit over COVID.

TLDR: Ask your squadron and they will be able to sort things out one way or another to get you back in.


Thats right, they are archived after 12 months but not deleted for much longer.

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Kudos for wanting to come back — a good choice.

Wholeheartedly recommend getting this done before your 17th birthday. Otherwise, the staff have a fair bit of admin to do (going through the regional commandant for approval).

Go for it, but I would suggest looking at what you are doing education wise next year and what you are considering after that, the workload involved and how you can fit it around cadets. Over the years I have seen many even the very academically able leave by the Feb half term of Y12, as the workload of 3 A Levels or a BTEC, sees involvement in Air Cadets as a commitment they can’t maintain. It would be useful to meet the OC with your parents to see what the sqn expects in terms of attendance, as it is highly likely this year’s Y11 and 13 will be taking exams, unlike the last two years.
It would be shame to go through the effort of re-joining only to find a year down the line you leave again.

What you mean just showing up? There is no effort involved other than possibly some paperwork!
You are supposed to be encouraging the youth, not hinder them!


I think this is probably why Teflon loses the cadets. He wouldn’t recognise encouragement if it danced naked in front of him holding a sign saying “encouragement”


@SilentOperator Come on it’s not just showing up to do a few forms is it. It’s the investment of time of the cadets and parents only to find that say 12 months later it’s not working when their time could not have been split, especially at this important juncture ie Y11, which is a time when historically many cadets ‘vanish’ due to exams.
It’s one thing to start and keep going and another to have had a break and restart. It is folly to say just come back and it’ll be cushty. As we have seen since we restarted f2f it’s not been. I do not know of one sqn where they have lost cadets as they never came back or came back and very little was happening so left.

@Farmerdan Oh how wrong you are, but then you don’t know me. I have spent many hours over the years encouraging and convincing cadets (and staff) to stay on. Some have and some haven’t, but then I won’t make promises.
Coercing people into coming back is a different thing entirely as they’ve already seen what it looks like. If they say they say they want to the message is “the door is open”, I won’t chase or do anything more. I have only personal experience of one cadet leaving and coming back, in the late 80s, who then stayed and ended up an old style CWO Staff Cadet, but they had some very, very specific family problems which caused them to leave.

If the cadet gets some benefit from that 12 months or so, then who are you to say no!

I feel you may be in the wrong role if you are happy to turn away a cadet who wishes to develop themselves both personally and professionally with no actual reason.

Also I might draw your attention to the fact you are writing this in a cadet group on this forum.

Once again, we are here to encourage not hinder


Taking the central points raised of managing expectations and future planning is sensible advice.

@ParadeGlossPrestige, if you left within the last 12 months, your Bader profile/records should be easily retrievable by your sqn, but you will probably need refreshed consent to join (3822A) and Health (3822H - if relevant) forms.

If it was longer ago then it should still be possible, but your Sqn staff would need to request it via the helpdesk.

Everything you were badged for should remain valid except for anything which expires such as first aid and WHTs.

Get in touch with your Sqn staff to speak with them, they might ask why you’ve changed your mind and it’s worth having that answer prepared, because if they’re going to recommit to you then some confidence in your renewed commitment is needed.

Where did I say I’d turn them away?
What I’ve said is for them to weigh up the situation and go from there and speak with their parents to the sqn cdr. This is must be the stance we take.
Any cadet who leaves us before ageing out is told the door is open, so it’s up to them.
What I see even when cadets have been away for an extended period and their mates have been promoted or left and there are new faces, they never seem to be as committed. I’ve had cadets take extended leave for exams, sport and performance activities and when they eventually come back so much has changed for them it’s almost like re-joining rather than getting back in the saddle, I leave it up to them to decide what they do.