Relationships between staff cadets


My view is that their self imposed solution is entirely satisfactory, to expect people to put their lives on hold for 6 months based on a rule that is badly written (it should have contingencies like this written into it) is quite frankly silly.

If I were the OC I would be happy to let such a relationship continue as it predates the older one becoming staff, we have to use discretion and judgement in enforcing the rules and in this case the sensible solution is blatantly obvious.

It could even be argued that as long as the relationship stays outside the organisation Article 8 of the Human Rights Act (The right to a Private & Family life) could be used to tell the ACO where to go.


Common sense? What’s that?

From what you describe the situation solves itself and the only problem being tiny minded staff. I would suggest speaking to them as adults (not cadets) and explain things.

It makes you wonder if the people making the rules were ever young themselves. I was sorted relationship wise at this age, but plenty of my mates had GF who were 3,4,5,years younger than them and no one worried about it.


The rules of any organisation must be legal, they must comply with a whole host of legislation. To say that someone has to leave an organisation because the are in a lawful loving relationship of equals is discrimination on the one who has to leave.
To say two people of the age of majority cannot have a relationship because some people in HQAC is in my view a bit silly.


2 years, not that long


Long enough sadly as so much has changed.


Just because someone is allowed to do something legally, it does not mean they can do it anywhere they want. I can legally have blue hair and a majestic beard, but cannot do so if I am to be in uniform in the ACF. These particular rules are in fact there to stop instructors starting up relationships with cadets, rather than to stop those already in relationships when one becomes a staff member, but it does remove awkward situations. If you want to allow these specific staff cadet-moving-to-staff situations then perhaps you should campaign for the rules to be rewritten?


To then make sure there can be no comeback it’s probably worth formally recording it as an “interview”. You’d hope people could be grown up about it and accept that situation like this could arise, but the whole staff/“trainee” interface is under huge scrutiny in HM Forces and it’s associated bodies.


Most European armies allow beards because the ban was unenforceable under EU law. Nobody has ever tried to in this country.

Many or the rules in the cadet forces are illegal under many laws in the UK but we go along with them because we want to be in the club. Remember the BNP has to remove the whites only clause to its membership because it was discrimination. The ATC discriminates between males and females over the rules over hair. It will only take one uppity boy with a no win no fee action and the whole house of cards will come tumbling down.


I’m sufficiently worried about this type of thing to have hung up my pacestick for good. Enforcing the rules is not worth the risk any more.


I truly wish that many of the rules and methods we operate under are properly and seriously challenged and those challenges dealt with professionally. I could probably list 10 areas that would benefit from scrutiny without much problem.

I wouldn’t want it done by the engagement of some shyster out to cause problems for a buck or two because that causes the sort of panic, flapping, closing of ranks and unnecessary expenditure we could do without, but progress could be made from having a dedicated and competent review panel (free from brown-nosers) who could test the various waters.


You are basically saying that any rules besides the actual law are illegal. I would like to see precedent for such rules being ruled illegal in court, where said rules are not illegal by virtue of legislation against them e.g. racial or disability discrimination.


Most of the rules Silverback is talking about would be covered under the ECHR which a very wide ranging document. That being said all bar 1 of the Articles are accepted as being conditional and it would be an interesting legal argument.

Quite simply saying that a 19.5 year old and a 20 year old cannot have a relationship which predates their current status within the ACO is foolish and I suspect that anyone asked to investigate such an issue would agree with me, under the law they could be married FFS.


We have in-house rules preventing personal relationships between individuals which are otherwise 100% legal under law. Our rules restrict the legitimate freedoms on those individuals.

If we were just requiring people to keep a professional demeanour (ie,no tonsil-hockey etc.) while on ACO business I can’t see a problem, but attempting to curtail the relationships or use them as a bar to location or membership stretches that beyond reasonable and I can see no justification for it.


Under the law, a 16 year old can get married with parental consent, so in theory you could have a 16 year old cadet married to an 18+ year old instructor. Bit weird if you ask me but there you go.


If we are at a stage where a 16 year old is getting Married they require parental consent anyway so who cares what the Organisation has to say at that point!


Except in Scotland. In Scotland people are legally adults in all respects except for safeguarding at the age of 16 and require no such permission to wed.

There are other consequences of this age of majority that the organisation simply shrugs at, as it operates under English law.


Don’t go complicating things with your foreign laws :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


That wouldn’t really stop this though, it’d just move it forward two years.


Maybe the whole attitude to cadet relationships has become nonsensical, especially when it gets to this sort of situation.

The arbiter regardless of in house rules is parental view, if the parents are happy with it, then that’s the end of that. As stated under 18s can get married to anyone with parental consent, it would be an interesting situation if this happened in the Corps and the Corps said you can’t be a member of Corps anymore on some nonsensical pretext. The media and a number of political groups would have some fun with that. I would like to see a 16 year old marrying a 21 year old both in the Corps. A five or more year age gap is not unusual in relationships and marriages. I can see something wrong with U16s and much older people, but purely from the perspective of the putting up with teen mood swings. Living with teenagers is a nightmare at times so anyone being in a relationship with one, would require sectioning.

Our in house rules should be in line with the laws of the land and as long as those aren’t being broken then nothing said or done. Over 18 cadets not being able to drink when on cadet activities is another piece of nonsense. I’ve never stopped them with the caveat don’t get trollied and be fit for the following day, just like staff. I’m surprised we don’t ban them from voting as we don’t consider them ‘mature’ enough to be proper adults (against pretend adult cadets) in the Corps and so can’t possibly be mature enough to vote. God knows what they made of 16 year olds voting in the Scottish Referendum.


Higher authority make the rules of the organisation to protect young people. Unfortunately, they use a broad brush that does not consider other possible scenarios as highlighted in several posts.
I would suggest that it is no use agonising over what do but rather highlight your concerns and ask advice from higher authority.
This will put any decision in their hands. It would also focus their minds on a problem that does exist and should result, hopefully, in a clear policy being issued.