Relevance of our Ambassadors and Honorary Appointees

Having read the post about Group Captain Vorderman’s rank slide faux pas with interest, I would like to ask a slightly different question.

Not wanting to criticise the Group Captain at all, as she shows a massive commitment to the Air Cadets and does raise our profile in some areas, but what is her relevance to 12 and 13 year old young people, our target audience? I am sure that the vast majority of them don’t know who they are! But they will know who KSI and Logan Paul are!
Should we try and obtain more youth based “ambassadors”? Or is every cadet one of those?

Begs the question, who are the ambassadors designed to interest; prospective cadets, or prospective cadets’ parents?

There’s reasonable argument for either.

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I think Carol is a fantastic ambassador - always smiling, zero bad press and is still (mostly) relevant.

Unfortunately with the “characters” you’ve mentioned I don’t think they convey the right message as opposed to someone who made a career out of being really intelligent STEM WARNING - almost showing that maths doesn’t have to be boring?

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You raise a good question. While I think Carol does a good job most of the time, I do not think she is known too well by today’s youth. I am a fairly young officer and know her only by reputation as the ex-countdown letters person.
I suppose the challenge is finding other people with the right sort of interests and of a more recognisable nature to the cadets. It is no easy task, but I would have thought an organisation of our size, could do with a few more famous ambassadors. I suppose this isn’t a priority for HQAC at the moment tho, with all that is going on currently. Especially given they can’t dress the one ambassador they have correctly! :yum::yum:

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But surely an Ambassador is there to deal with people outside? She may not be that well known by the Cadets but they are already in the organisation when it comes to outside agencies who may have something to offer us I’m sure she is very well known.

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Yes, to the parents (which is good), but if today’s cadets don’t know her, I’m not sure she’s going to be better known by the younger generation of 12 year olds joining today?!

She’s there to represent the Corps to the media, not cadets. The fact she seems genuinely interested, is an ideal STEM ambassador, will be known to parents, and flies is a bonus, but she’s there to get press interest, and I’d say she does a very good job of that!

Yes, they could probably do with some ambassadors / honorary appointees relevant to cadets, they can have more than 1 (or 2 - is Chris Hoy still an honorary Groupie??)


I’ve never understood the need other than the FB Annie’s desire to meet celebs. With any of these what to do they bring to the cadets? Do they use whatever their ‘celebrity’ might bring to good effect for the organisation?

The problem with celebrities they all have a shelf life, CVs shelf life has been extended due to the eye candy exposure on Countdown. Does anyone think for one moment if she was a dowdy looking geeky science type she’d have been on TV in front of the cameras like she was? I know a couple of blokes who have been salivating when told they might meet her at an event and I’m all for exploiting this factor be they male or female, might not be PC and modern, but this is the real world and you have to use whatever you’ve got. Carol certainly did and does. While she might have a science/engineering background, Carol Vordeman is in reality eye candy for older and may be some younger men and this should be exploited

But I think it’s right that we need people the cadets might have a chance of knowing, to improve ‘kerb appeal’. But then it is a real shame that we can’t sell the organisation purely on its merits and what it offers and have a need to rely on a tenuous link to a here today gone tomorrow. Listening to a lot of the boys and girls talking people like Chris Evans (not the DJ), Robert Downey Jr, Elisabeth Olsen, Scarlett Johansson etc would be people they’d be inspired by.

I think Hoy was a mistake, he might have won a few gold medals but it is a case of Chris Who? I would say if they wanted a cyclist Bradley Wiggins or Victoria Pendleton would have been better. But these only ever get wheeled out when the Olympics are on.
If we are to do this properly I would say we need loads from different areas, film, TV, music, sport etc and it’s not just about the kids. We are desperately short of staff so have people that can bridge the generations.
Some better options would be the like of Lineker or Shearer etc as they will be on TV every single week, a plug for the ATC when dads and sons are watching footie. Personally I think the Three Top Gear Amigos would be fantastic all seem to have a consummate interest in technology. Thinking especially of some of May and Hammond’s televisual STEM activities. Our son still watches Brainiac on You Tube. Plus the older men might enthuse blokes to join as staff.

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Three middle aged racists would certainly attract the right people :roll_eyes::roll_eyes::roll_eyes:


If you look at Vorderman she is ideal for the STEM side of things, she flies herself, has RAF links though all the work she did towards the Bomber Command Memoral and has a genuine interest in the Cadets.

What would be nice is someone to compliment her on the AT side of the coin, in the same way that the Scouts have Bear Grills.



I take it you’ve never watched any of the programmes they have done between them around engineering, science and military history. Even the thing Hammond did with the Saturday tea time programme involving the assault course is relevant to us.
I’m not sure CV’s interest is at the level of up to the elbows in grease and muck taking things apart and building things.
It seems you are taken in by Jeremy Clarkson’s actions and comments that the media love to pull apart, just because he’s a bit outspoken. Could you imagine if he was one and if it irked him, the attention the lack of flying and gliding would get. The RAF/ATC would have to come out with something faced by proper media attention, rather than the odd question in The House or niche publications. I would sooner have someone a bit spikey and controversial they can’t control, than someone safe.


You mean the same Richard Hammond who thought eating ice cream was gay? Or the same people who regularly suggest James May is gay? Or the same people who talked about murdering prostitutes like it’s a game? Or who punch people because they’re hungry?

James May is about the only one who doesn’t have too much controversy surrounding him, and he’s like that because he’s a boring old man.

I was about to mention the Chief Scout! The Scouts have hit on a gold mine there! When he wears his uniform and makes comments it gets into National Media.
I personally wouldn’t want anything to do with Bear as he is cavalier around safety, sets very bad examples when in the field and also is a bit of a fake compared to Ray Mears and others. But he has raised the Scouts profile.
I think we need a more “Youth relevant” ambassador, who has a large Social Media presence. But I am fully aware that Gp Capt Vorderman gives up her time for free and others charge!!!
Something that needs some thought perhaps?

Rachel Riley gets my vote…

Jessica Ennis-Hill?
Dara O Brien?
Emilia Fox?
Benedict Cumberbatch?

The problem you’ll have with any of the “most relevant” celebrities is that they’ll still be busy…

And mine.

Rachel in a uniform……………:heart_eyes:


I think the old adage there is no such thing as bad publicity is broadly correct. We get her for the cost of her uniform and incidental expenses. She raises the profile of the RAFAC as well as the RAF and there are no skeletons in her past. How can she be bad for our organisation.

Yes there could be more famous ambassadors but she does as much as she can, she is a positive female role model, positive stem and she is into aviation. How can it be bad for the RAFAC.


Does it really matter what people say, when you know it is said for effect and they don’t mean it and even less likely or do it? Would you believe a family member or friend if they said “I’m going to kill x” or it’s OK to do this and that? If not why so someone on TV.
If all you want to do is pick holes and get excited about the banter between people on TV and go for the things the BBC make a lot of fuss over and Red Top editors will make front page item, that papers worth reading consign to an inch on the inside pages and overlook the potential greater benefits, fine. I’ve managed to get through my life not being too bothered by things people say or do, especially celebrity types as they have to try and keep people interested in them. It’s why celebrity this and that programmes have developed.

You can think what you like of me, but I am very real and been in this organisation a long time and I’m not some liberal/lefty type, who gets upset by the slightest thing. Sorry I won’t subscribe and retaliate with a doubting vitriolic attack on you, when I know you as well as you know me.

How do we know? All it means is no one finds her interesting enough to dig or if they have, they’re not interesting enough. I can’t imagine wild goings on in the Countdown green room.

Let’s face it until a few years ago, there were a few celebs and non celebs who we didn’t know have things that they’d sooner kept under the stairs.

Have yoiu ever flown in a U2 and relayed that experience to a wider audience or like Clarkson ever spun inverted in a Hunter?

Clarkson has actually greatly supported without publicity in particular during the Afghan/Iraq operations the wounded service people at the QE and Headly.

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Section Officer Harvey.