Reserve Forces Day

So tomorrow is Reserve Forces Day and I have been asked by my employer to wear my uniform to work and highlight the role we perform. I am happy to oblige and will be exceedingly proud to explain to others about my role as a RAFVR(T) officer supporting the ACO. Might get some banter from my ex-regular colleagues but will take that in good humour.

Any one else taking part?


Nope. Never.

Apart for PERSEC reasons, and the fact it’s far too yank for me, I don’t want to look like tube.

No way. The only light blue suit on an Army barracks, no chance.


I’m sure that it’d go down as well as in T-T-Hill!!

Nah - there is no point.
Also, I don’t consider myself as any sort of reserve, regardless of how they spin the purpose.

first i heard about it…a shame really.

as the Admiral said, there is still a security status to be aware of following incidents in the last few months* it seems odd to have a portion of the population brandishing their uniform.

i did it once for armed forces day about 5 years ago. not that i was expecting to be stopped every 2 minutes and questioned by colleges what i did, my uniform was barely commented upon, all believing i was going somewhere afterwork and was wearing it for convenience rather than as part of a poorly published Armed Forces Day

*does anyone ever find out when these are lifted? attempted abduction, panic stations everyone take care but when is that cautious approach lifted??? or does it fall out of memory and we revert back to “normal”

Disappointed by the negativity gents, with the current manning crisis surely anything we can do to raise our profile within the local community should be viewed positively. CFAVs have been particularly encouraged to take part for this very reason.

We wear our uniform with pride representing the ACO on many other occasions throughout the year, this should be no different.


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In my day job I am covered in Help for Heroes and RBL logos so will probably be less conspicuous in uniform lol. I agree that the day is poorly advertised. Thankfully as my employer is an ex forces charity they are getting behind it in a big way and we are producing our own posters and media releases.


You feel free big man.

But given the recent attempted abduction of a RAF lad, and what with lads getting the heads cut off in the street, and the rise of home bred and domestic terrorism with a growing risk of lone wolf attacks, I think I will give it a miss!

Even as Regular I did everything I could to get out of uniform.

Pfft. help for heroes? That guys a theiving gypo.

Stuff your Armed Forces day and all that naff. Far too yank. And I won’t even comment about the whole Cadet Organisations getting amongst the reserve forces day.

The reserve push by the government is an affront and a joke.

There is no need to go as all out as the yanks do, but I think Armed Forces Day is a good idea. Keeping everything hidden away is not good for anyone, and given the national drop in numbers in the cadet forces, we need all the publicity we can get.

I gave uniform a miss this year. Everyone in my office knows what I do and I was too tired to put it on. Jeans and polo shirt was easier.


I wore my uniform in work yesterday. And every Wednesday in fact.

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As per talon people know what I do and have seen me at parades and events duly dressed.

I don’t think CFAV wearing uniform to work makes any difference to staff numbers etc. As said all the people I work and have worked with know what I do and no one has said we’d like to get involved, there have been a few cadets but that’s about it. I’ve asked people who I’ve thought might be interested and no. So wearing uniform to ‘advertise’ the cadet forces (forget the reserves angle) is pointless and not as comfortable or practical as my day to day work wear. We’ve got people here who are scout / guide / cub / brownie etc leaders and two who do p/t youth work.

If the cadet force heirarchy wanted to get more people involved (it’s solely in their hands we can’t affect or effect this) they need to make volunteering as an adult an ‘exciting’ proposition and more aligned with the adult hobby/interest environment and not an extension of the mind set you get at work, with compulsory requirements to do this and that in your spare time, without the cushion of getting paid or if at the weekend (wrt work) time off. We’re edging down the extension of the school day for cadets despite moves several years ago to supposedly remove this. I do things with other groups and it’s much, much more relaxed and adult.

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Depends on your workplace I suppose. I work in various secondary schools where the staff and pupils aren’t generally aware of my background. I have had a fair bit of interest today from both adults and students asking about what I do and how to get involved with the ACO. I have also been able to talk about reservist opportunities in general and have pointed a couple of lads in the direction of the RAuxAF. Hopefully a few will contact their local units.

Appreciate that this is not for everyone, but there shouldn’t be any negative connotations for those who choose to take part. I see myself as an ambassador for the wider RAF community and have been honoured to represent them here in a different environment. I know there are other ACO staff out there who took part today, to you I say thank you.


Negative Connotations? Nothing wrong with being negative about it. If it stops me getting my head cut off in the street, in the name of a fairytale then I will be as negative as I want!

RAuxAF? Gopping :wink: I hope you spoke about regular opportunities for the kids too. It’s not all about reserves, part time soldiers, full time banging on about it.

I’m afraid i agree with the Rear Admrial and Teflon - a couple of randoms wearing CFAV uniform isn’t going to help the manning problem both in the cadets and in the reserves, the only thing that will help on that score is making the package better/less pump.

Given that a very sizable proportion of our ‘recruitment’ problem is actually a retention problem, its not publicity we need, its an organisation worth staying in…

I also don’t fancy having Ahmed the wannabe IS hardman pinging me as a potential target, given that unlike the half-witted bungler who comes up with these brilliant ideas, I don’t live on the pad, have armed police outside my workplace, or the option to transfer my family to Lossiemouth or the Falklands in 24 hours flat should someone notice randoms lurking around outside my house. It is however a good thing that others do it, as they present easier targets and help keep me safe.

Well done, and if I see you on YouTube I’ll give you a wave…


There seems to be a dearth of young officers and SNCOs coming through like bunch of eager and over excited puppies, but after around 12-18 months this diminishes as the realities of life and juggling the ATC with everything else hits them.
Retention is the biggest problem we face and have faced for quite a while.
Not only do we need an organisation worth staying in but we need an organisation with a proper focus, not the vacuum BS of mission and vision statements. From the time I joined in the 70s until the last 3-5 years our focus was giving young people an opportunity either get a flying experience like no other or even better learning to actually fly an aircraft be that powered or not. There were other things as well which rounded off the package and made us the premier youth organisation, we didn’t need any statements to do this we just did it. What is our reason for existing now? I think that people who join do so on the image / expectation of our former self and find that it isn’t the reality so find staying and we are led by people who are constructs of their former life and therefore limited in their ability to do anything without approval.
As a result a few adult staff putting on a uniform for a day isn’t going to suddenly increase our numbers. We need people at the top who are prepared to ensure we go back to how we used to be. If not we will gradually fade into the sunset and the ATC will cease to be (if it hasn’t irrevocably already done so) what it was. A new look ATC without a proper flying programme is no more than Scouts with a bit of Army Cadets thrown in as one of our former Wg Cdrs put it.

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no one has ever claimed armed forces day or reserves day is a recruitment tool or platform.

rather those who were uniform/those who were uniform in addition to their usual “9-5” life to be recognised and acknowledged that those “armed forces” live amongst us…

What makes us any more special in terms of what we contribute to society as youth leaders than anyone else like us, that have to have a day where we can wear our uniforms to work? Just because we wear a military uniform doesn’t make our contribution better or more special to the lives of the young people who join the cadet forces than the people who do “scouts/guides”, martial arts, drama groups, music, gymnastic clubs, horse riding, paddle sports, football, rugby, cricket, tennis, swimming, sailing, athletics, boxing, help run youth clubs etc etc etc, as well as their ‘9-5’ life but you don’t see them coming in dressed for their hobby or having a special day. All of these contribute to and enrich the lives of young people but without the hang ups created by being associated with the armed forces and a backdrop of the RAF, Army or Navy uniform. The sort of things I’ve mentioned all instill into the youngsters who join and require more disciplined way of doing things, so we can’t even boast about that. I had two mates at school who swam for the local club and were at the pool at 0545 or at 8pm to train 4 days a week and on Saturdays and another who threw the javelin and did training 3 times a week and they did schoolwork. homework and all the things we as teenagers did. They might not be going yes sir/ma’am or shining shoes, putting creases in trousers, but they had the same disciplined mind set, if not more so than any of us in the ATC. We don’t even have the preparing youngsters for a life in the military anymore. When I was a cadet all but a few joined with the idea of a life in the military now you might have one per intake who want to join the military. In my day not many saw it through for any number of reasons, but we always had 4 or 5 a year who joined, but I haven’t seen one of our cadets join for the last 7/8 years if not longer, some have applied been unsuccessful and got jobs in ‘civvie street’ and never bothered with the military again.

The reserve forces only really came into serious focus when due to cut backs for the regulars the MOD needed to fill the gaps on operations. We had reserves forces for years, but the govt got all twitchy about people from the reserves going on active duty and getting injured or worse, so started to try and make a big deal of it. I had mates who were in the old style TA and the couple I still see have said they wouldn’t have joined if the active service part was as real as it’s become.

We had bloke here was part of the Sealed Knot and he got involved with some of his mates with going into schools. He came in one day dressed as a Cavalier officer and he looked much better and much more interestng than any of us.


Part time Soldiers, full time banging on about it. Ok great! We get it! you have a hobby and you help out. as mentioned loads of people help out youth groups but don’t have a day to “recognise” them. Are CIs contributions not worthy of note because They don’t wear a uniform?

I tried to get as far away from my 9-5 when I was a regular and tried to be as normal as I could. As soon as I could, uniform was off! Never travelled in it, never stopped at the shops. Stuff that. We used to try and get out of travelling in uniform in white fleet! And you lot seem intent on doing everything to get into uniform!

I know everyone wants to feel like a special snowflake, but the fact is your a small fish in a big pond, and there’s bigger issues at play, especially this day and age when you could end up with your head cut off in the street. You can’t always have someone patting your back and telling you well done. Let’s just get on with it.

I second the comments about he Old TA, it used to be an old drinking and shooting club. And when it changed, a lot of people kicked off and left and there was much todo about whether to commit reserves. I would comment it’s a huge way to save money on the Regulars when they don’t have as much welfare and other services to worry about. And it’s the wrong way to go. And the Government have ballsed it up and aren’t hitting their numbers! Because it’s a failure! And the Government may market it as awareness but it’s purely for recruitment purposes.

Technically CFAVs don’t, we are a sideshow on the reserves one. Other youth groups may not have a day to recognise them, or get any recognition whatsoever, but does that mean that we should but a blanket ban on recognising anyone? I don’t think anyone said that CIs’ contributions are not worthy of note, but as they don’t wear uniform they can’t really wear it to work. Again, does that mean that no one else should get recognition?

That is completely different. If you go to work in said uniform all day then of course you will want to take it off at the end of it. Most of us do not work in our cadet uniforms all day so it is still something different. Going shopping in it is something else. Most don’t do that unless they have no choice. If I am going home from cadets, need food for the next day and have no way to change and get to the shop before it closes then my hand would of course be forced. I doubt anyone pops their uniform on to do their weekly shop. If they do they are a bit sad.

Of course you need to take security into account, but that needed necessarily stop someone from taking part in the reserves day by wearing uniform to work. If I had wanted to do it, I could have done so with no real extra risk as all I have to do is walk to my car, drive to work and then walk the 5 metres from the car to the door. Compounded with the fact that my area would not be regarded as high risk, I wouldn’t really be concerned with knife wielding loons. Those who have to walk certain parts of certain cities may very well want to avoid taking part!