Returning as staff

Hi there. I’ve been away from the corps for 7 years now and I’ve always wanted to return as staff and now I think is the right time. I’m interested in being an officer and feel I have a lot to offer the cadets. So my question is what’s it really like these days? I’ve read the official website but I want to get the perspective from current members on what it’s like these days. Any advice is greatly appreciated

Your best bet is to go and visit a squadron. A lot of users here are too bitter and twisted to offer a decent viewpoint.


I agree with pEp… This is not the place to ask that kind of question!:flushed:

I have whinged a lot here, but have a lot of years of commissioned service under my belt, there is something about “The Corps” that has made me stay and do things!!

It’s a great place to be if you’re in it to benefit the local youth. Yes there is more paperwork and less staff than we really need but none of that generally gets in the way of doing what we need to in the long run.

Try not to get too much placed on you too soon!

What is it really like? Many things have changed over the last thirty years and a lot of it wasn’t for the better, but one thing hasn’t and thats the kids. If you want to help kids to grow and develop, get yourself along to a squadron and pitch in. At the end of the day, it is about the cadets. I’m a bit jaded now after too many years, but when I look at cadets leaving aged 18, 19, 20 and remember what they were like aged 13. Makes it all worth while.


May be read some of the things on here and then go to a sqn, because as much is as said bitter and twisted it still smacks of the truth of it. You would hope that a CO being asked is honest and up front.

But don’t let that stop you joining as a CI. Despite and in spite of the organisation’s best attempts, CIs are still and will remain the skeleton of the volunteer staff, without CIs the Air Cadet volunteer staffing would be Dr Whoesque blob creature. Being in uniform doesn’t really offer you the individual anything really beneficial, other than potentially 28 days pay each year. I’m now a CI after having done the adult uniform bit and apart from the pay, I can’t think of one thing that I miss or was a benefit to me if I’m honest. I could have walked away when I resigned my commission, but I didn’t as seeing youngsters achieve and develop from the shy little person into one with confidence, is my only reason to stay. If I lose that feeling of satisfaction and job well done, then it’s time to leave.
Like any youth organisation you only join to help the youngsters who join. If you have ulterior motives, delusions of grandeur or thinking the uniform offers some kudos, then IMO you’d be in the wrong place, we have too many in the Air Cadets like that, who IMO are a waste. I’ve known and know too many who love their rank and presumed greatness.


It’s good that you mention about the uniform part actually because I’ve been reading into what’s expected from uniformed staff and with my job being all shifts I don’t feel I could commit regularly. But as a CI I would be able to.

CIs are the backbone of the Corps!! Don’t let anyone pressure you into taking a uniform role until you are happy that you can take it on.
Shift work can be a benefit as well. That means you are free in the day time to do different stuff, very useful if all the other staff are in Mon-Fri 9-5 jobs!!

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Im an Adult FS. I have recently left a job which was shift work for a monday to friday role. I really struggled to commit a sustainable amount of time between work and cadets against what is expected. On hind sight it would of been more managable as a CI as that expectation is there but i felt it was less stringent.

I’m not sure about that! Perhaps the ribs. Or the spleen.

OK lose us CIs and get on with what’s left. I’d give most squadron’s 6-12 months. We have 5 CIs and 2 uniformed staff. I’d like to see it get by without us.

if the organisation didn’t act like it was your employer wrt those in uniform and insisting that uniformed staff do this and that, people might be more inclined to go into uniform. But until that happens people will opt for the non uniform route and do as much if not more than those in uniform. Reverting to CI, meant I was no longer obliged or able to pressurised to do things and life in the organisation instantly became more bearable.

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CI is the best rank in the corps.

Comfier clothes, have a beard, no time commitment to be beaten up with and still get to drink at Sgts Mess prices.


I get stuck with OM prices and culture.