Returning SNCO


We have had an ex-SNCO (ATC) approach us at the squadron that wishes to return after a brief period of 4 years away with the sea cadets. He has been approved to rejoin as sergeant by region but has been told he has to do the SSIC at Cranwell again, even though he only did it 4 1/2 years ago.

Is there any get out clause in acp 20 or anything, as he struggles to get time off work and would rather do a week on camp using his holiday time, rather than a week at the ATF again?!

Any help is much appreciated. Ta


Not that im aware of. I believe your new SNCO will have to attend SSIC


I would 100% challenge it. Its ludicrous that he has to do it again after only doing it a few years ago. If he has previously been an SNCO and also spent time in the SCC then he should be given time served towards FS not put back to the bottom of the pile.

Put a post on “ask the commandant” on sharepoint. RC(N) is pretty switched on and has said a number of times to challenge everything.


I see no point in doing SSIC again. Nothing to be gained, AVIP or other courses to bring him back up to speed with our latest policies maybe.


I left and came back some years ago.At the time I was told id have to do SSIC again.I declined as I could see no point to going over old ground and I hadnt been away that long.I told the powers that be and they told ATF but guess who was called on the Monday morning of the course( as of course id told them as well).Yep me asking where I was.I told them I was at work and told them I wasnt coming I never heard another thing after that.Now ive left all together and judging by this topic it seems ATF are still trying to justify their existence by putting people through pointless repeat courses.Also as has been said a swift bit of AVIP refresh will do.

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it does seem ironic that a new style WO promoted up the ranks can spend 12 years in uniform, but have only been to ATF once, 11 and half years ago and that is fine

while this example, who has had a “temporary absence” a little over four years ago is required to repeat it

i would love to hear the reasons why - there cannot be anything critical covered at ATF else that 12 years served now WO would need to have gone back - and if they have avoided going back because certain topics (lets say child protection for sake of argument) can be covered locally why can’t this returning individual do the same?

will this individual be issued the same service number?
if they are willing to treat them as the same person on one system, why not across the board?


There are grumblings of a WO course at cranditZ


been those grumblings for over a decade :slight_smile:

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either going to be Cranwell or Region run but heard nothing…

…i think this all started when the first Sgts became the first WOs and there were enough to justify a course but it hasn’t come to anything but discussions.


There was a wo course on the ATF course list for 2018…but turned into an admin week i believe


ahh well everyday is a school day! Grumblings turned to a course.

first i have heard of it though…


Following with interest.


I’ve done ACTC/ATF 3 times and apart from the first AWO course, it has been drain with nothing learned except we are little more than adults masquerading as cadets, as far as they are concerned and they need us to keep them in a job.

How much actually changes in what ATF say or do, to make going back worth the holiday usage? There was around 5 years between my AWO and IOC and apart from the badge on my shoulder, it was little different. I spent more time helping others on the courses to avoid the pitfalls of uniform inspections, so they could get on with it and not get constantly pulled up for the mind numbing and inconsequential things that don’t in any way affect your ability to do a job. You’ve got some fluff or your creases aren’t sharp or your welts are dirty, you so want to say and why does that matter. Which is all sort of rubbish someone like this chap would have to potentially endure, just to be allowed to wear a uniform while volunteering in a youth organisation.

Before you tell people giving up their time they need to go and do more or less the same thing, you need more than a militaristic justification of we are telling you, you have to, as this misses the big point, we are volunteers in a youth organisation that is increasingly being used to invent jobs and keep people unable to leave the RAF in jobs, not in the military.


Join then scouts, then you won’t get pulled up for it.
However in the cadets where we are a “military focused” youth organisation, certain standards should be met.


When it is really, really picky on minor details it becomes meaningless. I think they forget we walk away and go back to a job where their comments are of no consequence.

I had some cadets go on an NCO course last year and they always look smart, they are NCOs so you expect it. But we got the inspection sheet back and apart from the handwriting resembling that of a 6 year old, neither myself or the FS could make head or tail of it. I asked him to query it and it was almost like they had to write something. Which is pointless and does nothing for the cadets in terms of respecting these individuals.


I am a little bit with Teflon on this one. I have heard a number of reports from SSIC where they play the game of it doesnt matter what your uniform is like, dependant on the day depends on how badly your uniform is picked up on.

My sgt is pretty clever and had a pair of shoes in his bag, he swapped into them for each inspection and then put them back in the box immediately afterwards. Day 1 they were picked up on for some indiscretion and on the last day he was complimented on his superb shoes… They literally went in a box and were not touched for 5 days.

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I can see the point in the ATF course, I quite enjoyed it, just to repeat a course that’s already been attended and passed seems silly.

If adults don’t have to attend on a routine basis, why should a rejoiner have too if he’s already completed it?

Not a great way to encourge people back to the Corps.


Someone I know was our WWO, then left for 3 years to go to the Royal Marines Cadets as Staff, then returned as traveling was getting too much. They brought him back as a FS and after a year and a half he had an email from HQAC demanding he do SSIC or leave the Corps! Even our Wg Cdr went to bat for him on the purpose of him going back to ATF and it being a waste of time, resources etc but HQAC were having none of it.

He gets to the start of course introductions on SSIC and after introducing himself, WO Manion at ATF says what the h### are you doing here? your wasting a course place, RAFAC money etc etc.
When told HQAC said he had to attend, Mr Manion then had a rant about HQAC.

Problem is there’s nothing written down in the Pers Regs about Returnee’s to Service. There’s everything else, but nothing about people coming back so I think its down to the whim of what ever adminer is on the desk at HQAC at the time as to what hoops people have to jump through.

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I think omitting returning staff the most sensible the HQAC have ever done.

After all, who’d ever come back?


Maybe they’re just mistakenly confident that no one would ever want to leave, meaning there’s nobody to “return”.