Should cadets be allowed to drink coffee on a parade night?

My question arises from a concern of mine that the mental/physical health of an NCO at my squadron may be damaged as a result of consuming caffeine as late as 20:30 on a school night.

Since caffeine has a half life of 5-6 hours, she will indefinitely be going to sleep with as much as 75% of the caffeine still in her system, which is medically proven to have an inverse affect on an adult’s sleep quality/quantity, let alone a 14 year old child(should she even be drinking coffee in the first place?)

If a majority of you are in agreement with me that this is a problem that should be resolved as soon as possible, what steps should be taken?

At very least I plan on writing an anonymous message to my squadron leader, however I am also willing to write a strongly worded letter to HQ(or whoever is in charge of making the rules).

Wasn’t aware coffee was a class A drug now?

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Perhaps not, but it’s could be a class A cause of the teenage mental health crisis.

If this is all you’re worried about on a parade night then you aren’t busy enough! :joy:


In all seriousness, our cadets have fizzy pop available to buy at canteen, they don’t have tea or coffee. Some full fat but mostly sugar free. These also contain caffeine. We haven’t had any complaints from parents regarding sleepless cadets.

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I dont make a habit of letting cadets near caffeine…not because of mental health impacts but because I can’t deal with the little darlings being off their rockers…I’m not sure there is solid evidence to prove that having a cup of coffee at 2030 in the evening is having detrimental effects on health.

In fact it is known for people to have coffee just before bed as they are not affected by the caffeine…I can quite happily have a cup of black coffee at 11pm and by midnight I’m in a coma.


Quite frankly what business is it of yours what a person chooses to eat or drink?


Social media too - planning to ban that too? No Snapchat after 8pm?

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If I did that I’d come out the office to find something resembling jonestown…they wouldn’t be able to cope

We don’t give ours tea or coffee, but only because break would take about an hour if they all tried to make themselves a cuppa!


NCOs at my squadron drink Yorkshire tea like there’s no tomorrow! Coffee on the other hand, its never good enough quality to be worth consuming.


None of mine drink Coffee or Tea at Squadron, but if any of them asked then I wouldn’t have an issue. They all have access to fizzy pop, chocolate etc through the tuck shop. I would be more worried to see a Cadet consuming lots of fizzy pop and chocolate rather than a cup of Coffee. However, I will not have any of them consume anything of the Red Bull ilk at any time.


Anybody seen Demolition Man with Sylvester Stallone? Is that the world that we want? I vote for Edger Friendly.


Sounds like you’re blowing this a bit out of proportion and you should perhaps reserve the nuclear options for more serious issues (should they arise).

I get that we’re in a climate of caution and awareness now regarding things like mental health, but still. I also see this is in the “Cadet - Ask the Staff” section - are you a cadet at this unit?

Is this just one NCO? Are the others allowed and simply don’t or is this the only one being allowed?

For us though, only Staff Cadets get the option of tea/coffee while working in the office. The rest get high on coke and edible plastic. I know of squadrons that allow it for all, but they’ve got a zip boiler whereas we have a single, violent kettle.

If our cadets want to make a cup of tea then they have to ask the staff. None of our cadets drink coffee but if they did I can’t see there being a problem.

I wanted to stock our canteen with diet drinks but all the cadets will drink is the sugary cokes etc. I’m not a fan of sweets and sugary junk but that’s what the cadets want!

Mine have the usual canteen stuff, choc and drinks. But all sugar free drinks and thats mainly because the staff wanted to go sugar free for our health!

No hot drinks for cadets at break, but only because the “kitchen” can take 1 or 2 people at a time. Would take forever otherwise.

They have tea, coffee etc on FT, shoots, dofe etc etc

Only way to get through the day. You can certainly usually tell which staff are under-caffeinated. Although there are a few, strange “caffeine free” monsters out there.

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We made a similar decision on sugar free drinks, I wanted at least the option of something sugar free at half 8 at night. That was a year or so ago, now the majority of the drinks we ‘sell’ are sugar free options. Which is a good thing for everyone.

Because Yorkshire tea is fit for kings

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What nonsense.
If cadets want tea or coffee then crack on. They’ll drink it at home and out about so not drinking at the squadron has little relevance. It would be a bit rich to say cadets can’t have coffee, given the number of the coffee pod machines you see around on squadrons, along with jars of instant. Two of the staff bought a machine, but it’s only them that use it.

When we do Wings and Poppy collecting come lunch break they head for Greggs, chippy, pizza place etc.
We have the vomit that is sugar free fizzy drinks, as the cadets want them although we have chocolate and crisps as they want those as well.

We are hiccough in the week for teenagers who do things at home, school and out and about that we may not agree with personally, but it’s not for us to say don’t do this or that for 4 hours a week on some moral crusade.

I see the most recent in vogue catch all phrase “mental health” has been chucked in to try and give this some gravitas. About the single biggest factor when it comes to teenagers, mental health is social media and the lid of that particular Pandora’s Box has been used as firewood. I can’t imagine many staff at all levels in the Air Cadets getting by without it for more than a couple of hours, so not the role model in that respect.

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