It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy:
not enough officers = unprepared officers thrust into command = fewer people want to become an officer = not enough officers…
There needs to be a contingency of alternative or temporary command arrangements to prevent forcing people into command who aren’t ready.
Put into place a minimum requirement of Fg Off with 2 years in rank on a squadron, with suitability to be assessed by WSC if the chair becomes vacant.
Before that point, improve leadership and management training and create a formal programme of learning about squadron management and peer mentoring (no reason this can’t apply to NCOs too). It doesn’t have to be anything intensive. Overhaul the SCC at Cranwell to create a higher-level course that complements and builds on the external training programme now created.
And I’m not talking simply about ILM content.
If WSC believes a FgOff is ready, they put in place a 12 month support plan created for that individual. If FgOff isn’t ready and a local, ready officer isn’t available or willing to travel, a development plan is created and a combination of WSC and local OC helicopter in on a minimum of 2 nights a month each.
Of course, the simple option is to remove the bureaucracy, the pressure, and the “we own you” attitude that come with the role…