So I screwed up.... Advice needed


From what you’ve said, I can only offer the following:

Ask to speak to your OC and sector commander together and explain what happened on the course. Make no reference to anything else. Tell them the scenario that you were drawn into, how you feel it has been misrepresented, and how it’s made you feel.

There’s a lot of stuff going on that (at face value) doesn’t seem right to me, but I’m not in a position to pass comment on.

However, establishing dominance through intimidation IS bullying behaviour. It may not be targeted or biased, but that’s what it is nonetheless. Fear of the consequences of (genuine) wrongdoing is OK if fronted up with genuine respect and a desire to follow someone. Fear shouldn’t be the default.

Unfortunately, you’re not going to fix that alone.

The bottom line is, you shouldn’t be made to feel this way. As much as we can tell you that here, it won’t help. You need to face this one and seek closure. Take it as far as you have the energy to fight your corner (sector, back to the DS, Wing, etc). As I said, if you experience any blowback from this specific scenario then you have grounds to complain about that. Evidence anything that happens and try to have witnesses. You can take anyone you like into a meeting be it cadet, parent, neutral staff member. You can ask for notes to be kept which you can see and sign as true or ask to be amended and you can have a copy.

But… Don’t burn yourself out over this. Don’t lose sleep. Don’t get stressed or anxious. You’ve already given up a lot to be dedicated to cadets and you should be rewarded with an enjoyable experience. Don’t give or lose any more of yourself.

If it doesn’t work out, consider moving Squadron. If you can’t, it pains me to say it, but… Leave. Do what you must to look after yourself. There are far more important things in life the RAFAC.


I don’t think you screwed up in the slightest. If anything the course instructor did, first by trapping you, second by not being concerned that the MOS is acting in that way.

If you get called in, back your own actions.


You’ve been stitched up!!

Your instructor should never have put you in that position. You can think of people who fit those traits, but you shouldn’t be put in a position to have to name them!
I take the examples of many leaders I have been led by and use them in my leadership style. I try to never do what the bad ones did and always do what the good ones did!
Don’t worry too much, if the people you named are aware of the full situation, they should accept the feedback. If they don’t, that kind of justifies your choices!!!


If your CO does end up calling you in the first thing they’ll do is ask what happened. Then you explain. End of story really. I wouldn’t worry, at the end of the day you can’t be punished for what other people have done (which is really what happened here).


I hardly ever feel the need to post on here but this thread has driven me to get involved!
I was a Sqn Commander between 1998 to 2017. I mention this as it may add some weight to my response.
The instructor who trapped you into this situation is nothing less than an idiot who should not be allowed priveliged access to impressionable young people.
You have done nothing wrong. You have been trapped and bullied by an inadequate adult volunteer. I’d such suggest nothing less than removing the instructor in question from any position where he has direct contact with cadets under training.
If you present the facts as you have done on this forum to your CO, I would trust that she would have the sense to take the steps I have suggested.
This is your organisation and to are entitled to feel safe and valued.


You didn’t do anything wrong and probably felt safe being in that bubble. Maybe you were set up knowingly or not on the part of the people running it.
However ignoring the situation, you do have to start to understand how the world works and the level of trust you should afford people, which for me is a very few select people, there is only two people in the ATC I would trust, as too many of whom are on power trips; in love with themselves and forever looking to get one over someone to further themselves. Tiresome oiks.

Interestingly my view on your two public figure suggested wouldn’t as it seems be as yours.

In a meeting room or course there is a time for honesty and a time for guards up and just sit there and as I say nothing. I’ve sat in umpteen meetings and courses and felt that discretion is the better part of valour.
In the inexorably tiny Air Cadet world, it is easy is for people select a few faces from the Wing that court controversy. A few months ago a WSO tried to get me side with them about a fellow OC who’d been rocking the boat and I just said, he has a point and people should leave well alone. He is quite an arrogant man, not a real ‘cadet’ mate, but I was not going to be pulled into the debate, like a few others were. I have since found out he is going at Christmas.

This is how the general conversation would go if I were your OC no other action as I would see your naivete being exploited and query to Wing about the suitability of the course content.
Many years ago they filmed one of our Wing parades and a WO got hold of it and used it at an NCO course. One of our NCOs went and their feedback was we watched this film and the WO just did it to pick holes in Officers’ drill and laugh about it. Some of these officers were still in the Wing and sent the Wing TO a snotty letter saying it was wholly inappropriate and a few other things.


Like many replies to your post I don’t think you didn’t do anything wrong. You’re a cadet, you can make mistakes and hopefully will learn from it. Best advice I can give would be to go and see your CO if you’re worried about getting a roasting. Simply tell him what happened, start with something like “I need to tell you about something that happened at camp” and go from there.

Chalk this up as a learning experience, be honest with the boss. I expect he will see the funny side and tell you not to worry about it.


I definitely agree with this course of action.


Me too. There are few mistakes in life which can’t be fixed by going to see your boss and talking to them honestly.

My biggest c)ckup at work - which involved nearly messing up an entire year-group’s GCSE English exam - was fixed by a. finding a solution and implementing it quickly; b. finding my boss and apologising in person before he heard about it by another route; c. devising methods to avoid the same thing recurring (in this case simply asking a second person to check my working).


would be ok that route guys and I do thankyou however this MOS has already told him…


Circling around it here isn’t going to resolve the situation and if the emphatic confirmation given that you aren’t at fault hasn’t calmed you…

The only action you can/should immediately take is to speak to your OC. If you’re worried about their reaction due to other circumstances then request a neutral or more senior MOS is present.

I don’t think there’s much more that any of us can add or any other way in which we can assist.


The other option is suck it in and get on with living.



I agree, there are times when you have to just face the issue and accept what will happen.