Staff Cadet ‘Value Added’


Have been perusing ACP 20 with interest today as I have a cadet coming up to 17.5.

When it talks about staff cadet qualifications, the very last entry is ‘any other qualification that adds significant value to the squadron’ - what is this? Can anybody give me examples of where cadets have been retained using this last category?

Due to other commitments (skilled sportsman, musician, etc, very involved at school AND has a weekend job), said Cadet has missed most weekend courses. Family spend their holidays in foreign climes so Cadet also misses most of the summer training programme. Cadet doesn’t have much in the way of badges to show their ability either, and because they’ve missed chunks of parade nights, is still only 1st Class.

I’m not interested in a debate about 1st Class NCOs, or whether staff cadets should exist or not. I’m after specific examples of qualifications that have been used as evidence to keep 17 year old cadets in the organisation. PM if some are too outing.


if they can instruct anything, eg first aid. If they have a skill that can be used to give back to cadets. “… is a dedicated and good NCO/cadet” isn’t always enough now. It is at Wings discretion so find something that cadet can give back. We use MOI, HeartStart Instructor, if they’ve done AFA, FAW, CBEL (or whatever it is now), Blue Comms Assessor, ELA Health and Safety Volunteer Tutor, risk Assessor, weapons coach.

If the cadet misses a lot, all I can suggest is that they have to prioritise cadets for a couple of days so they can get a Qual, but I appreciate that’s not always easy.

Hope this helps


To be honest if this cadet was in our wing, his extension to >18 service would be rejected.

but as pointed out, I have used the reasons above.


Personally even if they do a course, I’m not sure they’d be taken on. Also as you say their attendance etc for legitimate reasons, is patchy, so would it reap any benefits if they stayed as a cadet.

What you could do is when they hit 18 or before, get them onto the CWC and then go for ‘super CWC’, which is CI in all but name. Then if they are interested they can do things on and with the squadron and then when they hit the right age become a member of staff, if they want.

Many years ago when the “add value” was explained by a WSO to my then Committee, two of them hit the roof and left soon after, they had sons who had benefited hugely under the old system and thought this system was tosh. As it is for the cadets to decide when they leave the Corps and not because of some arbitrary list.


In regards to the ‘can they instruct’ - I was always told that in order for a Cadet to instruct anything they needed MOI. As the Cadet isn’t even leading yet (although will be very soon) I can’t see them getting MOI in the next six months. But can anybody confirm if this is true or not (so if the cadet got AFA, even without MOI could they instruct first aid on a parade night for example?).

Big_g, your wing sounds like mine, hence my question. Not all are the same though, some friends from different wings say it is the complete opposite where they are, and unless there were serious concerns, almost all cadets go on to become staff cadets.

But thank you all for your suggestions.


I tend to look at it from the perspective of

  • are they responsible enough to be left alone with children
  • are they going to cause more staff admin/work
  • will they contribute more than they take

If it is a Yes, No, Yes/probably on these three questions, then worth a try to let them stay even if there isnt a defined regular use for them.

That said of the attendance is very poor, then you have to ask is wether it is worth the fight.


I never said attendance is very poor, just that they miss most of the nights in the Summer Holidays. Attendance throughout the year, discounting the summer, is well over 90%. Unfortunately because they miss a month of the year, other cadets have leapfrogged them in certain areas of training.

But in answer to the questions asked - yes, no and yes in that order.


I tend to go a bit easy with that particular rule. Now I ask myself the same questions as @bigmalcmk with the addition of do they fit in my staff team. If I’m happy with it I’ll help them find a way around it. Our wing commander is helpfully lenient too.

In terms of other, if you can make a case for them staying regardless of what it is, I’d go with it.


Specifically I’d say that a skilled sportsperson would come under that “other” category, as well as skilled musician (even better if they’re played for a band at wing region or corps level).


Assuming you have a Squadron Band I would go down the Musician route, also assuming he trains/mentors other cadets in the band.


I think that is terrible. Before now I have used (for a cadet ‘on the spectrum’) the phrase this cadet will benefit from remaining in the ATC. I was not turned down either.


We should be here to benefit the young people that join and not have this nonsense.

It should be for cadets to decide when they have had enough when they are within the age group as laid down. Now if they bit the bullet and reduced the upper age to 18 (as it was when the ADCC and ATC first formed) we wouldn’t have this problem. But then we wouldn’t have had it if the lunatics weren’t running the asylum in 2003.


Yawn. Yawn. Yawn. Yawn. Yawn.

Change the record. Reply to the original poster with something useful please.


That is a response to the previous post.

I gave the route I’d follow, as there is more than one way to skin a cat. I’ve had more cadets take this route when I’ve offered it to them, as it better suits where they are in life and they have contributed to the squadron. As CWC members they have been CRBd/DBSd and as I said now go for the ‘super CWC’.

If there is disagreement that we should be here for the youngsters who join and not treat them with disrespect because they might not tick some arbitrarily set box at the age of 18, then so be it. I personally think we are here to serve youngsters not the other way round.


My wing are fairly harsh when judging the worth of over 18 cadets. OC wing has made it very clear that cadets just coasting along are not worth the hassle.

In the past, if, for whatever reason, if I’ve struggled to find something that approximates what wing want, I’ve made sure those cadets qualify for the AFA, and then plan use them as first aid cover on events, exercises, squadron nights, etc (once they turn 18).

Whilst the concept of adding value is a bit sketchy, and open to some creative thinking, be aware that Pers 5.01 specifically states they must be a Leading cadet. If you think they struggle to pass due to attendance, why not open up your squadron on a weekend, and get them to sit all three exams?


The bullet has been bitten, cadets leave at 18, some are then allowed to stay beyond as junior members of staff. If you get your head round that concept you will be in line with the way things are supposed to be working.

I tell my cadets from day 1 that Cadet service ends at 18, those who I intend to keep or those who might be eligible with a little development I have a chat with at around 17 to see what they want to do. If they want to stay I then give them a SMART action plan to get them through the process.


I am of the old school and see the organisation as serving the cadets who join and not at any point the other way round. Saying and expecting a cadet to do things just because they are between 18 and 20 and they have to tick some box in order to do this, goes against the very ethos of the organisation.

I was a cadet until my 22nd birthday and at no point was there any expectation that I did anything out of the ordinary or prove my worth, like many thousand before me. Ironically without this system the number of staff we have in the Corps would have been in crisis many years ago, as it is now.

Speaking to people of a similar age to me, many of us wouldn’t have hung around like we did, faced with the current system and in this are many Sqn Cdrs, Wing Staff including Wg Cdrs and Regional Staff.


Some of us wish you hadn’t hung around to be honest.


Feel I’m sticking my head above the parapet here, but giving another perspective. We’ve got 3 due to reach 18 this year, the first in just over 3 months. Our OC has decided to tighten up on cadets staying on, because we have had ones who’ve become staff cadets and then coasted with intermittent attendance and he feels that having got a tremendous amount from the squadron, they’ve then not contributed back. By this I mean not being available to be part of cover, not wiling to help with younger cadets, using their qualifications to benefit just themselves, but not the squadron.

So this year’s cadets have to fill out the forms as usual and have a chat with OC about what they have written. The first one has produced an A4 sheet of paper, clearly set out with what they would like to achieve in the next 2 years, but also where they see that as a benefit to the squadron. For example, this cadet has a keen interest in radio and cyber, something we’re looking at doing more with. She has put forward a suggestion of getting more qualifications herself, but then using that knowledge to support the radio staff on squadron to build the radio knowledge. Its been an interesting exercise, but also good practice for the world of work, where these kind of questions can be asked, albeit not necessarily in this format!


That’s a very good idea as I have 3 cadets in my sqn
I went through with them what is and was expected of them becoming 18 and being a staff cadet.
Only 1 of them has actually stepped up to this the other left but the last has became a total waste of time wanting to do more of what she wants to benefit her but won’t help others with the qualifications she already has, needless to say she was very unhappy when I refused to send her on another course until her attitude changed.