Striking the right balance

Before I start, I realise the square bashers here will mount a vigorous defence and potentially go a funny colour with indignation but…

I heard a strange rumour last night that drill is joining the PTS badge club, whilst I can see that some will be overjoyed if true for me it raises a few questions.

1 do cadets need to do as much drill as they do? Once at an acceptable standard (1st class drill test) give them the opportunity to do it as an activity much like AT, as a regular once I’d left Trade Training the only time I was required to do it was if “selected” for remembrance or freedom parades. The only people who did it regularly were the Guards, QCS and recruits at initial training (even the DIs didn’t do it that much as they were teaching it not doing it!).

2 where will the badge go? The brassard is already pretty full if a cadet does everything even if only to blue standard and the space badge is also coming.

3 who will assess the drill? Not every unit has a DI.

4 probably less serious, what will the badge look like? A pacestick (similar to D&C logo), a hammer in a box (square bashing), tablet (drill is a pill) or similar to martial arts a coloured belt (with white being the top rather then bottom grade).

I know drill is important as it develops many different attributes and generally cadets seem to enjoy it, but do we organisationally do it too much? I’m sure we’re not the only squadron that struggles to find time to fit everything in, so devoting a disproportionate amount of time to one subject is IMHO odd.

Dons CBA & helmet in preparation for incoming fire


2, 3, and 4 are for the people making the policy to figure out. Not sure we really need it to be a syllabus item though.

For 1 - probably not. When I was a Cadet we did a short 15 minutes each night primarily to keep the Cpls practiced in taking a squad and keep everyone ticking over. We would then do longer practices or specific practices for events or competitions coming up.

Was always at the start of the night as well, likely to instill the command and control element of the evening in a formal way.


There’s absolutely nothing wrong with offering it.

Mandating it is where we have an issue.


Exactly this, too many units spent a lot of time on drill because it’s easy to run, can be delivered without a Qual and can be farmed out to Cadets to deliver.

A couple of sessions per month and then some intensive practice before things like Remembrance Parade to make sure everyone is at the top of their game is enough.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, bin off the traditional classifications and their badges. They aren’t relevant in the real world and PTS has supplanted them.

Surely like all of PTS Blue would be Squadron level so any NCO approved by the WWO, Bronze and above by the respective WWO/RWO etc. shame we don’t have a Corps Drill Competition for Gold anymore, O assume it would become the D&C Camp badge.

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According to the manual drill is not a time filler

But we all know it is

Not sure a PTS badge makes sense. How do you show progression? Sqn drill team, wing, region, national? And what’s the difference between each?

Another Badge!!?? There will be a badge for having a badge sewn on the brassard next. When will just being a Cadet, doing cadet things just be enough. I know let’s give them a badge for being a Cadet.


I mean, classifications.

First Class Drill Test
Arms Drill
Cadet Drill Instructors Course
D&C Camp

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Yes we do. I’m not sure most cadets do enjoy it, sure some like parades (but most don’t). Drill itself isn’t that high up their list of priorities.

It’s often not taught that well either which doesn’t help.

As part of Basic (aka recruit) training to get to an acceptable standard of appearance and create some group cohesion, sure. After that, by all means make it optional.

Just because it’s PTS doesn’t mean there’s definitely a badge coming in for it.

The only definitive of a rumoured syllabus and standard of progression is that there might be a syllabus and standard of progression.

A good stab at a PTS. For my 2 pence worth, I would say that for some of the PTS the Gold course is an instructor course but the same can be said for the band camp. Horses for courses
Blue First Class Drill Test,
Bronze Wing/Sector Drill development Weekend (New) for experienced cadets JNCOs to develop their drill knowledge and commanding a squad.
Silver Arms Drill Normally done at Wing level but some times at region as in WW Ceremonial flight
Gold Cadet Drill Instructor course. And allowed a pace stick (maybe)

We could just wait and see what - if anything - comes out?


This…most of this thread is assumptions that are wrong, its in development, majority of the Snr WOs think its a good step forward and makes logical sense.

More importantly, the propsoed syllabus will, if signed off, open up opportunities for all.

And im not going into any more detail :rofl:


Makes total sense. Currently there’s no guidance or set progression (I e. Targets) to aim for - for instructors or cadets.


I wouldn’t say we’ve been trialling it, but we do an informal version and our WO has been approached by the RWO and Corps WO to work on it (I believe). The iterations our cadets have been involved in have been popular.

How many of these WOs are DIs so might have a vested interest? Asking for a friend

How many of those involved in creating the fieldcraft policy and syllabus are FCIs? How many involved in the first aid policy are First Aiders or Medical Professionals?

I’m not sure the point of your question?


In my experience none, the SASC dictates via CTC Frimley Park and we follow

At least the ACF have Professor Sir Jonathon Van-Tam as their medical person.

Fieldcraft policy is not dictated by SASC or Frimley, it’s written by TDT at HQ RAFAC.

The new policy that is coming is based on feedback from the training needs analysis that was completed so in theory everyone has had chance to feed in. Designed and written by people who are experienced FCIs and hold many other Quals in the area.