The Staff Cadet debate.... Again

GMG: The recent letter from Chief of Defence People, endorsed by AOC 22 Gp and CAC. It recognises CFAVs work during Covid but not staff cadets, despite doing the exact same role.

Uhh, it doesn’t mention CFAVs at all. It just says “dear volunteer”. I’m not sure which bit you’re not happy with?

other than “To all Cadet Force Adult Volunteers” above that :wink:

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D’oh! Sorry, I missed that. I’m still not entirely convinced it’s something to be too upset with though. We are the only org with staff cadets that I’m aware of, and no other branches are specifically mentioned either. There’s no thanks to the civilian committees for example, although there could well be.

I would start considering that staff cadets are in fact “cadet forces adult volunteers” as they are meeting all of those requirements. They are adults in the cadet forces volunteering to take on and lead activities and events.

I would certainly see this as an occasion when staff cadets are CFAVs


ACF do too in some areas now.

Indeed. Perhaps I’d be more accepting if it wasn’t a recurring issue.

Where else is the issue? I’m not trying to bait you, I’m just trying to work out how big a problem this is and whether there is anything that can be done to help

I’ve not seen this letter but generally this organisation has a problem with using correct and inclusive terminology


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I’ve spoken (read: ranted) about it in other topics, but essentially it is the issue of not recognising staff cadets as CFAV. Even in casual conversation, “staff” has the connotation of being exclusively those over 20, despite staff cadets being the only ones with “staff” in their title! It is part of the issue of not valuing staff cadets for what they often (but admittedly not always) are: volunteers. The culture of thinking of them as cadets and not staff leads to them often being treated poorly, such as by talking to them like 12 year olds one minute then asking them to supervise said 12 year olds the next. It also has various policy implementations as HQAC forget staff cadets are a thing. For example, we don’t even get home to duty when we could (as an extreme example) be running a course with Flt Lts on it being paid VA. Now I think of it, perhaps they don’t want staff cadets to be “official” CFAVs as they’d be the only uniformed CFAVs not in receipt of VA.

Long story short - the organisation needs to recognise staff cadets as volunteers, as that’s what they are (as you point out).

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Damn right. Look forward to sharing all the admin :smiley:


No different to CI’s… or what gets me is when I was told to change activity at an event for what I thought was “operational issues” whereas it transpired that someone else wanted my activity so they could claim VA…

Personally, I think the staff cadet issue is so complicated we would be better off not keeping cadets over 18. Have a stop at 18, become a CI for 2 years and go into uniform when you hit 20. Done.


Except for wearing the uniform

In terms of VA.

Indeed, wasn’t really my point though. We’d still be more out of pocket than CIs in that situation.

Exactly, so if we didn’t have 18+ cadets, and you became an 18/19 year old CI you could claim travel…

Edit to say; that really isn’t that big a deal though… I don’t think the travel allowance actually does cover my petrol costs!

Perhaps; that’s been debated at length elsewhere. We should still be valuing our volunteers now, regardless of their age.


I think the biggest issue right now with the whole staff cadet issue is that there are some great staff cadets, and some who are still very much cadets. We’ve got some who are out getting qualified in all sorts. Some of these staff cadets are practically running events by them selves, putting in more effort than the majority of staff put in. Those guys and girls are amazing!

There also though still seems to be some staff cadets who without staff cadet written on them, you’d just assume are like any other cadet. There-in lies some of the problems.


There’s a common complaint that staff treat staff cadets like staff when it suits, and like cadets when it suits… In my experience it is the other way around.

Staff Cadets want to be treated like staff, but they want to be able to be as unreliable as a cadet when it suits them and can’t be relied upon.

Out of all the staff cadets I know, there is only one CWO who is really worth her weight in gold on a neighbouring squadron - running cyber courses etc and really getting stuck in.

Otherwise, I think they would get more out of their volunteering, and the organisation would get more out of them as CI’s.

I was a Staff Cadet CWO back in the day and I don’t ever recall me or any of my mates getting bent out of shape like some of the modern Staff Cadets seem to. We’d take things on, on our own volition, be given things to do and we just got on with it, we didn’t need recognition or any such thing. If the modern ones don’t like it, the door is an option and come back when they’re 20, but many seem too attached to the unform. If not, suck it up and carry on. Believe me you don’t do this for thanks from anyone up the chain and if you do you don’t think it’s heartfelt. The only thanks worth anything is from parents and or cadets.
The only reason we are getting any thanks is that we have saved some MoD jobs (not mentioned), by doing things over the last 7 months and continue to do so. They aren’t thanking us out of the goodness of their hearts and never have done. It’s all so hollow.