Thinking of Volunteering - how to go about it?

Hello Everyone,

I used to lurk and occasional post here about 6/7 years ago now when I was a cadet (under a different name - and I say it’s has gotten a lot quieter on here…), and I’ve been looking to get involved again as staff.

I looked into it about a year ago (when I lived in a different part of the country) and I’ve lost some confidence as when I contacted my local squadrons I either didn’t get a response, or from the one squadron I did get a brief and awkward response from, they some what put me off when I went along for a visit by the staff’s sheer rudeness. I won’t go into details as it’s not relevant to this…

However I’ve started a new job so moved house and keen to try and get involved. I wanted to ask some current staff what the best way to go about it is? I’ve looked at my local squadrons websites (which have them), and most seem to be in the fortunate position of having a large compliment of staff already - would it be worth contacting the wing to ask which units may need an extra volunteer?

Briefly about me - mid twenties graduate just outside London. I was in the UOTC at university but decided a military career wasn’t for me. I still spend a couple of weeks every year with me old unit supporting their D of E efforts, but for various reasons Im unable to volunteer there full time.
Thanks in advance :popcorn:

don’t go to the unit that needs you most, go to the unit that fits you. then, later on once you’ve got yourself squared way with some experience and skills, you can go to the unit that needs you and you’ll actually be some use.

if you go to the unit that needs you (or anyone with a pulse…) straight off, all that will happen is that you’ll be overloaded with stuff and you’ll either burn out or quit.

take your time finding the unit that you fit into, get settled, get some experience on the Sqn, perhaps get some tickets (RCO, BEL/WGL/ML etc…) decide what role fits you, and then you can think about taking on the sqn from hell.

oh yeah - get used to a charming element of the ACO’s staff development policy: as a new CI you’ll be approached by lots of affable, jovial WSO’s and Wing Commanders who’ll ask you about yourself and appear interested in the answers - then they’ll ask the Holy question ‘are you interested in going into uniform?’. if you say ’ no Sir’, or ‘not at this time Sir’ (like you should…) you’ll get a hurrumphing noise, and they’ll be off faster than if you told them you’d got Ebola.

Sound advice, thank you!

Remember that it is meant to be a ‘hobby’ and don’t get sucked into to doing things you don’t want to.
The word ‘commitment’ may be used by certain people to try to blackmail you into doing things.
As a 23 years CI I have found most of the uniformed staff to be thoroughly ‘good eggs’, but inevitably there are some who have ‘Walter Mitty’ tendancies and have a power trip when interacting with cadets.
By starting as a CI you will be able to have a good look at the organisation . Many folks carry on as CI for years . You would be able to do most things that the uniform staff do , except maybe drill etc. So…don’t allow yourself to be sucked into going into uniform if you don’t want to.
I have certainly had some good fun over the years and, indeed, being a CI with the ATC led to me changing career ten years ago , going into special needs further ed teaching.
The positives seem to outweigh the negatives. Just remember it is a hobby (both for staff and cadets) and don’t be bulldozed into doing things you don’t want to or are not happy about.


We all have our faults I suppose… shame you wasted all that tax payers money invested in you to become a leader to turn away from a military career.

I jest!

Become a CI. I wont stop till my lifegoal of making all the ACO CI’s…

Think some sound advice has been handed out already. best one is go you enjoy or like to go too. Not one thats closest or needs.

I am a CI at a sqn thats a fair bit away, I think theres 2 closer but I enjoy the cadets and the staff.