Training Officer Help


I have been a squadron Training Officer for just over a month and the programme we run seems to be a bit boring and does little to motivate cadets to give up an evening to do it!

I have 2 questions.

  1. What on squadron activities could I organise to excite cadets (either internally run or visits from external organisations, free or paid)?

  2. What Off-squadron activities could I organise that are fairly easy and cheap to do on a Parade night?

I have seen a few very old posts like this, but I am after up to date ideas and comments!

Thanks for the help!

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That depends where in the country you are.

Firstly speak with your other local units and see what they do off unit, people will have contacts all over the place to help out.

On squadron you are limited, it’s all about mixing up the available bits of the Cadet experience.

Some AT, Fieldcraft, sports, lessons and fun nights mixed in to a month should mean there is always something for someone to look forward to.

check out the STEM portal on share Point. There are several exercises on there that are easily deliverable on a parade night.

Leadership/initiative exercises are always popular. Run the Blue badge leadership; all the details are in the Training Officers area on Sharepoint.

Get in touch with your local RAF Careers and get them to come along for a visit. They have a really good interactive logistics exercise that they can do with the cadets.

You could run the pre-DofE badge for your younger cadets

Teach cooking in the field and have a Master chef competition

First Aid - set up a scenario with some staff made up as casualties for when the cadets arrive and they’re thrown straight into dealing with it.

Cas Sim - teach the cadets how to make fake wounds. We got in touch with another local Sqn and one of their staff came down and taught our cadets for the night

We have a few cadets who cycle to the Sqn so a couple of our staff teach basic bicycle maintenance.

Do something connected with RAF100 - research the history of your nearest RAF Station

Involve the cadets, ask them what they enjoy doing. We have NCO nights, when the cadet NCOs run the program for the evening, with the caveat that they brief the Training Officer in advance on what they have planned, so he can approve it.

You can get some great ideas simply by looking on Facebook/Twitter at what other Sqns are doing.

Hope that helps.


Define old? This list is pretty comprehensive - Winter Activities

Many of them will work for summer parade nights too.

I took over as Training Officer in January and inherited a fairly similar situation to yourself.

The first thing I did was speak to the cadets and ask them for their opinions. I wrote down their ideas and assessed what was feasible and what wasn’t and then went back to them and briefed them on my plan for the year so we were all on the same page.

I’d echo the comments above about trawling through social media, I’ve found loads of great ideas from there.

Some of the stuff we’ve done over the last three months include:

  • Staff vs Cadets Competition - This really got the cadets interested, any opportunity to show up the staff. Our first one was a Masterchef style competition but I’ve got more planned throughout the year in completely different disciplines.
  • Sports - Twice a month.
  • DoE Training
  • Cadet Run Projects
  • Inter-Flight Nights
  • Classification Training
  • Leadership Training
  • Radio Exercises
  • STEM Nights

This week our cadets are off to visit the local Coastguard Search and Rescue station.

The above isn’t an exhaustive list as I can’t remember everything off the top of my head.

Much will depend on the resources and staff available on your squadron. For example, one of our most popular recent sports nights involved renting the local athletics stadium to train for the Wing Competition.

Hope this helps.

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