Uniform for teeny, weeny 12 year olds

So, we have had 12 year old cadets hanging around on Sqns for a few years now, and I thought I’d just ask, how are people finding sourcing uniform for them??

Whilst most 12 year olds do fit into uniform, we seem to have an increasing number of really, really little recruits - and we simply cant get uniform small enough!!!

No MTP. No blues of any size. And definitely no coveralls.

We’re at the point now where, in a few instances, we (staff) are tailoring uniform to fit. And taking 5-10cm off the various dimensions and still not really getting close!!!

Do we really ask them to parade in school uniform until they hit a growth spurt???

What are other folk doing?? Ideas welcome!

Even when you request the smallest of smallest sizes you never get them!

It’s a nightmare! We have a handful of action me…sorry small cadets. I can only give them the smallest uniform we can order. Parents without fail say the shirts are long and like nighties…they were like that 20 yrs ago but not much we can do. I’ve had parents just look at the sizes and say they won’t fit my child without trying them on.

I have no idea what to do except maybe say we are struggling to get uniform ordered in and they have to turn up in school uniform which I don’t like seeing cadets wearing either. We never wore school uniform years ago when I were’a lad. Don’t get me started on cadets wearing their school uniform they been wearing all day :nauseated_face:

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I mention it to the parents on the induction powerpoint that the RAF dont make kids sizes so a bit of self “make do” will be involved

Small cadets have always been a problem, but since the lowering of the joining age it has got worse. We have parents say they will buy uniform, but as we tell them these are the sizes they make and they can’t buy smaller.
There is another area where the RAF fails its supposedly much loved and vaunted cadets … the teenage growth spurt, especially girls although boys aren’t much better.
We have had two girls who have topped 6ft and are not “willowyl” the longest standard size skirts still look short and slacks, forget it.
I’ve also seen a general trend in boys getting taller in the usual teenage way of random spurts.
I’ve been at a number of events and there are boys who look like their trousers and shoes have had arguments, but at 6ft 3+, I doubt they will get anything from the standard list.

I can’t believe this growth isn’t making its way into the regulars and the RAF and others making the larger sizes, without resorting to special measure, after all not everyone wants to join Guards’ regts. I would also suggest that the larger girths are provided for. It is quite interesting that there are cadets (many female) who wear skin tight uniform due to their size ratios and avoid comment, which if they were adults the barbed online responses would be very evident.

I remember during my spell as stores IC, I had a parent come down and have a right go at me saying that I was refusing to give her son uniform that fit…

I proceeded to show her my stores and the smallest uniform we could possibly give him. She quickly hushed up!

I feel this is something that wasn’t taken into consideration when lowering the age restriction.

Funnily enough the cadet in question is now one of the tallest there and this was only two years ago.:joy:

I would say I’m surprised (plot twist, I’m not) that HQAC haven’t taken a leaf out of the SCCs book and given a “junior uniform” the youngest. Just black trousers branded jumper and a beret.

But that does look absolutely appalling.


Any worse than massively ill fitting uniform?

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I knew plenty of regulars in with me who were 6’4+ and outfitted perfectly normally with no extra fuss, so where does this extra stock go?

I’m 6’6” and all of my uniform is standard…

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There are small sized PCS uniforms available, aged 12-14, designed for be ACF. Though not especially cheap, Sqns can get trade prices.
If cost is an issue could the CivCom purchase and loan out, or have a buy back scheme when the Cadets grow? I know we are a Blue organisation but having some uniform may be better than none.

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Of course “officially” one can request ‘outsize’ uniform; but if we are to be realistic - by the time it arrives the cadets will have grown out of it.

I have a few particularly small cadets at the moment whose parents have had the smallest uniform altered to fit.

I suppose that the ideal solution is order the smallest sizes, then take them to a tailor to make them smaller.

Not a particularly cheap option though.

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The junior uniform you are referring to is for junior section units in the SCC aged between 10 and 12.
So they still have the same issue when the cadet turns 12.

Also surprisingly not every unit has these junior sections, I know our local SCC unit opted not to have the junior unit as it would be too much problematic for them.

Thanks for clearing that up.
Not massively familiar with it, just seen it on occasion.


Not a problem, I wondered too a while back until
I found out.

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For whatever reason and this is at the crux of this small or larger, Air Cadets seem to be disregarded when it comes to uniform issue, despite being larger in number than the RAF overall. So while there are people taller than cadets in the regulars, they can go to stores and get it and even as taller adults it’s probably easier, but getting uniform for any size for cadets is oddly problematic. If you were smaller or larger than the set sizes if serving you could go for a tailor’s parade and get the uniform sorted, in fact I imagine it would be insisted on. Could you imagine pitching up with a dozen little cadets and getting them measured and the uniform made.

I just think if the RAF and HQAC in particular where they ramble on about the cadets being the light blue footprint there should be more effort on their part to ensure that they supply. It’s another unfortunate situation where we are stuck with crap supplier and service and no ability to go elsewhere.

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It must depend on where you are parented, if we order an issued size it turns up within 4-6 weeks no issues.

Like us but 4-6 weeks, (although the last two have been 2-3 months with no explanation) is poor in a day and age when I can order something today and get it delivered tomorrow. Why we have to order it from a set place and pick it up from that place and not order it online from a central store (where we can see if it’s available) and then get it delivered is lost on me.

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