Uniform for teeny, weeny 12 year olds



Most Stations don’t hold stock anymore, so you order from them and they order from the Supplier direct. It’s government procurement not Amazon.


So why not cut out the middle man and we order direct from the supplier and get it delivered?
Unlike the High Street where online buying has been catastrophic, the blokes in the stores will still have a job.


I watched the ‘Junior Evolutions’ at our local SCC AFI a couple of years back. Cute, and worthwhile for them, but not the same thing - but it didn’t pretend to be: they clearly ran separately.


One of many things that wasnt taken into consideration when the tower dwellers lowered the minimum age requirement.Another example of a knee jerk reaction to a problem instead of planning for it first.Same as the badges fiasco.


It’s not just uniform though.
Something that has come up since lowering the joining age is the reinvention of the GCSE which seems in most subject areas have exams based purely on content and in order to get through the content our local schools at least now have kids ‘taking options’ from Yr9, making GCSEs a 3 year course. OK HQAC have no say in this, but it means we’ve lost what was looking like a two year cushion between joining cadets and GCSEs starting.
I was an advocate of lowering the joining age for years, as I always did and still do get most enquiries from 10/11 year old and telling them oh you can’t join until you are 13 was never a good message as you could see them heading for “The Scouts”. Saying to a youngster in Yr7 whose birthday is July that you can join in Yr8 doesn’t sound as bad as you have to wait until you’re 13, which to them is a lifetime away.
I do feel that no one ‘prepared the ground’ for kids joining at 12 in the September of Yr8 and as now, I have cadets who have done 4 years and only just completing their classifications ie Instructor Cadet, whereas under the old joining age, they would have still potentially had Master to do. Now they leave at 15/16 having had a 3 year spell in the Air Cadets which is about average time to be a member, but this doesn’t lend itself to encouraging them to stay on.

There needs to be top level management reappraisal (with input from squadron staff) of what makes the Air Cadets so special, that kids have to wait to join, when they can join “The Scouting” organisation when they are younger and do the majority of what activities the Air Cadets do, before they are old enough to join. Such as our neighbour’s grandson who at 8 has done more shooting (albeit Air Rifle) in a few months, than many, many cadets will do after two years.


It is on this thread!


Why do we stay tied to the RAF when it comes to sourcing uniform?

With a bit of upfront capital, the ATC could run an Online store similar to Scout Shop and then plough the profits back into the cadet experience.

Instead we’re happy to give 3rd party companies that money?


We stay tied as we get it for free…


1 - it is a system in place which, when the moons align at least, works
2- it creates no extra effort for anyone in the RAF/HQAC other than perhaps processing some request forms - which is no different to the RAF doing the same
3 - it requires no training for HQAC or the RAF - its part of someone’s day job

the RIAT Camp has its own “online” (well Facebook) shop for RAFCT/RIAT Branded clothing which is on offer for those attending camp.
I am not sure how much effort, man power or logistics it requires but could be a stepping stone to larger things?

in truth if we were told uniform could be bought online for reasonable prices would we pay it?
Cadet Direct, Cadet Kit shop and others already do that - they are kept in business so there must be enough demand out there but what marketshare would be needed to keep the purse strings happy at HQAC?
how many orders would need to be made to keep the “shop” viable to pay for the staff required to man it?


We don’t give anyone any money when it comes to uniform that’s why we stay tied to the MOD!


Tha vast majority of my cadets could not
Afford school uniform let alone cadet uniform so from
My point of view it’s a non starter


I believe it was going to be tested to put uniform into RFCA’s for the wings in Scotland who are a billion miles away from a base. All was well until they asked what we were going to pay for the service. As we pay nothing RFCA’s rejected doing it.

In my mind its the best solution if you move away from an RAF base to either put a uniform into wings (like the ACF do at county level) and have a quartermaster at wing level or into the RFCA’s. None of these things will be free and we simply do not have the money to change from the current solution.

I currently order uniform by-monthly to try and link it in with our visit to AEF or put a request out to a local squadron to collect it when they are in. I dont normally have any problems.


What I would like to see is the option to have uniform delivered to any military location rather than just your parent station stores, they don’t hold it anymore so why can’t we just order it through parent station have it shipped to our local TA Centre for example.


it is being done now as we speak. However it isn’t a person per wing its a person per RFCA area. There are some issues but it seems to be working reasonably well


But this is why at “HQAC run shop” should be a separate entity to HQAC, perhaps run as part of the General Purpose Fund Charity, with the profits returned to the chairty.

That provides a few benefits:

  • We don’t rely on the moon being the correct alignment, just order it as we would any other shop online.
  • It would still require no extra effort from HQAC itself.

@steve679 As you’ve pointed out, there is obviously a market for uniform and kit, otherwise these 3rd parties wouldn’t be in business.

@daws1159, @big_g, obviously that is a conversation that civilian committees as Sqn’s and perhaps (my preference) Wing level would then be having. To support the the purchasing of kit by those who can’t afford it however they deem best.
Perhaps Wing’s or Sqn’s spend some income buying back second hand kit from cadets, or get it donated back and then sold at reduced price.


they do it for reserve units and MOD office establishments so it should be able to be done.
all thats needed is the will


Why to a military location and not to a home address? There has to be one person on the staff who has someone at home during the day or as happens a neighbour takes it in.
Chances are the military location wouldn’t be open when we want to go.


Issue still needs to be controlled you can’t have Yodel leaving a box of military uniforms behind the bins/with a neighbour.

If you have a member of staff who is at home to receive why can’t they go to said Military Location during the day when they are open and collect? If you are looking at TA Centres (by far the most common military site near people) they are open during the day plus some evenings so already more convienient than what we currently have.

(Our orders are usually pretty big, not sure how my Mrs would react to 30 boxes of uniform being delivered to our house either!)


Because we’re not talking about people posting things out, we’re talking about the military logistics train. Both accountability and practicality would kill it straight off.

Daws’ idea is a very good one - uniform is still delivered from depot to stores, which the military won’t have any issue with, but it would become far more practical for most people. For example, I’m 40 miles from an RAF base or 10 miles from an Army base.


You still need to live close (within 10 miles) to a “military location” and we don’t.