Uniform standards... discuss


I would think that your average cadet officer wears their number ones more often than the average bod in the armed forces, and we’re supposed to keep a once off issue forever.


As part of OIC there was a bit for Uniform fitting for No1’s - I said in my old role I got a brand new tailored 1’s and they were just broken in… save so money? The frowns I got, along with “but you are entitled” this was said several times - I had to convince them and the tailor I did not want them, its a waste of taxpayers money! You would of thought I had just disrespected HM the Queen with the looks and attitude…


The tailor from Turner Vir who probably make a tidy profit on each set of uniform sold?


Yeah, well they made a profit from the previous one :slight_smile:


Sounds like a plan…

Having trouble getting new uniform for free?

Get a friendly WWO to sign a Chit to say you can’t wear your uniform, and bounce it up the chain of command.

You’ll either get a brand new set of uniform, issued and tailored, or you can parade at the unit in civvies for ever more, whilst maintaining rank and pay…

Win Win??


If you really want to hit the headlines, get someone to take your picture and then email it under a nom de plume or put it on SM under similar, with words of disgust and outrage. I expect you’ll feature in plenty of talks.

At our last few staff conferences, the WWO stands up producing noise similar to adults in Charlie Brown and puts up pictures all gleaned from SM. Then starts to issue threats, forgetting they are talking to adults and not some awe struck 14 year old.


It seems to me that WWOs forget they are talking to volunteers and enjoy acting as the powerful boss with the firing finger despite being a volunteer them self…



Not all of them do, but remember that those volunteers (just like the WWOs themselves) are bound by the regulations that they agreed to follow.

Volunteers can choose whether or not to participate. That is all.
The actual activities will typically have a string of mandated aspects, be that H&S requirements, admin tasks, uniform rules and so on that are not open to arbitrary debate.

I wonder if your wing staff standards are so poor that the WWO perhaps feels they need to take that hard lin; simple guidance isn’t working. Perhaps they are staffed with people who believe they know better and who blatantly ignore what is laid down in front of them.

Or perhaps the individual is a nob. It happens too.


If you are in uniform it should be smart, clean and wearable. If it does not fit change it. The standards have dropped considerably over the last few years. On my local Wings Day Parade at least three officers were in No2 dress with no jumper. Obviously their No 1 did not fit. It is a disgraceful image to present first to the cadets and secondly the general public.

Would you expect your civilian employer to provide clothes for you to wear at work. You can always exchange kit when on Annual camp, most stores will do this.


In my days as a WO I do not remember anything like this, it seems that we have a pile of the problems in the Corps and rather than tackling the hard bits, it’s the things that don’t affect delivery opportunities that seem to attract the spotlight. It might well be that they can’t do anything to affect the big things, in which case turn the light off and lock the door when you leave.
it’s all well and good saying these are the rules and setting the rules. But unless you are willing / able to remove the problems, do not criticise.
With uniform the RAF can’t/won’t supply us, so IMO they have to either put up or supply us.

We have rules that we use online systems, ignoring the fact that squadrons had to buy the necessary means to use / access these. When squadrons weren’t what happened rather than seek to help remedy the problem, it was all big stick. We have a unit that still doesn’t, due to it’s location, have a telephone line in and uses mobile which is patchy. The COs at the squadron have found it a strain as they have to do it all at home.


Civilain employers do not say you must wear something specific, if they do they supply it. If you work in a company that insists on collar, tie etc they don’t say it must be this or this, you go to your favourite shop/online supplier and purchase.
Do the empoyees of virtually every shop you walk into buy their logo’d garb?


With uniform standards, the standards are set.

It is generally possible to remedy most of the issues (get a shirt that fits, remember how to wear it, replace that hat etc.) and if it is impossible to sort it, don’t wear it. You will serve as a better example if you refuse to wear ill-fitting or tatty uniform than if you make do and whine about supply issues.

Don’t expect everything to be handed to you on a platter, free of charge. Especially officers, as you ain’t entitled :slight_smile: Your paltry UUA and your massively-inflated VA will cover that!

It is something to stay on top of. The supply system moves at a snails pace so finding out the sunday before a parade that your shirt is too tight is a failure in preparation.


I do buy things but then use them in my normal wardrobe. Shirts I buy get used for work and ‘greens’ used in the garden. If they don’t give me it, it’s mine to wear as and when.
My wife constantly jokes that I’ve got nearly as many clothes as one of our daughters and it gets worn nearly as often. She reckons we could get lose a set of drawers and wardrobe, if I left the ATC.

Why shouldn’t we expect to be issued? OK UUA you could argue, but VA no, that’s recompense for being expected to stand around and go to places, as uniformed staff, that as a CI, I wouldn’t go anywhere near.

I must admit to struggling getting my legs into shirtsleeves, and, trousers never seem to work putting my arms in the legs. Getting dressed is a real minefield.

They were there, when they could have done something more productive. If the Wing bods were on the ball could have assigned them to do something.
As for the general public, don’t think for one minute they would notice or care and likewise the cadets. There seems to be a lot of rubbish about the general public noticing things, when we largely play behind “closed doors” and if we are at a parade, it’s more of a nuisance value, as we may have closed the road. I’ve seen a couple of parades where the march is through a pedestrianised town centre, which only seemed to create an obstacle course for kids on their pushbikes and the rest of the people, just went about their business, cutting through between ‘flights’ to get to the next shop and from the expressions more fed up that their day was being disrupted. They couldn’t care less what you look like.

As said before we should lose the N°1 and just be in jumpers, which would solve a lot of problems.


Is it? I think that a decently-maintained, well-fitting No 2 would be fine for public duties and the public wouldn’t notice at all.


Volunteering should be cost neutral but the RAFAC it is not.
The CAC is very keen to point out that we are all volunteers and do not have RAF commissions any more.
If I wanted to replace my No1 with my UUA then it would take about 20 years to save up enough to pay for it. Then we have to wear No 3 uniform for many of the activities we undertake, even more out of pocket.

How many have bought extra No3 rank slides for from cadet direct at £4.50 a set plus postage and while they were at it got spare for their GPJ to avoid the faff of swopping tapes over from jumper the jacket.

Home to duty we loose six miles on every trip. More out of pocket expenses.

Many who volunteer put their life and soul into the RAFAC and spend not an insignificant amount of money ensuring that the cadets get the best out of the RAFAC.

Costs for being in the RAFAC the last year
No3 uniform for Nijmegen because the rules no longer allow blue shirts and lightweight OG trousers.
Wedgewood blue shirts online because it is cheaper than driving to St Athan.
Some Adv Trg kit to replace wear and tear.
Driving to activities that do not attract traveling allowance. (Sports, Nijmegen)
Travel to my sqn for any activity because the corps does not pay for travel from home to unit for activities.
Printing in my house
Use of my WiFi on my phone on parade nights because our broadband is playing up.
Driving to my sqn to open up for contractors and RFCA visits.

The list is pretty long, much of what is done is with the good will of the volunteers. If the corps lost this then much of what goes on will be lost.

The RAFAC and the CoC needs to better manage they way it supports the volunteer because the nature of volunteering is that you can stop at any time


Why shouldn’t CRAFAC tighten up on “shabby uniforms”?. If people cannot accept this they are in the wrong organisation.


I don’t have any issues, as long as there are mechanisms to support any affected volunteers, be it free uniform replacement (for officers), or paid for tailoring.

Just telling a volunteer “That looks Gash - get it off, and don’t put it back on until you’ve sorted it” isn’t likely to improve anything.

There seems to be the tendency to forget that we don’t all live on an RAF Base, and we can’t just nip over to stores on our lunch breaks.


I totally agree, but the whole point of the CFC was to align the terms and conditions of SNCOS and Officers of the RAFAC. We all should either get UUA or all get free exchange.

There were a lot of grand plans for the changes that the CFC would bring. The only things that have changed is that officers have lost their VR commission (and all of the rights privileges and responsibilities that goes with it) gained 2 sets of CFC rank slides and in ACP 20 VRT has been replaced with AC. Nothing and I mean nothing else has been changed.


I think there’s a balance to he had here - absolutely fine to make sure if you’re wearing a uniform it needs to be up to scratch. I wouldn’t expect a cadet to wear something shoddy so why would I?

Equally, there needs to be some understanding about the challenges of ensuring you have a uniform - it’s not as simple as just taking something in to stores tomorrow for us, especially if you live a long way from your parent station.

You can’t expect people to wear a uniform and then not provide it for them. Either you need to accept it won’t be perfect all the time, or you give people the means to replace when needed. It sounds like the letter does the best thing it can, given the commandant doesn’t have the money to keep giving people stuff and makes allowances for people that can’t buy or replace new.


There are many who do not like for formal parades and struggle with getting them right. The amount of times I have had to step in because an officer from a hosting sqn does not wasn’t to shout the orders.

This letter will give many on the corps a valid reason not to turn up to a parade. The e-mail to the Wg Cdr copying in the WWO will go along the lines.

I will not be able to attend the 100 parade on the 5/6/10 because my No1 uniform has been attacked by moths and does not meet the required standard for public use. I will endeavour to save up my UUA and purchace a new set as soon as the funds are made up.

A thousand apologies

Sqn Ldr AN Other
OC 1234 (Anytown) Sqn