Uniform standards... discuss


I’m at a bit of a loss on this one. The Air Cadets already provide a uniform allowance, travel costs, and remuneration, what do you think they should do? Provide free reissue of all kit as soon as it’s a bit faded? If it doesn’t fit or looks shabby, buy new kit. If you don’t want to pay for the kit, you have two options: 1. Don’t wear the uniform either by leaving or becoming a CI, or 2. Speak to your 1-up and request some help because you are struggling financially, which is fair enough. The Air Cadets already gives the volunteer lots of money which is questionable as it is, perhaps the little money the organisation receives should be used to further opportunities for Cadets!


Two out of the three of those allowances you’ve mentioned are also claimed by the NCO Cadre, who are entitled to free replacements from stores… :wink:

Well, why not? It’s what the actual Air Force do… Besides, issuing free replacement uniform (Number 1’s aside) to the 4000 ish(?) CFC holders can’t be that much more expensive that issuing and replacing items for 37,000 or so cadets and SNCOs?

I don’t disagree - although when you see things like the pointless CI membership cards being introduced, your argument starts to look a bit shakey.

What you’ve got to remember is that the organisation needs to continue to be attractive to volunteers, and especially those willing to take a command position. Telling someone that they’re expected to replace their own uniform whenever someone else decides it has become too big/too small/too faded doesn’t really do that.


Seriously though, the issue blue uniform is so cheap, just do a day’s volunteering and your allowance will pay for a new blue suit and still leave you with enough to sit in the Officer’s mess, have a nice cold pint, and wait for all of this to blow over.

How’s that for a slice of fried gold?


What pay rate are you on???


It’s like £6 for a shirt!


It’s not whether you can or not afford it, it’s the principle of the matter.
As I said how many shop workers buy their ‘uniform’?


The two are hardly comparable. How many shop managers get provided suits? The officers in this organisation knew when they joined (or should have done) that the initial kitting is free, replacement uniform is private purchase. (Which has been the case for commissioned officers for a long time.) We are also paid more than the SNCOs which helps compensate for that imbalance in the issue position.

And it means we can do some smart accounting. Uniform purchase is a tax deductable expense!


I thought to be tax deductible it had to be for work AND not supplied by the employer. Blokes I know who are tradesmen say their tools and clothing are tax deductible as they (even if they work for a company) are regarded as self-employed.

Are you suggesting that the ATC is a job, which implies we are employed.


The issue is not around shirts! The issue is around No1s! The pictures that have caused so much opprobrium are of a large VR(T) Officer with a No1 that is too small, hence this missive from HQAC.
The problem is that SNCOs do not get issued No 1s. Officers are lucky to be given a set as an initial issue, but few people stay the shape they are when it was issued!
I understand why people are complaining. The RAF have told us all, Officers & SNCOs that we are no longer and/or never have been in the RAF. But as the RAF is now small enough to all fit into the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough, we are now the only RAF based organisation that the vast majority of this country see! The RAF have set suitable standards(which I agree with btw) but are not willing to fund this with suitable uniform support. As always you can’t get something for nothing in this world!



  • Yes, we are not employed by RAFAC for all extents and purposes except for income. Where HMRC treat them as our employers for their purposes. I also don’t pay PAYE on my VA as it would be a huge accounting issue. I declare it as income on my self assessment. My accountant was happy with both courses.


(Query, could also apply to replaced 1s???)


  • While I take the point, the letter is not specifically aimed at No1s, I would argue that that officer’s uniform isn’t too small, he’s just too large to have even considered wearing it on that day. (Or any other!)

You’re also conflating two issues, initial issue for NCOs and replacement generally. I do think that NCOs should be issued 1s, or at least WOs. it is particularly unfair now we are all one big happy RAFAC family.

I disagree with you on replacement, if we don’t fit in our provided 1s, we can hardly demand a new set at a cost to the taxpayer of circa £900! (Figure taken from the FOI request someone put in for Chris Hoy some years back: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/536580/RAF_FOI_2016___Total_cost_of_Sir_Chris_Hoy_s_uniform.pdf)

I mean, can you imagine the backlash? Imagine if the press got hold of it, £1000s of pounds BLOWN on uniforms for cadet officers who are too FAT!


Er, no it isn’t. From where do you think we got the system?


Could be worse. You could have a RWO trying to enforce uniform standards on CIs… :rofl:


Is that for real, or a wah?




I’ve heard it said that our current incumbent despairs at the dress standards of CIs and if they had their way would enforce clean shaving and those awful RAFAC branded stuff on everyone at all times.


Easy move from CIs to PIs in the same way as the ACF, then we have dress regs…


Insane. Collapsing numbers of CFAVs so a way is found to further alienate the volunteer.


…shorts too?? :wink:



Anyone suggesting dress regs for CI’s and then enforcing them needs a lie down in a quiet room.


We need to define a limit of what we consider acceptable in a cadet environment, but we don’t need to take the mickey.

Cycling shorts and lycra on a normal parade night isn’t ideal, but normal work or casual clothes is fine. If supporting an activity in public it is better (though should not be mandatory) for all staff to be “branded” - uniform for the uniformed lot and polo/sweatshirts for CI.

For a formal event I actually consider the CI branded stuff unsuitable. I have seen photos of units all in their best clobber and the CIs look like we’ve let the cleaners into the shot. Shirt and tie at an equivalent standard should be the minimum in those circumstances.