On the other thread there has been a fair bit of criticism of the FTRS posts being handed out to ex regulars with little to no experience of the cadet forces.
Is it possible for VR(T) (or in the future RAFAC) officers to apply for FTRS?

If not should suitably qualified cadet staff be allowed to apply for at least the cadet related roles? [I can think of Regional Commandant, 2FTS, CAC]
Would this help to put some people’s mind at ease about these posts being paid full time?
I’m on the fence on whether this should be allowed but leaning towards no.

VR(T) are not eligable for FTRS roles, covered in AP3392 Vol 7 Leaflet 301.

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The rational for ex forces for the jobs listed is that they have experience of the system and bring the experience of the RAF to the RAFAC.

In practice I see little to justify the status quo. The last person at the top who had any practical experience of the ACO was Air Cdres Moulds and Stuart. I would say experience of the volunteer experience trumps service experience.


Thanks for that. I assumed it was the case but Google was bringing up a lot of nonsense, I obviously missed that one!

Silverback I guess my thinking is that in an ideal world having ex forces in post would help to cement and make use of the relationship with our parent service. With none of them in the CoC it could help the drift leading to a full on split. But that’s an ideal world. In reality are the FTRS doing this? Perhaps we would be better risking the relationship with the RAF (look at where we are now) but having commanders who understand what we do.
Genuinely interested to hear what people think.

The obvious answer is that as HQAC is where the volunteer meets the parent organisation, a mix of people from the two is going to bring about the best results.

However, given the performance of the ‘experts’, both in terms of dealing with the parent service and the volunteers, I think it’s very difficult to say with a straight face that the ACO needs the skills that the existing FTRS pool brings.

If a new commission can be brought about - however cack-handedly - then the rules on FTRS within the ACO can be changed…


Lets also look at WExO’s & ARC’s would we rather have career civil servants in those roles, if yes should they become Squadron Leaders or stay as civil servants?

Or do we want former regular officers who have been through Staff College (so Sqn Ldrs or equivalent).

Or do we want VR(T)/RAFAC taking this on as a full time job. If the latter should they have a minimum rank? What if they fit one of the prior catergories? Should a RAFAC Sgt, CI or Plt Off who is employed as a Civil servant be allowed to apply for a post and if successful should they immediately get Sqn Ldr?

That’s one thing that’s always slightly amused me. At work as a Grade 7 civil servant (Group Captain equivalent on the slightly odd civil service /military equivalency) I’m a few steps above them. But in cadets I’m a long way below them. On a couple of occasions recently I’ve had to have professional dealings with WExO of a neighbouring wing to the one my Squadron is in. All in all was a bit odd when I saw them at a Regional do a few weeks later. (More for them being confused as to how to dial to me)

Personally I think some experience of cadets should be a pre-requisite to the role, even if we allow direct commissioned entry as a Squadron Leader.

Interestingly, our WExO is former RAF and RAFVR(T), amd thus has experience of both sides.

I don’t know which wing so don’t know how it works in practice but that sounds like a perfect combination (on paper)

The whole point of FTRS is that the service retains skills, experience and training of a long serving individual without the training burden of new people - it is not an alternative entry scheme. This is why there is an exemption for ex VRT to be considered for FTRS gliding posts in exception as there is not regular gliding experience. Be careful what you wish for - if it is decided that a post doesn’t need ex regular skills and experience then guess what happens to the RAF funding for that post…

As an aside, all FTRS individuals are subject to pension abatement rules so it is no way a path to riches, if people were after the money they would go to industry and retain all their pension…

32 y/o grade 7? Is that a special civil service scale or the traditional scale?

In one of the professions where you enter at grade 7 due to the need to be able to deal with senior policy clients and have them listen to your advice. (In much the same way professionals can skip a few ranks in graduating from Cranwell)

(and I’m only 31 :-p)

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How unusual

Not particularly.


Just two examples of where you can enter in a higher grade /rank due to professional qualifications. Come to think of it, assuming you didn’t do a gap year and went straight from the LPC to your training contract with the GLD, do a year as a legal officer you could be grade 7 at 25.

[[quote=“Nickel, post:10, topic:3423, full:true”]The whole point of FTRS is that the service retains skills, experience and training of a long serving individual without the training burden of new people - it is not an alternative entry scheme.[/quote]
So where is the hard evidence of these service skills, experience and training, other than fetlock tugging?
[[quote=“Nickel, post:10, topic:3423, full:true”]Be careful what you wish for - if it is decided that a post doesn’t need ex regular skills and experience then guess what happens to the RAF funding for that post…[/quote]
If by this you mean we wouldn’t have these people, I cannot see a downside.

Does this mean that their pension freezes on leaving? Fair enough, I’ve got mates who have been redundant with final salary pensions that have frozen, but what they have done is loaded ISAs, personal pensions, investments etc with redundancy payouts and pay from the next job. If the FTRS in the ATC aren’t doing this (and probably another job as the ATC role can’t take anymore than 2 days a week) then they are stupid. Regardless it is an opportunity to feather nests, without too much of a job.

I’m assuming that your talking of cadet staff with no military experience, not those that are ex-services, who would be eligible by virtue of previous service?

In my opinion - no.

Any leadership on the flying side needs to deal with the MAA, and I would say that only people who have been immersed in the Military Flying world would be suitable, which would preclude pretty much anyone who isn’t ex-RAF.

As an organisation, we could become very insular and incestuous, if we allowed volunteers to apply for all of the senior leadership posts.

Now, if you were arguing for FTRS to be allocated a post on a squadron, and put it in their contract that they parade at least two nights a month, well, then I would agree with that!


The situation we have currently is people sticking their noses into something they know little about … ie ex RAF personnel into ATC matters and frankly making a proper dog’s dinner of it.

Whereas we might not have extensive military experience, we do have people who work in roles across a broad spectrum of areas, who can bring these and general cadet experience into senior ATC roles as well as any ex RAF member bringing their military experience. At the very least we need to have people from the cadet side who can tell them to think again, when they start on about doing things.

Just to keep people happy and in jobs, the flying side could have military experience. But for how long will we need this?

Now that is an idea I like a lot. Perhaps mandate a certain number of weekend events a year as well?

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I’m not sure someone paid to work within an organisation can be classed as sticking their noses into something, but hey ho. :wink:

Part of the problem is outside of our sphere of influence - The RAF is driven by the MOD, who are driven by the government of the day. If there is no understanding of what we do at those top levels, then any policy introduction or change may adversely affect what we do, regardless of the experience of our HQ staff, or how much they object. See the CFC, for instance.

To balance that out, RC North issued a decree that Wings were to stop inventing policy. He reasoned that there were enough rules and regulations already, without Wings adding their own. His letter empowered squadron staff to challenge any rule that restricted their ability to do something, that was otherwise permitted by national policy. So an example of a FTRS Officer acting to enhance the experience of our cadets.


Not just two nights a month, at least once a week and weekends.

But you’d want it done in such a way that no one knows who the are, otherwise it would be spoilt.

Then ping them if they don’t comply with the minimum hours, like happens to people in the Corps.