What do I do next?

Hi all, I don’t want to cause arguments, I just want help with what to do with my remaining time in the RAF Air Cadets.

I age out in November, but my squadron staff aren’t running VPN’s and I have tried to organise running/planning them, along with other emails regarding my progression and no response. what do I do?

I would like to get CWO, and when I age out, I would like to continue as a Uniformed CFAV. I would love to stay on my current squadron due to it being the closest for me. But, would it be worth transferring to reach my goals?

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks for reading.

Its good to start planning now.

If firstly reach out to your OC about your desires and specifically the Uniformed CFAV thing… Get that paperwork in now as the hoops to jump through are quite time consuming.

In terms of transferring I always recommend but don’t force that Cadets to CFAV try some time on a different Sqn firstly to help build thay seperation from being a cadet into CFAV and to really get a perspective on the bigger picture of the organisation


Do you mean to reach CWO by November?

It’s very hard to advise on this because CWO is a wing appointment and not squadron, so a new CO may not be happy to recommend you with so little time knowing you.

Furthermore, you have to consider the wider context of everything going on at the moment in the country.

It will not hurt to have a conversation with your current CO. Alex is right and planning now is a smart move. Some people advise transferring to get a taste of another unit so to speak, however it isn’t normally expected from a CI.

Speak to OC is first step to understand the options available to you.

Consider how many staff you have, or think you will have post lockdown. When I came back as staff the first time around the squadron I was on had an OC and a few nice old chaps that would do the odd lecture or project but it was me and the boss doing 95% of activities which with the planning took up nearly all of my spare time. A few cadets aged out and went straight to staff, rule at the time was minimum 6 months away from own squadron, and nearly all left within a couple years. In the next few years there could be a number of life reasons that affect your ability to commit and you don’t want the added stress of feeling you have to be there and burning out.

Personally I decided I had outgrown the cadets at 17 and went off to pursue other things. I know of a number of my former cadets who left or aged out and then came back after a couple of years and are proving to be valuable CFAV.

I am guessing your 19, so CWO would maybe add pride would give you an additional 2 years as a ‘cadet’, why would you want to do that and not start the process to CFAV when you turn 20?

The paperwork and process now is quite onerous so you should be prepared for that although some may already be in place with you being a staff cadet.

Good luck whatever way you decide to proceed, I can sympathize as one of my own children is in a similar situation and will have lost almost the entirety of their last 18 month.

Edited remove misinformation :slight_smile:

Being blunt, with everything going on, in the nicest possible way don’t get your hopes up on becoming CWO. Granted there is a personal pride element, but I only just missed out, and hasn’t affected me long term.

Speak to your OC though and explain your intentions, I would be biting the hand off anyone in your position who wants to be Staff. And if you need a bridging period between age limits, become registered Civ Comm…

Eh? I thought everyone stopped at 20 now, regardless of rank?

They do. CWO staying to 22 finished with the LASER review back in 2003ish


Thank you all for your help.

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God I’m old

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Sorry my bad, not fully back yet but thought it was still the case as I had seen on social media Cadet Corporals going to CWO so thought that was the reason.

Thanks for enlightening me :slight_smile:

What it should actually be now is everyone the majority finishes at 18. You should only be staying to 20 if you are acting in a staff role…

The mental shift hasn’t changed yet though so ‘age out’ is 20 in most people’s head, but actually the age out age is 18, unless you are deemed suitable to stay. That’s how my OC wing worded it. The default is leave at 18.



  1. Speak to your OC
  2. They might put the CWO paperwork through despite the current circumstances if they think you’ve earned it, WCO might agree
  3. Don’t hold your breath. Usual expectation is at least 12 months of being useful left (although not circumventable) plus any extra conditions or restrictions as part of whatever your wing’s approach to CWO promotions has been since March.
  4. Consider requesting supernumerary at another unit at least for the duration of virtual parades
  5. Talk about your options for CFAV, process, expectations, opportunities, etc. Ask for the application paperwork, return ASAP (keep a scanned copy).

When you say no response, do you mean blatantly ignored? If so, I can’t see how speaking to your OC is going to help and you may have to go above (or speak to your Adj/Trg Off).

To add to what others have said about CWO: it’s overrated and, apart from an ego boost, I found it to be little different from FS. Of course, go for it, but if you don’t get it (which may be out of your control) then don’t be too disheartened.

The age limits for RCivCom are the same as CI


This just sent me on a rabbit hole quest to look for more detail. But you are dead on correct!

You can be a civ com member from 18 as per ACP 11, but RCivCom is the exact same as CI as per ACP 20!

The more you know :smiley:

I whined how confusing it is on another thread a while back :wink:

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Looks pretty clear to me :wink: Not confusing just a bit silly! :sweat_smile:

I thought I read somewhere that RCivCom was being removed?

I find it odd that at 18 you could be declared unsuitable for an extension of cadet service, be too young to be a CFAV but could join the Civ Comm and be elected chair and essentially be in charge of the money for the squadron.


Well my apologies, I am behind with the info on that, as we have used that in the past ourselves.