What do NCOs do on camps?

I’ve heard different things from different people, just curious.

It’s an answer you’re going to hate to hear, but it very much depends…

  • what kind of camp is it?
  • what level of NCO are they?
  • how many NCOs are there?
  • what’s the highest ranking NCO there?

There’s no single answer to your question, it’s too variable.


I encourage them to teach /lead but not at the expense of taking part in activities.

They are a vital bridge between the (younger) cadets and the staff team.


So much this.

A good cadet NCO will identify (and possibly even resolve) any issues well before staff.


Seen some camps where a Flt Sgt effectively oversaw a floor of accom.; they were my eyes and ears, my main chance of getting sleep when taking turns being the staff member “on duty” overnight, and I saw my role as making sure they were OK! they then cascaded discipline thro NCOs, got us from A to B when on foot etc., flagged up issues, pastoral needs - and grew up a lot during the week… after every unbroken night I thanked them all at parade before breakfast - while still saying it’s fine to wake me if you need to! Tried to cascade servant leadership - junior ranks to get fed first! I suspect some camps have to be very different tho…?

I’ve always taken this approach.

Generally (assuming sufficient NCOs in each) I would expect the following vague “roles”:

Corporals - making sure they are ready and prepped earliest, getting in among the cadets and helping them where required, and ensuring necessary tasks are complete and everything is clean and prepped as necessary. Reporting to the Sgts.

Encouraging the cadets to get involved - coaching and mentoring.

Primary goal is to stop things from becoming a problem by getting in there before it develops - someone isn’t tidying, sort it. Someone had poor shoes in the last inspection, show them how. Someone can’t find their tie, rally the troops…

Sergeants - making sure they are ready and prepped earliest, getting among the different corporal led groups to chivvy them up, assisting where necessary. Allocating the Cpls according to their skills or availability to where they’re needed most. Taking info up and down the chain. May have “sub flights” or a Section to control within the main flight when things split down further Or a single Sgt may be a solitary 2 I/C with a single sub flight.
Expect to have to solve problems Cpls have missed or haven’t been able to prevent. Educate the Cpls accordingly in the wake of clearing up their mess.

FSs - relaying the info down the chain from the staff, briefing the NCOs, reporting back to staff/CWO. Overall responsibility for the flight. Make sure the NCOs are the exemplars they should be and are conducting their duties for the benefit of the cadets.
Educating the Sgts if they or the Cpls aren’t pulling their weight. Further educating Cpls if the Sgts have already tried.

CWO (if present) - acting almost as a staff member, taking control of the whole camp where necessary instead of the FSs individually leading flights. May be conduit from staff to FSs.

During Drill I would expect Flight Sergeants to take the lead of flights, delegating to Sgts initially to take any break out groups for additional tuition. During activities I would expect a mix of NCOs (so in a group of 6, maybe 2-3 Cpls, or 1 Sgt and 1 Cpl, or 1 FS and 0-1 Cpl) in the group with the cadets assuming large enough groups - otherwise spread more thinly. All then expected to maintain discip and encourage and motivate.

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FS or Cdt FS


It’s a pretty small camp. 24 people from wing, 8 of which are NCOs. We’re going to the tri-service police base, and we’ve been told it’s taken pretty seriously, with room inspections and a muster parade at the end.

Forgot to add, there’s 7 Cpls (including me) and 1 Sgt

What they are told… :rofl:

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