and if you can find a post on this - or any other - forum that says that i’ll give you a lollipop.
CI’s feel somewhere between unvalued and as welcome as Ebola for a number of specific reasons:
there is not a CI or former CI in the ACO who has not had the following experience - a new CI is approached by the Sector WSO/WingCommander/other who is all ‘hail fellow well met’, asks him/her about themselves and then then asks the ‘and do you see yourself going into uniform?’ question. when the new CI replies either ‘no sir’, or ‘not yet sir’, the previously engaging officer makes a hurrumphing sound and walks away, never to speak to that CI again.
when the new CI is preparing to go away on his first weekend camp with the Sqn, he asks if he can borrow some greens, like everyone else will be wearing. the ACO says 'sorry mate, i know the SNCO (ATC)‘s who are also civilians can wear them, i know the cadets, who are children and civilians can wear them, but you can’t - so get yourself down to Decathlon or Cotswold and spend £400 on civvy walking gear, not down the local Army surplus place that would fit you out in the same stuff for £100 if you were allowed to wear it’.
the new CI, despite the above, discovers that his work pattern means he is able to go to a DTE range conference or to take over accomodation for a weekend camp while everyone else is at work, so he volunteers to do so because he’s a nice guy. when he gets to whatever MOD facility he’s going to he is required to spend 30 minutes explaining who he is and why hasn’t he got any MOD ID when he’s an MOD sponsored CFAV. the ACO says ‘sorry pal, i know you give up your time for free, and i know we give MOD ID to the SNCO (ATC) who does nothing other than shout at children on a parade square on a thursday night, but you, and your time, aren’t important enough to us to give you the same/similar ID as someone who has passed no more security checks than you and spends no more time at MOD guardrooms than you’.
then theres the issue of pay - sorry, i mean volunteer allowance… in order to drive the Sqn or white fleet minibus for other people most CFAV’s need a D1 licence. the ACO kindly provides this through a 5 day course at Leconfeild. however, its during week when most people have to work, so you could take annual leave, but that really cuts into your family holidays and your wife has already had a sense of humour failure over you being out 1 weekend in 3 with other peoples kids rather than your own. you could take unpaid leave, but you simply can’t afford to lose a weeks pay - everyone else, of course, gets a contribution from the ACO for the loss of that weeks pay, but not you, because you’re a CI.
if you don’t already know all this, and regularly send screaming emails up your CoC about how this stuff destroys moralé amongst 50% of the ACO’s adult staff, then you must be a pretty crap OC.