Why does the CCF(RAF) generally don’t get along well with the ATC?

In fee-paying schools, CCFs are often substantially subsidised by the school - usually in the form of hidden subsidies, like free use of buildings, land, staff time, support staff, etc. This was one of the challenges of CEP, as this was usually unknown to the military CoC who wondered why the new units were struggling. This can also breed resentment when an ATC unit is waiting months or years for maintenance, and a CCF can get it done in house in days.

“God” was the school headteacher… and generally there wasn’t much involvement with Wings.

Well yes, it was nothing at all to do with Wings until very recently, and the school head teacher is still ‘God’ in the sense that they are the duty holder for any activities on the school site (under H&S legislation).

Oh, you think us mere govt-funded mortals could afford such a luxury…

It’s the Hair, the Class System, the Privileges, the self-confident braying public school accented voices…
…at least in the old days the posh boys and girls had an Empire to govern and wars to fight, for the overall benefit of British society. What do they do now to justify their schools’ charitable status? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Deliver the cadet experience with out having to do all the ATC bureaucracy & actually have qualified teachers to deliver lessons? :wink:

On a slightly more serious note my ATC Sqn has a better relationship with the CCF than the local ATC Sqns. No ego or any of the stereotypes & they have helped us out of a hole on a couple of times when the ATC Sqns have refused.

I think the CCF get quite a raw deal from RAFAC as they don’t get the same level of resources & are often forced to try act like an ATC san when that’s completely in appropriate.


I think in the long term the Astra changes will benefit the CCf(RAF) in terms on nearer & closer admin support.

As long as ATC volunteers are not part of their chain it will be fine as otherwise it will result in a lot of resentment.


Activley sharing resources,infrastructure and opportunities in both directions is a must

While remembering that if those resources belong to the school (which in most cases they do) then any sharing has to be at the discretion of the head teacher.

And here we have the problem…

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Its not what you know :wink: ive learnt dont be an idiot and local CCFs are happy to help


Well, I’m with you on CCFs reducing paperwork to a minimum in order to get things done: the RAFAC seems to think each ATC Sqn has a full time Personnel Management Centre, like in our parent service.
My irreducible core of prejudice remains the Hair, tho.’ However, someone in the CCF unit at our local Hogwarts seems to have gripped that one: they haven’t been turning up on the last few Remembrance Day parades looking like Hairhead Platoon (US Army in the 'Nam circa 1971, and other horrid 1970s NATO conscript peacenik armies). Before then, I thought there were auditions for a musical theatre production going on … “This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius!!” :crazy_face:

…I’ve got that song in my head now.

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In my experience, from the cadet’s perspective, the ATC/CCF issue tends to boil down some CCF units picking and choosing the regulations they want to obey. Particularly in regards to ACP1358, as its not that uncommon to see CCF(RAF) units that issue No1 dress to cadets not entitled to it, in some units it seems to be issued to almost all cadets. This one definitely seems to be a private school issue, as I doubt you’d see a state-funded school funding No1s.

Similarly, at an event one year I spotted a state-school CCF(RAF) cadet wearing a CCF(RN) badge and a CVQO badge on his brassard. I gently brought it up with a cadet SNCO I got on well with, who essentially responded with the “he’s earned it, he can wear it” and paid no attention to the fact the badges aren’t recognised under PTS or authorised to be worn on RAFAC uniform. It’s generally little things like this, where a small minority of CCF units are either unaware or ignorant of rules, that tend to annoy ATC pers. Mainly as if we wear No1 unauthorised or wore incorrect badges, the WWO would be down on us like a tonne of bricks, but CCF seem to get away with it.

Add to that the issues of CCF LCpl’s asserting authority over ATC Cdt’s on events like RIAT, which I would be fine with if the rank wasnt handed out quite so liberally by some units. Afaik, they also aren’t required to attend NCO courses, unlike most wings (though I don’t fancy the debate about the efficacy and necessity of enforcing NCO courses - I personally think they do little but restrict the opportunities of rural or disadvantaged cadets - but surely either all cadets should do them or none?) Plus the issue of u18 CWOs, but I don’t want to open the staff cadet can of worms once more.

tldr - Most CCF units are absolutely fine and a joy to work with, but it’s understandable for pers to have a subtle disdain for the ones that seem to think they’re above it all #OneRAFAC

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Seems appropriate to add this here…


Right, you are free to resume the discussion… :wink:


my goodness… I’m showing the other CCF cadets that on the next parade night as the flight JNCO :joy:

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I agree with the LCpl issue, in most cases, the rank is just given to the cadets that have been in long enough but most of them have done little to none, though it may only be a section-to-section thing but in my opinion, those OC that “gives out rank” are terrible ones.

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It’s a lower rank than Cpl so of course there will be more handed out per 100 cadets than Cpl in the ATC.
There is a big difference between sections as to how it’s handed out. Some being stricter than others - but I saw the same when I was in the ATC. Some squadrons were stricter with promotions than others. I remember going on wing camps and seeing Sgt/FS from other squadrons that would never have been Cpl on mine.

What I am against in the CCF is the continued promotion by year group that you see in some older contingents. Where everyone in L6 gets a JNCO rank, everyone in U6 gets SNCO and the senior cadet gets CWO (or tri-service equivalent) regardless of whether they are good enough. But as I said above, you can see similar on ATC squadrons where someone gets Sgt or FS simply because they are the best of a bad bunch.

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Me too, and it’s specifically discouraged in something (can’t remember which publication though).

We put cadets who stay in after their compulsory service year through an MOI and JNCO cadre which they have to pass to be promoted to LCpl. Those who fail typically leave (and find another activity), so that can result in all Y11s being LCpls, but only because of the failures leaving. So sometimes what you see isn’t necessarily promotion by yeargroup but a pruning process.

That said, I often (and recently this has happened) get pressure to promote lower 6th cadets to Cpl ‘because the other sections have’. I don’t… but they don’t like it!


It was the old CCF ACP 31 and in the syllabus section. The one that required certain classification and leadership/adventure training before promotion, and that technically required OC TEST approval for promotion to FS and CWO. I still think it would be a good model for a revamp of the classification syllabus.

IIRC Part 1 was the same as first class. You needed to have this and some leadership experience before becoming a JNCO.

Part 2 was leading plus formal leadership training. You needed to have this and complete an NCO Cadre to get Sgt. Later they added instructor cadet to this requirement as well

Advanced was one senior/master exam plus an adventure training course or specialist course (GS/FS/ACLC etc). You needed this for FS/CWO.

My section don’t get LCpl unless they demonstrate leadership qualities and won’t advance beyond it until they complete MOI.

To pick up Sgt and above they need to specialise in an area of the syllabus, our SNCO’s do the bulk of teaching of the Cadets as it was back when I was an ATC Cadet.

The hair/facial hair thing… yeah it’s an issue. We are a State school fwiw, but I find it a tricky one to tackle as those that insist on mega barnets and straggly chins see CCF as a school club activity. Different mindset to my driven Cadets (& ATC).

The rule for my Section is that if you want to represent the Section away from the School, then you must abide by the dress regs.

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