Why even bother with 2 streams of uniformed service...?


Anyone who’s a direct-entrant SNCO goes through OASC, regardless of trade.


There are plenty of SNCO Walts running around. There are valid reasons for SNCO and Officer streams. They are different jobs with an emphasis on different tasks. If you scrap it, then the organisation would struggle greatly.


Why would it struggle?
The only struggle would be for those tied to ranks and all the BS that goes with it. These constitute the walts.
I could only see it as a benefit as it gets away from the pre conceived notions of what particular ranks do.

The way the Air Cadets is currently if transferred to the workplace would have a system of only people with degrees can become managers, (which never has or will be the case) if you transpose degree for commission. We struggle to get people in as staff no matter what and I feel that coming in as an outsider you see two lots of uniform and it creates a confusion as to which way to go. Have only one and all you become is an adult uniformed instructor and not an Officer or SNCO with the set pre-conceptions about what each does.
So rather than 3 streams (4 if you include Reg CWC) Ci, SNCO and Officer, you have 2 (get rid of reg CWC) and it would be much less daunting.


The way things are in most wings these days WOs and SNCOs running sqns is getting to be a normal occurrence…


well it doesn’t . . . join the scouts, or the boys brigade, or st johns ambulance etc etc


But with a single uniform strand you could do that without the hassle of another application process, just acquire the experience and bingo. As you say currently as a SNCO you wouldn’t even be in the starting line up to become a CO, regardless of your want/desire/suitability to do it, if they had an officer floating around to arm twist to do it.
But this all pie in the sky as it would never be considered as there are too many inside and outside the Air Cadets tied to their precious ranks and all that brings.
Also with a single strand it makes possible a flat VA rate for all adult staff. No ranks n,o preconceptions.


The DE Air Operations (Control) Sergeant role does involve OASC selection. Successful candidates still complete the common Non-Commissioned Aircrew and Controller Initial Training Course at Cranwell (formerly NCAITC) after RTS at Halton so are selected to a similar standard as the WSOp’s.



Some have argued that OASC with it’s Hanger Time / Planning Exercises / Group Discussion / Board is excessive when compared to the Wing Board of SNCO.

I agree, it is excessive when compared.

I don’t think either is the solution, that meets the need of the organisation.

Those who want to become an Officer / SNCO want to develop and progress (or want to claim some VA) or wouldn’t be applying. I would scrap all Wing Boards, as the majority of wings run some type of “Pre Uniform Training”.

Following successful completion of this training, which acts as the Wing filter, candidates would attend a Region Assessment weekend, with different assessments based on stream applied for, this would include an interview. The panel would be an OC Wg + WEXO / RC + ARC. At no point would candidates be assessed by members of their own Wing.

Results would be advised within 2 weeks, and should be made by the “Board” on the weekend, although not advised to allow for processing by Pers.

Where we struggle to recruit CFAV, I don’t think the issue is just with uniformed CFAV. Nor am I convinced that the choice of SNCO v Officer stops people from applying for either.

Nor do they have OASC for their staff, but this is a legacy issue where CCFs were in private schools, and the teachers would never consider being an SNCO.

They do receive limited support from the FTRS TEST SNCOs and occasionally will have a Full Time SSI at the school.

I think they should also have SNCOs, and fall into a similar selection process as per the ATC. The issue will always be where History Teacher 1 has to be part of the CCF as part of their Job Offer, but why not as a CI?

@tmmorris what’s the story for Army / RN Section Staff?


yes it does…

there are RAFAC Officers (who are Volunteer youth workers) who are going through OASC which is a RAF standard to reach.

It might not apply to all (see Scouts, St Johm’s etc) but what justifies the need for OASC for the role of a RAFAC CFAV?
what makes the role of a RAFAC CFAV so different to other youth organisation volunteers the RAF Standard should be applied???


we’re in the cadet forces. the entire point of us to to give the cadets the “experience” of the military, therefore our volunteers need to also mimic the military structure too. we should have similar qualities as that of a real RAF officer in order to provide that experience.

my point was that if you don’t want to go through oasc, join another organisation.


Or become an SNCO or remain a CI…


well yes . . .


In an ideal world, units would have a structure with several NCOs and officers, with fairly delineated roles (but still very much playing to their strengths and interests) - as it is we’re not exactly there, but I think that the current system still works pretty well.


Current minimum for regular commissioning is 2 A Levels and 5 GCSE’s, not a degree.


Except we pick and choose which qualities we want, so it rather diminishes that effect.


I think this is the most suitable suggestion. It’s also easier for volunteer staff to attend who have work commitments etc.


I agree and do see your point

But are those qualities any different to those held by the SNCOs or indeed CIs?

Are those qualities not held by other leaders of other youth groups?

What specific element of the RAFAC “experience” are we’re aiming for which requires the need for OASC to test for?

Are our VGS pilots put through the same selection processes as “Real RAF” Pilots to gain that same “RAF experience”?

Do they complete the same aptitude tests (or a shorter RAFAC equivalent) as a selection process to become a VGS pilot?

Should we not apply the same ruling for all those CFAVs who wish to instruct and have them pass through RAF Halton’s NCO course (or a shorter RAFAC equivalent) instructor module to learn about instruction?


But it’s the minimum as we can all probably testify someone with more will be looked upon more favourably in the sift.


My resistance to get rid of the two streams of uniform is more corporate, put simply one of the aims is

>To provide training which will be useful in both the services and civilian life

Ok so that “service life training” comes in many forms and doesn’t need an understanding of rank to understand how to use and rifle a rifle, radio procedures or how to structure and deliver an adequate briefing. However if we remove the rank then where does it end?

With no ranks which follow our parent organisation’s format why bother with the uniform?

With no Staff ranks why have Cadet ranks??

If that occurred we’d be better placed to adopt a more Scout based “uniform” with much more casual approach of a uniform shirt with some unit/local county identification badges on and perhaps the odd qualification badge – more like a No3 uniform.

The RAFAC is not a recruiting organisation for the RAF or the MOD more generally, but a proportion of our customers (Cadets) do decide on that route. I don’t see why we [the RAFAC/CFAVs] should purposely avoid offering an experience and in many cases working knowledge of rank and the knock on understanding and experience of leadership and responsibility?

I believe the CFAV structure should match that of our Parent Service, the RAF.

We wear the same uniform, and offer experiences, teach skills and understanding which are relevant to the RAF and Services generally (and in many cases civilian life too) why shouldn’t we have a matched, although RAFAC relevant, equivalent structure?

We fire RAF equivalent rifles (L98A2), we fly in RAF Basic trainers (Tutor), we use RAF Facilities (RAF Stations for camps and weekend courses) so why ignore the RAF’s basic method of structuring a team?


How many average squadrons can you think of with more than one or two Officers and SNCOs? Locally I can only think of two and only one where the OC is an additional officer. But he has said he has been battling with Wing to keep one of the officers as they want her to take a squadron, but she isn’t keen and he obviously doesn’t want to lose staff. The squadron they want her to go to CO is due to emigrate later this year, but has an experienced WO who could run the squadron with his eyes shut. However due to the system, wing are reluctant and the WO isn’t keen.
This is where abandoning the two uniform strands for just one without formalised “seniority” would mean there is no hiding or people just put into a role because of the badges on their shoulders. Theoretically at least you get the best available person for the job.
Our Wing lost the best Wing Shooting Officer it never had, a SNCO who was tireless and really, really enthusiastic and because of the idiots they made the Wing Shooting Officer who completely overlooked him, he went and shooting suffered and never has recovered. Again, no exclusive grouping due the badge worn and round pegs for round holes.