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


I think the argument people are making is in favour of a rank structure, but opposed to two.
So instead of having an NCO structure and an Officer structure - with all the inherent rivalries and one upmanship that the ATC has somehow inherited - you have a single adult cadre.


But surely with everyone being part of RAFAC rather than VR(T) and ATC, that has brought everyone closer. There is clear progression from Sgt upwards to Officer Ranks. Some roles are NCO specific and some are Officer specific. There is nothing to stop an NCO leading at any level, especially when they are the SME, but everyone has managers and that is more of the role that (some) officers take.
It is an interesting debate, but surely no one would want the massive upheaval such a system would entail so quickly after all the other recent upheavals


I think having one cadre would lead to a top heavy rank structure. Everyone wanting to be the top dog in the same boat.

It doesn’t work in the military, so why would it work in a military themed organisation?

Current system works, aside from the lack of volunteers. No need to re-invent the wheel. Especially as @LeatherWorker said, we’re all under the one banner of RAFAC now anyway.


For the record, I’m neither agreeing with them nor advocating that approach.

There’s a reason the two strands exist and it does work, I tend to use the analogy of the difference between tactical (NCOs) and strategic (officers) thinking.


In which case go the CCF route and get rid of the NCO’s, if it works for them why not for us?


My thoughts here:

I think we should organise the NCO Cadre differently.

I think cadet service should end at the age of 18 in line with the other cadet orgs. I think we should intoroduce a couple more ranks into rank structure (SAC for 2 years then Cpl for 2 or 4 years). The reason for this is that at 29 years old and a warrant officer thats as far as i can go for now until the day i call it a day…and i have no intention on going comissioned. Those extra ranks will just pro long the progression keeping CFAV engaged in developing themselves …yes i know some if not many will think thats more hoops to jump through.

I think there should then be a HQAC application and assessment method for SNCO roles as in theory they should be a management role within a sqn or wing similar to officers…in theory that is. So would you want the SNCO population of the same “calibre”

Now thats my thoughts…time to get shreaded for my opinions


@1993 makes a valid point about the application processes we have and how onerous they are; one for CI, one for SNCO and one for Commission, none of which apart from the CI one actually mean anything. The others are solely meaningless administrative processes.

With one uniform stream you would apply for and join as a CI and then for uniform if you wanted. The latter isn’t with any particularly pre-set role(s) in mind, it is just to go into uniform. Once in uniform it’s up to the individual to decide what happens next, as opposed to being a SNCO which has its preconceptions and Commission which has its preconceptions. I know a few WOs and I was one, who saw that SNCO was a dead end street and even now get to WO in 8-10 years and stop unless you are well into drill and see that as your raison d’être for the next 10, 20, 30+ years. The only option is to commission which what me and at least a dozen WOs did. Ironically I bumped into a bloke who is a FS on another sqn in town this morning, he was saying he’s done long enough and enough things to be eligible for WO and completed the matrix. His OC has said he’ll recommend him and so will his WSO, although he still has to do a Wing board. But he said he’s not really convinced he can see the benefit to him personally, as what can he do as a WO, it’s the top of pile and nowhere to go as he’s not excited by drill. He said he doesn’t want to commission as it just looks like more aggro. He’s in a real quandary and he said his wife has told him to jack it all in and do something else if he wants.

I’m sure I’ll be corrected but in the Police and school everyone starts at the bottom, although as I understand it the Police have a fast track scheme. There is no one joining as an “Officer” or “OR” and there is nothing really assumed about the “role” you will play initially, as there is in the armed forces, and it seems to work and worked for some time. The people who want to do more, do, and those happy enough don’t go for “greatness”. I’ve known many who joined the Police and retired as PCs not wanting promotion and similarly with teachers.

@Valiant How many do you see in this log jam wanting to be top dog now?

Sqn Cdr is ‘top dog’ on the sqn, and in many ways is like a week old fresh cream cake … you can’t give it away. If a single stream did mean more people wanting it, can a bit of competition be a bad thing? For a few years we’ve had OC and WSO put up to be applied for each time there have been one apply, two if they’re lucky as people see them for what they are poison chalices. We were away on a DofE when there were 2 OCs in the offing and 4 Flt Lts and 2 Fg Offs with nearly 200 combined years, were not at all interested. Not surprisingly the ones that do apply are those who people have thought would get it anyway, especially the WSO ones.
But the applications have pre-requisites in terms of rank / seniority, so limiting the applicant field, remove the rank and just have seniority / experience as per a one stream and if it opens it up to more people, can that be a bad thing? Plus if it’s just a job title and no rank, people in all probability would see it as do it for a couple of years and pass the baton, rather than sit there long after the excitement has passed, purely as to get rid of it you effectively have to leave the organisation.


You work with them day in, day out. Whereas in our organisation, you could go away 10 weekends in a year, a week in Spring, Summer, and Autumn, and work with a different team each time.

And do you know what… Before you’ve even learned someone’s name, you’ll have a rough idea of who can do drill, who has more experience, who is more likely to be able to admin, who has previously held the most responsibility, who is _most likely _ to be capable of people management, who is more likely to enjoy getting amongst it and who is more likely to prefer to take a step back…

In a pinch, you can make an immediate choice to delegate or report something to because something fits the role on the shoulder.

The rank structure is efficient. Joining it isn’t, but hey.

Think I’ve seen a Sgt Regional Sports Officer?

WO is a management position in itself and there are a lot of avenues that you can take. You don’t need drill to be a WO in the RAFAC and I know a few like it. They do, however, line manage the NCOs, take overall responsibility for discipline, lead courses, develop both NCOs and new officers, they have a certain gravitas and most have earned the respect of those around them before they’ve even opened their mouths (although some do lose it thereafter). Seems to me that your friend might not be put off by the position, more that they’re disenchanted with the organisation.

People keep coming back to a variety of workplace scenarios - “the boss doesn’t wear a badge”, etc… (except in Tesco, McDonald’s, Costa, building and engineering, factories, and many other examples where the management wear a suit, different shirt, have a “manager” nametag…) But they do have different departments and there could be two departments that have completely different roles, but their roles are interlinked. For example, one department handles strategy, the other department implements it. Both departments have a manager (OC/WO), maybe one or two supervisors (FgOff/FS), and then worker bees (Plt Off/Sgt).

Let’s take a simplified view of a construction site - architect department lead delegates a project to a designer. Site foreman is responsible for the overall implementation and site management, but has a variety of trade teams on site, each with their own line manager.

Chippy has a problem, raises it with his supervisor, supervisor can’t fix it so raises it with foreman, foreman checks with other relevant trade teams and comes to the conclusion it’s a design issue and not a site issue, raises it with designer. Designer needs authorisation to change design so goes to department head who clears it… All gets passed back down the chain.

That’s what we do. There’s role creep and room for SMEs and teams that act outside of the main structure, but within a wing, within a Sqn, you have your planning and admin roles, and your implementation roles. Two teams with a clear structure within the structure.

(and a new designer would be daft not to listen to the views of an experienced foreman).

Our structure fails greatest due to lack of numbers, but that doesn’t mean the structure is flawed or that changing the structure would resolve the issues.


Bottom line is - why fix something that isn’t broken? I really don’t see how one cadre would work, imagine the switch over for that? We lost staff with the commission change (all be it wrongly IMHO) nevermind with something like this.

I think it would make us even more alienated with our parent service.


It needn’t be fully broken for us to see if it can be improved.

That said, let’s have a few years where we don’t fiddle with the core structure of the organisation and allow things to settle.


I think there will be a small tweak in the next 24 months…from what ive heard and the surveys on sharepoint the cadet service ending at 18 will more than likely roll out


That is something I can agree with, 100%.

Maybe we can deal with other more prevalent issues such as gliding.


This is something I can also get behind. Yes, there are some great activities and fun still to be had at 18 year old. But at the moment, it seems we treat 18+ cadets like adults when we need them to be and then cadets when we feel like it… this was particular in my experience not so long ago as a 18+ cadet.

Squadrons do not do enough to develop staff cadets in preparation for them becoming staff. Not from what I have seen anyway. I have a staff cadet flight sergeant that is the assistant training officer to assist me, which, I believe goes some way in preparing him to become staff, as this is something he has already expressed that he would like to do.


A sound principle but it would be nice if some of the hoops new staff have to jump through are either removed or simplified. Ive found another volunteering position since leaving the corps and all I needed was to produce my DBS which is still valid.Its early days but im looking forward to the coming year(and yes I still do keep in touch with my old staff.)


Slightly off-piste I know but I’ve thought there was merit in reducing the cadet maximum age to 18 but also reducing the minimum adult staff age to 18 and having a 2 year holding period whilst individuals got to know the staff side of the corps prior to then applying for a uniformed role (or not) from the age of 20.


The age reduction yes but at the RWO conference 2 years ago the proposal was to introduce Cpl(RAFAC) aswell as lowering the CI age


I completely disagree with any “you must spend X amount of time as a CI before you can go into uniform”. We shouldn’t be using 1 size fits all, some new staff are keen to go straight into uniform and if they have the ability then why are we discouraging them. (Unless you are the sort of person for whom discouragement seems to be a calling).


So what about when they are on a station, where do they eat and sleep? Accomodation is at a premium.


Yeah im not sure of the details but that was the proposed plan


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