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


Lack of control usually = poor leadership/management


If people really didn’t want to wear a uniform they could go the registered Civ Com route which is effectivly what CI’s were supposed to be.


Make life easy and combine the two?


i was always thought they were intended to be a “civilian contractor” - get the local mechanic in to teach about engines, or a representative from a model club, radio group, flying or other to teach elements where specialist knowledge, skill or experience is required - certainly over and above the “typical” staff member’s “common knowledge”


Which is the way I see registered Civ Com members (certainly the ones I have dealt with) they come in do something “special” and then go. Far closer than the current system of CI’s who are doing everything that NCO’s or Officers do.


I’m a fan of CIs. When we’ve had cadets age out and stay on as staff, it’s valuable to give them some separation from being a cadet and let them go get some life experience before jumping straight back into uniform.

But then, we’ve had the luxury of having a few members of staff, so I appreciate that’s not going to apply to everyone.


I only see the CWC as a group looking after welfare, either on an individual basis or for the unit, which is not necessarily simply financial support (fund raising and distribution of that) and management.

CI’s are the “special ones” – they have a skill, knowledge, experience or qualification. They come to unit to delivery it and then go. But over time they haven’t gone and have stayed for the benefit of the organisation


There is a chicken and the egg issue here, some will say that CI’s have taken on more responsibilities due to a shortage of uniformed staff, others will say that there is a shortage of uniformed staff because we have allowed CI’s for more responsibility than was originally intended.


In my case, I have took on the training officer role as a CI in preparation for a uniformed role later this year (hopefully). Although, the person already doing the job was a CI who had no intention of going into uniform, but we only had the CO as a uniformed member of staff until recently.

Quite frankly, this CI couldn’t wait to hand me the reigns. So, I don’t think CIs don’t want to be in uniform for the reason of already doing exec roles etc.


I’d say 80/20.


Maybe originally but it’s now a self fullfing prophecy.


Yes and no - I think if we managed to get hold of a lot more uniformed staff, then the situation would revert quite a lot.


I have no preconceptions as to what “ranks” do what. When you run a squadron, when you only have you as the officer and maybe one SNCO you delegate jobs to people, as long as they are prepared to do it.

The preconceptions are within the higher organisation, if not anyone would be a CO, Wing CO or “in charge” of drill/discip, but no you have to be of a particular uniformed persuasion unless of course there are no other options or the people in the offing aren’t considered up to the job.
However by not having the formalised structure that we do, anyone could be in a role, based solely on experience / ability not rank. How many complain that so and so (mostly sqn cdrs and WSOs) shouldn’t be in the job, but when put on the spot about it, they don’t want to go into the specific uniform stream, remove the uniform streams we have and those doing the complaining can be offered it (as long as they are in uniform) as they would nowhere to hide.

You can see this is a non-runner as it presents too much of a loss to some who relish their pseudo rank and what it brings them. But we need to do something to rejuvenate the organisation and maybe this would be the thing, as long as people were able to cope with their loss of status.

I think the whole just be uniformed idea is a just as much as a non-starter, costs if nothing else would be prohibitive. As for the ACF my oppo was saying they were looking at a CI type role for old uniformed staff to keep them in and not lose the experience / skills. He has struggled to get anyone in as staff and he said people weren’t keen on the amount of things they have to do and he loses cadets about the same age we seem to, for the same reasons, so doesn’t have the older cadets coming through.

I’m unconvinced about losing CIs from the equation altogether, the fact that people can just do what they feel they can do, is the true volunteering experience, not what we have within the uniformed side, which although never enforced is not really volunteering in its rawest form, regardless that most of will do 12 hours in two weeks and just keep doing it.


I once marked drill at a wing field day and after a Sqns performance the CO approached me and appologised for the standard that was delivered. Firstly fair play to them for appologising. But the main excuse was they claimed they had no SNCO on Sqn to train them. I did point out that anyone can teach drill aslong as its taught correctly. Not even using the mutual just a copy and replicate type of teaching. But it does show that as much as that as drill and dress is a SNCO responsibilitiy the CoC expect that structure to be in place to utilise it.

Even as a drill instructor i would encourage if you had no SNCO aslong as you teach it correctly anyone can teach drill…


Hay I like this one, was advised back in 2010 that all major activity IC had to now be held by an officer so was removed from post. The reality is they did not follow it through all the other activities in fact they now have more SNCO/WO holding primary post. I far as I am concerned that only meant one thing that I was seen fit to carry on the role which by the way I had been doing for the last 15 years.


There was a Wing in L&SER who had a CI as WATTO. (Either Sussex or Surrey if I remember correctly) Middlesex Currently has an NCO WATTO. There are certainly NCO DofE Officers out there too.


Very much wing dependant. But they are quite happy to have officers holding 2 major primary posts.


I would think primarily it’s if the officers feel they can do the roles.