You know what really grinds my gears? The Gears Strike Back


When you consider “DPM” has to be scrounged and if on the day you go to the stores (I’m loathe to call them supply) someone was just in and took it all or they’re told we can’t have it.


this is how it is and has been for “DPM” since day one. I feel for those who have privately purchased the different patterns over the years. But I wouldn’t actively suggest people buy it.

This is somewhere the RAF hasn’t got on message about their beloved Air Cadets.
But it works as too small as they grow, as they don’t have the right sizes. I’ve seen and had cadets who have grown upwards rapidly and their trousers look like they need an invite from their shoes.

Until supply responds to demand cadets will wear whatever we can get.


Its more of a generalisation on no3 dress overall… its so hit and miss across the organisation. I dont challenege cadets on the quality of the kit or colour boots etc…its self purchase so they get what they can afford. However i feel that if the org want us to govern this standard of dress, cadets should be issued it.


Why? It was perfectly acceptable for the 20 or so years it was issue uniform. After MTP came in, we were offered a ton of the stuff, including waterproofs, most of it still in packets. I probably have enough still in my stores Issue to new recruits for the next 4 years…


Same. I’m not going to ask people to spend money on MTP when I have shelves of DPM in the store for free.
They can if they wish to, but I won’t be pressuring them to without a very good reason.


So why did you talk about it being the ‘brand’?


Same here, cadet joins and will then get issued blue and DPM uniform. Normally within a few months they will have bought MTP. I then ask for the DPM to be returned.
I also tell them if they are going to get boots to get brown for the time they purchase MTP.


Why not black, which can be worn with both according to the rules?


That is the way I go, both in advice and in person.


Because brown walking boots can be worn fieldcraft, and AT? Black tend to be in “Hi-leg” format, which the AT crowd don’t seem to like?


Not sure you can wear ankle boots with uniform - the trousers won’t “blouse” correctly for one thing.


Because cadets will always and to look ally and get the Gucci kit.

Plus brown boots will also go with Adv trg kit better than black. Brown boots were specified with MTP, the only reason that black boots are in the regs is because so many squaddies had Gucci black boots for DPM and continued wearing them with MTP.


I issue DPM because like everyone else we have shed loads of kit, only a handful of my guys then go out and buy MTP. (I make it very clear to the parents hat they don’t need it).


Er, the RAF for one continue to issue black boots (all safety boots tend to be black) and virtually all RN personnel wear black boots in MTP as that’s the only colour that can also be worn with RN PCS.

Not convinced by the AT argument - brown Altbergs are exactly the same as black ones other than the colour. I certainly wouldn’t have any issues with a cadet wearing them for AT.


I’m not making cadets buy anything - I said that there’s now a good amount of MTP out there to go around. I don’t know of any Squadron in the Wing that’s made anyone buy it and we’ve got 99% in MTP.

I know of Squadrons elsewhere that fundraised specifically for its purchase by the Squadron when it was first permitted for us, but that was a bit extreme for most and we certainly didn’t go that route.


Your Wing must have very good scrounging skills as we can’t get any for free


The reason our AT crowd dont like the “hi-leg” boots is that they are utter garbage, I have a specific roll of duck tape with me to repair when the sole decides to fall off when you are 5 miles away from the bus on the side of a mountain.

Its not as bad when you hear that they got them for free or for £5 down the car boot. It bugs my life when they paid £60-£80 for them at the local army and navy store when they are probably used and 10+ years old.

Parents just dont listen when we tell them to come speak to us before buying anything so they dont get ripped off.


The problem with the colour of boots is not with most of the AT crowd. Being one of this crowd, quality, comfort and durability is far more important than colour. There are some people who obsess with the “you can’t walk in combat boots” mantra, which is rubbish!
But there are also people in the “playing at being infantry” people who are just as obsessive about colour of the boots used when they are wearing Soldier fancy dress! I say it like that as none of the Soldier fancy dress is issued! Some is scrounged, most of it is bought by cadets and their parents.
We can’t enforce dress standards unless the uniform is issued. I was always told that to have more uniform would come at the cost of gliding places… But that is another Pandora’s Box!!


What’s a Gliding place ??




The old assault boots certainly have issues with the rubber perishing - but the current high-liability boot range is absolutely fine. £40 on the used market will buy you something at a quality you’d probably have to pay £100+ for a civvy pair.