ACF Commission - The truth??

#1
I'm an AI of what some may say short service however, I am eager to move forward in my career with the ACF and I feel that I may be able to give the most to the kids in our County if i were to do it from the officer end of the scale. Don't get me wrong on this one, I'm not after glory or wish for people to call me "sir" or anything of the sort - I just want to be able to give as much as I possibly can to the ACF and to the kids that are proud to call themselves Army Cadets and I feel that I can (personally) give my best as an officer.

I've done the AITC and am waiting for confirmation of my AI's course at Frimley. I was a reg for just over 3 years before being MD'd and now I'm eager to press ahead with the ACF.

Can anyone tell me the truth about becoming an ACF officer without the bulls**t I keep hearing from my colleagues about time served, course completion blah, blah, blah..... Please?

It's my understanding that it is at the discretion of the County Commandant and that an AI is to apply direct (or perhaps through the CEO) to him in writing. There is an informal rule that he would be unlikely to support it if time served is less than 12 months but this ruling does not seem to be "hard and fast". I'm a professional Social Work practitioner on civvy street and, i believe, of good standing in the community but I keep finding myself increasingly frustrated with the hurry-up-and-wait attitude towards career progression that i keep finding myself up against......... Something i thought i'd left behind when I left the regs!!

I'm sure the truth is out there!!!!

Thanks for your help,
Hoolie :oops:
 
#2
The ACF officially says you can be commissioned at any time, but thats like the windsurfing and gliding in the Army commercials, really...

Its unlikely that anyone pre AI Frimley course is going to be reccomended, as this is not the ATC, who will commission practically anybody because it doesnt matter, they don't do anything important or interesting anyway.

ACF Officers today are a bit more carefully chosen, and more is expected of them.

Realistically, as you say, you have no hope at all if your Commandant doesn't support your application. Don't forget, you can be damned by faint praise too, so just getting to a Westbury Board is not enough if the board can read between the lines on whatever your commandant has written about you and it says your not officer material (whatever that is?)

I am pre-ITC and as soon as I can, I intend to commission for the same reasons you have given. I don't care if I get saluted once in a blue moon, because real respect is about much more than that. It's about knowing that when you lead, they will follow and give you their best effort. Also one should consider the important extra opportunities you can facilitate for your cadets once commisioned and for your own development and training.

AFAIK (and my Det Cdr, a SSI is going through it now,) its:

1. Application

2. Pre Westbury (Where you will be rejected/deferred 6-24 months/given the go ahead now)

3. Westbury Cadet Forces Commissioning Board (for real)

4. Published in the London Gazette, wear the pip (if you pass the board of course!)

Can all be done in a year AFAIK.

Keep us/me posted. I would be very interested to see how you get on.

And of course, GOOD LUCK
 
#4
In my opinion (as a long serving member of the ACF who went through all the ranks except RSM), you should be thoroughly competent as an SI before you even think about commissioning.

My reason for saying this? The gap between Officers and ORs is much narrower in the ACF than Regular or TA service and (again in my opinion) you need to have demonstrated the ability to do their jobs as well as you do your own.
 
#5
All the above is basically correct. More generally, to be considered by the Army Officer Selection Board for an ACF commission, you must have the formal support of your Commandant and of your regional Reserve Forces and Cadet Association, and you must have completed your Initial Training Course. Most counties will have you do a pre-AOSB training session to prepare for the board. I STRONGLY recommend that you do not go to AOSB without it!

Normally, your Commandant will want you to have shown commitment (regular parade nights, weekend camps, and often at least one annual camp) It is no longer required for you to complet the AI's Course at Frimley before AOSB, but if successful you must do it before completing your 2-year probation as a 2nd Lt in order to get your second pip.

As to time served, Commandants are increasingly identifying potential officers among promising newcomers as well as long-serving AIs. This is partly about retention of promising individuals, and also a national shortage of officers. The training is the same for AIs and officers.

For the detailed procedures, talk directly to your Cadet Executive Officer, whose staff will have to process the paperwork. He or she is the horse's mouth on such matters.
 
#6
What about retired Reg or for that matter TA officers? I only ask because a pal (an ex major) is now teaching flying in the ATC. Do Maj/Sqn Ldr Retd have to go through selection as well? Can a TA officer serve in both?
Enlighten me and others out there how it works
 
#7
Reg or TA Officers must sit a transfer board at AOSB - they will then decide whether the individual is suitable to be an officer in the ACF, or whether they need to sit the board again. In the case of TA Officers, they can serve in both the TA and the ACF, but TA must take higher priority.
 
#8
Manninagh said:
The training is the same for AIs and officers.
There is actually an increasing amount of Officer specific training happening these days.
 
#9
interesting to read this...i got "the talk" from the CEO AND the commandant pretty much as soon as i arrived! i've now been in the acf for not quite 10 months, just passed ITC last month, and have agreed to start officer training in september. (i told them i wanted to do at least one summer camp as an SI).

let's face it, not only am i a teacher (i was told all "professionals" are supposed to be asked to join as AUOs), and not only did i do 3 terms at sandhurdt (before failing, and that was 12 years ago) but when i showed up on my first night i was wearing cords, jacket and tie because i was told it was "smart casual"! they spotted me for a potential rupert that first night!

apparently i have to sit through some officer training - i'm told it's mostly cups of tea chatting about divorce. frankly i could do with skipping the whole AUO thing and get on with doing westbury asap. i saw that article in the cadet magazine last year - cadet force comminsioning is the same as RCB but without the phys, and i already passed that before!

totally take the point about being a comepetant AI before becoming an officer, but to be honest, with my experience and quals in education i piss on most SIs in this county! they had me instructing other AIs the other day!

looking forward to doing the AIs course...ITC was perhaps the easiest course i have EVER been on, so hopefully it wll be more of a challenge.
 
#10
Tourettes said:
Reg or TA Officers must sit a transfer board at AOSB - they will then decide whether the individual is suitable to be an officer in the ACF, or whether they need to sit the board again. In the case of TA Officers, they can serve in both the TA and the ACF, but TA must take higher priority.
I'm not aware of this. Certainly in my case, I was simply transferred from the Reserve of Officers to TA List B by action of MilSec, although that was some years ago before Westbury took over all commissioning. I think also there may be a time limit, but that begs the question of when does a commission expire - some would say never, because even an RO is on a list.
 
#11
massivegeoff said:
totally take the point about being a comepetant AI before becoming an officer, but to be honest, with my experience and quals in education i urine on most SIs in this county! they had me instructing other AIs the other day!
Oh come on! Teaching and instructing are NOT te same thing. I refer you to the number of utterly bone teachers/officers in the CCF.

Win your spurs as an AI before your wear 'em as a Rupert.
 
#12
I agree entirely with previous post.

Been with ACF 7 years, completed CFCB Westbury 2 years ago, and just got second pip up. I too am a "professional" but did not for a moment think that by virtue of my civvie occupation i should be deemed more suitable as an ACF officer. Thats for Westbury to decide!

My advice: be patient, put in the courses first. You ll get infinitely more respect in the long run
 
#13
massivegeoff said:
interesting to read this...i got "the talk" from the CEO AND the commandant pretty much as soon as i arrived! i've now been in the acf for not quite 10 months, just passed ITC last month, and have agreed to start officer training in september. (i told them i wanted to do at least one summer camp as an SI).

let's face it, not only am i a teacher (i was told all "professionals" are supposed to be asked to join as AUOs), and not only did i do 3 terms at sandhurdt (before failing, and that was 12 years ago) but when i showed up on my first night i was wearing cords, jacket and tie because i was told it was "smart casual"! they spotted me for a potential rupert that first night!

apparently i have to sit through some officer training - i'm told it's mostly cups of tea chatting about divorce. frankly i could do with skipping the whole AUO thing and get on with doing westbury asap. i saw that article in the cadet magazine last year - cadet force comminsioning is the same as RCB but without the phys, and i already passed that before!

totally take the point about being a comepetant AI before becoming an officer, but to be honest, with my experience and quals in education i urine on most SIs in this county! they had me instructing other AIs the other day!

looking forward to doing the AIs course...ITC was perhaps the easiest course i have EVER been on, so hopefully it wll be more of a challenge.
Get fcuking real, I bet you're a member of the NUT. Don't come on this or any other forum boasting about your education and quals because you'll receive negativity such as this, go and join the ATC and "urine" on their youth leaders!!

Ubique
 
#14
Oh come on! Teaching and instructing are NOT te same thing. I refer you to the number of utterly bone teachers/officers in the CCF.
This is as maybe and, whilst I completely accept the comments posted here so far, I must admit that I am not surprised by some of the responses. I am also a qualified "professional" and never did I think (or believe) that my qualifications or experiences on civvy street would give me virtue enough to consider an ACF commission above anyone else with more ACF experience than that which I have. Furthermore, I have worked very hard to prove myself this far and I shall continue to do so; I am in the ACF for the long haul and want to make every effort to provide the types of opportunity to the cadets in my County that I fully believe the ACF should, indeed must, give them.

If it's the case, as some people have noted, that the gap between OR's and officers is much narrower than regular or reserve forces then does it matter so much that a person is of less time served than some of his or her colleagues? After all, we are all Youth Workers and as such we surely need to prove ourselves as such first and foremost and not as SI's or officers - if we are good Youth Leaders (which, I can assure you, I am) then does it matter that a person wishes to do his or her job with a pip on their shoulder as opposed to three tapes on their arm? Some people lead and others follow - it's the job of the board at Westbury to who is what.

The ACF, rightly or wrongly, is full of Walts, wannabe's and drop-outs and so far as it seems many are, very sadly, in the role due to 1) - a shortage of AI's almost everywhere and 2) - dare I say it the financial aspect. This therefore leads one into suspecting that, regardless of time served, the ACF needs to attract and retain skilled, diligent, capable and determined individuals to bring the ACF forward for the next 100 years and, to do this, some people will want to pursue their ACF activities from the vantage point of holding a Commission, whatever that may mean.

Whilst I accept that an AI should, undoubtably, gain experience at SI level before considering CFCB, it nevertheless remains that some people should be permitted to aim for this point whensoever they feel confident and capable to do so. Many dedicated individuals come into the ACF as AI's and "shine" from the very start - they show their capability and professionalism, along with their ability to lead in the ACF, almost immediately and should be recognised accordingly. There have been some SI and SSI (even SMI's in some cases) who have been given the opportunity to 'lead' and done so horrifically that detachments have been closed down by RFCA because they were no longer viable - lest we forget that experience within any organisation is meaningless if one is unwilling or unable to put said experience into practice! The only people to suffer then are the Cadets who gain the most valuable life skills by being in the ACF in the first place!! And where's the point to that?

As i've said, I am a "professional" in civvies - not only do I hold a professional role at my place of work, but I also instruct other professionals in practice. Moreover, I teach and train in the skills required of professionals at FE and HE level; but, all of this aside, I am a professional Youth Worker when at my detatchment or whilst away on camps albeit in a voluntary capacity. These things together, I sincerely hope, will be the experiences that I (and others like me) should be able to draw upon to make a good leader from the officers' "mess"!

See, I even rant like a Rupert!!

That's all....
Hoolie
 
#15
Hoolie said:
Oh come on! Teaching and instructing are NOT te same thing. I refer you to the number of utterly bone teachers/officers in the CCF.
This is as maybe and, whilst I completely accept the comments posted here so far, I must admit that I am not surprised by some of the responses. I am also a qualified "professional" and never did I think (or believe) that my qualifications or experiences on civvy street would give me virtue enough to consider an ACF commission above anyone else with more ACF experience than that which I have. Furthermore, I have worked very hard to prove myself this far and I shall continue to do so; I am in the ACF for the long haul and want to make every effort to provide the types of opportunity to the cadets in my County that I fully believe the ACF should, indeed must, give them.

If it's the case, as some people have noted, that the gap between OR's and officers is much narrower than regular or reserve forces then does it matter so much that a person is of less time served than some of his or her colleagues? After all, we are all Youth Workers and as such we surely need to prove ourselves as such first and foremost and not as SI's or officers - if we are good Youth Leaders (which, I can assure you, I am) then does it matter that a person wishes to do his or her job with a pip on their shoulder as opposed to three tapes on their arm? Some people lead and others follow - it's the job of the board at Westbury to who is what.

The ACF, rightly or wrongly, is full of Walts, wannabe's and drop-outs and so far as it seems many are, very sadly, in the role due to 1) - a shortage of AI's almost everywhere and 2) - dare I say it the financial aspect. This therefore leads one into suspecting that, regardless of time served, the ACF needs to attract and retain skilled, diligent, capable and determined individuals to bring the ACF forward for the next 100 years and, to do this, some people will want to pursue their ACF activities from the vantage point of holding a Commission, whatever that may mean.

Whilst I accept that an AI should, undoubtably, gain experience at SI level before considering CFCB, it nevertheless remains that some people should be permitted to aim for this point whensoever they feel confident and capable to do so. Many dedicated individuals come into the ACF as AI's and "shine" from the very start - they show their capability and professionalism, along with their ability to lead in the ACF, almost immediately and should be recognised accordingly. There have been some SI and SSI (even SMI's in some cases) who have been given the opportunity to 'lead' and done so horrifically that detachments have been closed down by RFCA because they were no longer viable - lest we forget that experience within any organisation is meaningless if one is unwilling or unable to put said experience into practice! The only people to suffer then are the Cadets who gain the most valuable life skills by being in the ACF in the first place!! And where's the point to that?

As i've said, I am a "professional" in civvies - not only do I hold a professional role at my place of work, but I also instruct other professionals in practice. Moreover, I teach and train in the skills required of professionals at FE and HE level; but, all of this aside, I am a professional Youth Worker when at my detatchment or whilst away on camps albeit in a voluntary capacity. These things together, I sincerely hope, will be the experiences that I (and others like me) should be able to draw upon to make a good leader from the officers' "mess"!

See, I even rant like a Rupert!!

That's all....
Hoolie
Excellent rant!!

Ubique
 
#16
Superb Hoolie...... wish i would rant like that! You have it in a nutshell and that is why Westbury see thro the likes of our teaching friend and those with a similar attitude.

I have a colleague who is a plumber by trade, and no finer officer exists in the ACF. Ought his profession in civvie street to have excluded him from commission? Or does the fact that he is a dedicated, hard working YOUTH LEADER carry more weight? Who has also, I might add, a considerable number of years experience in the field.

There is a place for everyone in the ACF, be they ex-regs, TA or civvy. Remember the qualities of a good instructor - confidence, manner, attitude, diligence and enthusiasm? I suggest our teacher looks closely to his attitude before attempting Westbury otherwise he will find that those who are there for the right reasons are selected in preference to himself.
 
#17
Massivegeoff, talk like yours will only achieve one thing. A total lack of respect from all around you. The sort of cocky attitude demonstrated here is something I have witnessed in officers during my time in the ACF, all 18 years of it. Happily the officers in question did not last. Also, as a teacher, I wouold expect a better command of the english langage. If I was better than other AI's, I would say I could URINATE all over them. Except I wouldn't because to do it would be twisted, and to say it would make me an arrogant to$$er.
 
#18
Hoolie said:
This is as maybe and, whilst I completely accept the comments posted here so far, I must admit that I am not surprised by some of the responses. I am also a qualified "professional" and never did I think (or believe) that my qualifications or experiences on civvy street would give me virtue enough to consider an ACF commission above anyone else with more ACF experience than that which I have. Furthermore, I have worked very hard to prove myself this far and I shall continue to do so; I am in the ACF for the long haul and want to make every effort to provide the types of opportunity to the cadets in my County that I fully believe the ACF should, indeed must, give them.

I appreciate what you say here. Your qualifications and experiences may give you a head start in the ACF. But, to be honest, (and this is only in my limited experience) teachers do not make the best instructors. The youngsters meet teachers every day at school and the first hint of 'teacherness' will switch them straight off as the last thing they want from cadets is for it to be in any way school-like.

If it's the case, as some people have noted, that the gap between OR's and officers is much narrower than regular or reserve forces then does it matter so much that a person is of less time served than some of his or her colleagues? After all, we are all Youth Workers and as such we surely need to prove ourselves as such first and foremost and not as SI's or officers - if we are good Youth Leaders (which, I can assure you, I am) then does it matter that a person wishes to do his or her job with a pip on their shoulder as opposed to three tapes on their arm? Some people lead and others follow - it's the job of the board at Westbury to who is what.

If you truly believe this paragraph, why are you bothering going through the whole process of Commissioning anyway?

The ACF, rightly or wrongly, is full of Walts, wannabe's and drop-outs and so far as it seems many are, very sadly, in the role due to 1) - a shortage of AI's almost everywhere and 2) - dare I say it the financial aspect. This therefore leads one into suspecting that, regardless of time served, the ACF needs to attract and retain skilled, diligent, capable and determined individuals to bring the ACF forward for the next 100 years and, to do this, some people will want to pursue their ACF activities from the vantage point of holding a Commission, whatever that may mean.

If you believe that to be true then you know very little about your colleagues in the ACF. The whole damned job is so time-consuming, intense (at times) and simply difficult that the walts and wannabes rarely hang around long enough to get into uniform. They do exist but to say the ACF is full of 'em shows a staggering ignorance on your part. The financial aspect is there of course and is a very welcome bonus to the old bank balance. However, anyone who hangs around for the money is on a very sticky wicket. The hourly rate is well below the NMW and there are many (far easier) ways to make money. As to 'holding a Commission, whatever that may mean', well that demonstrates very clearly to me that you do need to spend a substantial amount of time as an SI before moving forward if only to teach you what it does mean!

Whilst I accept that an AI should, undoubtably, gain experience at SI level before considering CFCB, it nevertheless remains that some people should be permitted to aim for this point whensoever they feel confident and capable to do so. Many dedicated individuals come into the ACF as AI's and "shine" from the very start - they show their capability and professionalism, along with their ability to lead in the ACF, almost immediately and should be recognised accordingly. There have been some SI and SSI (even SMI's in some cases) who have been given the opportunity to 'lead' and done so horrifically that detachments have been closed down by RFCA because they were no longer viable - lest we forget that experience within any organisation is meaningless if one is unwilling or unable to put said experience into practice! The only people to suffer then are the Cadets who gain the most valuable life skills by being in the ACF in the first place!! And where's the point to that?

You can aim for a Commission right from the start of your service (I did). However, before taking this step, an individual needs to gather the skills and experience to be effective in the role. There are indeed many people of all ranks who are pushed into command appointments and find they are not particularly gifted in that direction. You will usually find that they are there because there is no-one else to do it and would love to go back to their core activity (which they probably joined the ACF for in the first place) - instructing the cadets.

As i've said, I am a "professional" in civvies - not only do I hold a professional role at my place of work, but I also instruct other professionals in practice. Moreover, I teach and train in the skills required of professionals at FE and HE level; but, all of this aside, I am a professional Youth Worker when at my detatchment or whilst away on camps albeit in a voluntary capacity. These things together, I sincerely hope, will be the experiences that I (and others like me) should be able to draw upon to make a good leader from the officers' "mess"!

All of our experiences contribute to what we are within the ACF (or any aspect of life for that matter). As I've already intimated, your experiences will stand you in good stead. Figure this, if you're an accomplished instructor (and please don't think I'm casting a question mark over your abilities), you really should consider remaining where you are - you'll do precious little instructing as an Officer - you simply generally don't have the time.

See, I even rant like a Rupert!!

I'm sorry to say, you rant like the worst kind of ACF Officer. You come across as a humourless prig who is very full of his own importance. I really recommend that you do some learning first and then think about your advancement

That's all....
Hoolie

Just for the record, I served 12 years and reached the giddy heights of SMI before applying for a Commission and have now served for a grand total of 27 years. So I do speak (type?) with a certain amount of first hand experience
 
#19
Harry, thank you for helping me to notice and acknowledge my shortcomings - something that you are clearly pre-eminent at doing. Taking advice from arm chair experts such as yourself can only lead me, and others like me, to lofty heights of greatness.You speak highly of humourless prigs which is something that you are no-doubt very qualified to do as you clearly feel yourself fitting neatly into that particular chategory also. Perhaps you notice these particular character traits smouldering deep inside your own soul? Maybe you could talk to someone about the deep-rooted hatred of all others, whom you consider to be beneath you, that you feel inside?

No one can doubt your boundless experience - Why would we? All I did was to voice my opinion as I am quite entitled to do and yet have been met by your narrow minded and short sighted opinion of your own self worth being far, far greater than even God himself. As for the questions you raise about me comments, I can and will happily counter each and every single one though I feel that this is not quite the place to do so. You may be happy to make attempts at humiliating and ridiculing others but others of us are simply content to allow you to shine in your faux glory for the time being. Where I serve as a YOUTH WORKER there are plenty of walts and wannabes' who are still only there for the money and I said so because I have to sit and endure them weekly - perhaps you would deign to visit my county some time and see for yourself the exact nature of some people within the ACF? I assure you that they are there, and, whilst I was perhaps wrong to suggest thet the ACF is "full of them" it is nevertheless the case that they exist and in larger numbers than you care to acknowledge? Or perhaps its just that your world is infinately more perfect than anyone else's?

Maybe we should draw our duelling pistols in true Dickensian style and lay to rest once and for all any notion of debate - would that suit your 27 glorious years of perfect and uncompromising finesse better, perhaps?

The inter-web is clearly a wonderland of opportunity for you to make boundless friends, Harry and you do so very well at it. So, from one humourless prig to another I look forward to another gritty encounter.
 
#20
"Maybe we should draw our duelling pistols in true Dickensian style and lay to rest once and for all any notion of debate - would that suit your 27 glorious years of perfect and uncompromising finesse better, perhaps?"

ISTR duelling was illegal by the times Dickens was writing. You don't teach English or History do you?
 

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