ACF Instructors, whats it like

#1
I am considering becoming an ACF instructor.
I've 10 years Reserve Forces experience in the Royal Signals and the RAF Regt.
I am a qualified junior sports coach (Rugby) so I'm use to working with young people.
Whats it really like? any advice would be gratefully received
 

maninblack

LE
Book Reviewer
#4
Be prepared for dealing with situations that will shock you. It is very satisfying, but also upsetting at times.

Oh, and remember, it is also the home of every failed wanabee on the planet as well as some of the most dedicated people you will ever meet, often those who come across as one turn out to be the other.

Just like joing the army after leaving cadets I would advise you to remeber that you have two ears and one mouth, which should be used in that proportion.

A further point, just because you have left the army, don't think you won't need a kevlar spine protector for all the knives that are about, it is just as bad.
 
#5
go for Surrey as thay ae one of the better run counies in the country. a bit slack on bullying but are getting the hang of things (didn't seem to have any set way of dealing with a situation, so no one knew what to do.). did some training with them the other year. good bunch. SW are terrable from what I have seen. even there own officers despare that thay would actualy acheve somthing. they consider it an achevement that thay have got the kids off the street. more than thats a real effort.

mib is right the number of instrutors out there for their own gains rather than the cadets is apalling so keep one eye open.

Cadets will be impressed by an ex army but the other adults will probably respect your knowlage but keep taking you to one side saying "we like to do things this way...."

Probably the most sattisfiying thing about beeing an AI is after camp when you get pearents comming back to you saying what have you done with my son. the boy who came back is tidying his room and full of energy.

well I hope that that babble was of some help.

ffw
 
#6
Really makes no difference which County you go for. All will have their fair share of ******* and good guys.

When (if) you join, bear in mind that you can't change the world in a breath & hopefully (eventually) the good guys will take over the whole thing & the ******* will fade into obscurity where they belong.

They often do anyway when they realise what people think of them.
 
#7
I went along to an ACF unit a few times and had an interview with the CO, but didn't go for it. I got the distinct impression that because I had been reg army, I was not wanted. None of the adults at this unit had any reg experience.

The cadets were a good bunch I thought.
 
#8
armourer said:
I went along to an ACF unit a few times and had an interview with the CO, but didn't go for it. I got the distinct impression that because I had been reg army, I was not wanted. None of the adults at this unit had any reg experience.

The cadets were a good bunch I thought.
That saddens me. There is a need for people with regular experience - all the ACF says is that reg experience is not necessary - doesn't mean it's not helpful though.

The cadets are a good bunch - sometimes they're all that keep you going back for another helping from the puzzle palace.
 

maninblack

LE
Book Reviewer
#9
Armourer,

It was similar when i joined. No ex regs around to speak of.

Once I got past the initial shock I found that I was treated with courtesy and respect by the older instructors and the Cadet Training Team and the immature young "sergeants" were too scared to get lippy.
 
#10
Am only a PI, so not being doing this for long, but the important thing is to make sure you realise who you are there for (i.e. the cadets). Probably from an ex perspective you'll find you have to tone it down a little, the same way I am learning to be more commanding :? ... But the people who seem to have the most fun are those who are dedicated (and not too much up their own arrses...) regardless of their history.

I have to confess that I have never met a bunch of more bitchy people, the men seem to be the worst, but as far as I'm concerned, anyone who gives up their spare time to look after a bunch of teenagers can't be all bad!! Having said that, to my knowledge, I haven't been on the recieving end of a slagging match yet so watch this space :lol:

You do get to hear about loads of bad situations, not sure if this is the same as other youth orgs, or if the ACF attracts this, and you have to be really careful about drawing a line between being understanding and getting too involved.

Finally without sounding too PR, it's the most satisfying experience in the world when after spending a w/e bossing cadets about, getting them up early and dealing with whinges firmly they turn around, smile and thank you for an excellent w/e... and there's me thinking they must hate me by now... :?

xx
W
 
#11
Maninblack is right. There will be those there who will resent your knowledge and the fact that you have already done things that they could not dream of. A lot of these are former cadets themselves, plus the obligatory schoolteachers who think they're still in tha classroom.

MiB's advice is good advice. Take it and you will find the whole thing very rewarding, despite the backstabbing that does indeed go on among the instructors.

Good luck.
 
#12
So what are the chances of a current squaddie been able to become an instructor?? Cadets was a great few years when I went as a kid, be nice to give something back.
 
#13
Forsaken_Child said:
So what are the chances of a current squaddie been able to become an instructor?? Cadets was a great few years when I went as a kid, be nice to give something back.
It depends on the attitude of your CO and the commandant of the county concerned but there's nothing in QRs to say it can't be done. Ask, the worst they can say is no.
 
#16
it can be hard work but it can also be fun, you get to do things that most people wouldn't get to do, travel to different parts of the UK for free and get paid for it, meet some interesting people also the cadets themselves can also be rewarding :D
 
#17
ACF can be the most aggravating, irritating, frustrating experience of your life - and that's just dealing with the adults. However, let all that shoot over your head and listen to the cadets. You will start off with a bunch of whinging, lazy-arsed, unfit, foul-mouthed, hormonally-swamped teenagers and, after a few months of good quality training you will see the beginnings of pride, discipline, improved fitness and a willingness to try something new - hormones still rampant, of course (they are teenagers!). It never fails to impress me when walking down the road, minding my own business, a young man (and increasingly women) brace up and tell you how well they've been doing since leaving the cadets/school. They still remember their time as cadets fondly and will tell you it was the self-belief it gave them that spurred them on to their career choice.

Give the ACF a try - expect some adults to be wary (your skills will outstrip theirs) and the cadets to be well impressed by your regular experience.

p.s. I am a STAB, not an ACF instructor - but my partner is and I regularly help out (I have skills and qualifications that their own AIs haven't got or can't be bothered to put the time in for).
 
#18
I've been a PI since May. My background is the American Army and Air Force.

I retired from the Forces quite a while ago, and decided to put something back before I got TOO old.

I agree there's a lot of politics, and lots of ex Cadets that are SI's resent you having regular service or more 'real' experience. That said most don't, and it's the old guys back in the 'head shed' that feel trhreatened by some new blood who might have a different perspective ... just like active service!

The threat of being RTU'd from Frimley for skill at arms makes me laugh. My mate Jimmy (ex Scots Guards) and are will be going the same time.

Oh well, back to my curry.
 
#19
I concur with an earlier comment, as long as you realise it is for the cadets that you are in it for, not for the county, it works, but the red tape some of these county types cause is far from what is needed, the main idea is to give the "kids" some life challenges and experience.
 

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