being a Det Commander for the first time


I have been asked to become a Det Commander for the first time, It may also be a completely new Unit, it has not yet been confirmed if it is going to be in a School or its own building.

Any advice re: recruitment, paperwork, admin, training, accounts, legal stuff, most importantly what pitfalls to avoid that can catch out new Det Commanders unawares and advice on possible awkward situations that may be faced.

basically everything you can give me from your experiences.

Thank You
Are you saying you are in the ACF or CCF?

My advise is"

Check check and check again!

Don't take any shit (if in CCF) from your SSI.

Be confident in your ability and enjoy the experience, this will defuse to the rest of the AIs and cadets.
Keep your admin up to date, don't say oh it will do tomorrow, when you finish a parade night take 30 mins to square everything away that way nothing should bite you on the arrse.
School dets are a struggle. The school will pay lip service to what you are doing for the kids, but they will give you little practical help or space/facilities and will often conspire against you.

The only practical advantage of a school det is recruitment. You will find that easy if you do a presentation to the Yr8s at least once a year. They happilly come along in droves because its familiar, its local, and they will often join with their mates. Oh, and a caaretaker to clean up after you and put the rubbish out

The only problem is retention. Kids will get bored because you will be doing fairly tame stuff, not having an armoury or a range, (even a take-down one for air rifles- most schools forbid it)

My det had 50 plus cadets last year. We are down to 20, with about 10 parading regularly. We have just found out that we are to be evicted next week because they want our office for some 'monitor' room? We only found out about this when inquiring about another matter. The school didnt even have the courtesy to send a letter to us or RHQ. Now our storage cupboards have to be moved elsewhere (but they havent said where) and recently half our bergans and webbing were stolen from one of the cupboards, and the school is now saying we are not insured.

After 5 years I think we have had it. We either get some permanent accommodation soon, or we close down.

The school, AFAICS doesnt give 2 hoots about the cadets, majority of whom are also their pupils.I don't trust the limp wristed sandal wearing vegetarian guardian reading w@nkers at all. They basically see us as a British form of the Hitler Youth and want us out!
I disagree and agree at the same time.

Speak to the HM (headmaster) and the relevant bodies and ask them what they want with regards to extracurricular activities. Then you have a baseline for the future. If they want it then they will support you. But be clear what your intentions are.

Depending on if it is a state school or an independent school. Some independent schools make it compulsory for year 10 for a year then voluntary till year 13. This would include two field days and a summer camp.
Also speak to the army. They will support you with as much as they can. What part of the country are you? If you need a hand just PM me.
Sorry I should have made it clear, its ACF not CCF.
The ACF may hire rooms in a local School or use RFCA buildings, it is not certain at the moment, they intend it to happen after Annual Camp.

Its me again, would any of you be able to give me a run down of what kind of forms there are to deal with and their purpose.

I understand I would need to run an Account book which could be inspected from time to time.

I know about Application form (AFE 529) and Uniform indents for individual cadets, thats pretty much it.

anything you could add would be super.

Thanks in advance. :)
There will also be something along the lines of a roll book AB140, it's a nightly parade status that usually has to be sent to your county HQ every year so that they can say how many cadets are in the county etc.

You should also have an account book (speaks for itself really) but i know there is no standard way of doing it from county to county. (good tip though, get the cadets to pay by cheque, it saves ages totaling everything up and banking cash)

after you indent for a uniform you will receive (forgot the sheet number) a slip that needs to be signed by the cadet for receipt of their uniform.

with regards to recruitment, a couple of cadets in our company recently did a presentation (entirely their own work and idea) to years 8 & 9 at their school, resulted in 30 kids turning up at one unit of which 15 are still parading 6 months on.
Update, downloaded loads of .pdf .word files with all kinds of ACF paperwork now going through them to learn how it is done.
I haven't committed to a Detachment yet, I am waiting for my work circumstances to change which should happen in the next couple of months, it would not be fair on the Cadets if I cannot commit to regular attendence.

I am preparing as much as I can, as I do not want to end up like some Det commanders who took on too much, was unprepared and cracked under pressure, I have seen it, not a pretty picture.
Good luck with it all bud. I'm a Dc and it can be a real pain at times. Wouldn't change it though.
Good luck with it all. Can't help about the paperwork will ask my bro who took on a detachment after leaving the Bn. The important thing is to not lose focus that you have to make it interesting and fun for the lads, if it is not an enjoyable experience they won't turn in. Concentrate on them and the rest will fall into place.

My fave. Bro (who likes to trust his lads to find solutions) had a new lad come along who had problems getting left and right sorted. So he handed new lad to a sixteen year old Cpl and said 'take him away and teach him'.
They were back in less than ten minutes with the new lad perfect.
'What did you do?' asked my Bro.
'I just asked him which hand he wanked with' said the Cpl. :lol:

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