Cadet Instructors Wanted

Discussion in 'Jobs (Discussion)' started by Cadet_Instructor, Apr 9, 2009.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. We need instructors!

    Make your mark![​IMG]

    Here's a few Q&A's about one officer's experiences. I'll post some more bits and pieces.

    How long have you been an instructor in the ACF?

    I've been in the ACF as an adult for 5 years, but I was also a cadet for 4 years before that.

    What's your current role in the ACF?

    I have just taken over as a detachment commander. This means I now run a detachment and have staff and cadets to look after. It's a lot of responsibility and hard work but I really enjoy the challenge.

    What do you do for a job?

    I am a police officer on a community safety team.

    How does the ACF impact on your full time job?

    Because I work shifts with the police I can't always be at the detachment, but I have good staff and cadets who will run things in my absence. There are also some weekends I can't make, again because of my shift work, but there's so much going on in the ACF calendar that plenty of opportunities to attend weekend activities come around.

    What's your favourite thing about being an ACF instructor?

    It would have to be the fun element. A combination of working to develop teenagers from my local area, getting into green kit and playing soldiers and the other opportunities that are available to adult instructors add up to a really exciting and fun activity.

    What's your least favourite thing about being an ACF instructor?

    That would probably have to be the paperwork. To make sure all the activities we do are safe we have to document everything carefully which means there's quite a bit of paperwork for me as a detachment commander. Fortunately there are also a lot of people in this organisation that will help and support you with this side of things, so you never feel swamped. Never-the-less if I had the choice I would never fill in another form again!

    Click to complete an information request[​IMG]
  2. I filled in the application and did the paperwork late last year. Since then I have done the induction weekend and a SAA weekend. I attended my detachment for the first time last week and this week did my boarding so am now officially in.

    I was in the regs (RE) for 24 years finishing as a WO2 in 2000. Since then I have worked in the demining sector all around the world. Last year I took a break that was supposed to last 3 months (ha!) but got used to being at home. I got to thinking about doing something useful with my time and, after discussion with someone who had been involved with ACF for 50 years, decided to go for it.

    So far I have been impressed with the dicipline, politeness and respect from cadets and the enthusiasm and dedication of the instructors I have met. Having been out for 9 years I have to do the Instructor Training Course (ITC) in the summer but look forward to it.

    I know it will impact on my life and that I will be away from home some evenings and weekends but feel it will be worth it ... and nothing compared to my time in the regs or in the demining sector. I am currently awaiting an interview for a part time job with the RBL and, if successful, this should suit my ability to give time to the ACF.

    If you are ex military, an ex cadet or just someone interested in a well disciplined, enthusiastic and decent youth organisation then PLEASE consider becoming an instructor with a cadet force. It will prove to you that not all the youth of this country are wasters and that there are some good kids out there.
  3. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    I'm an officer in the ACF. I was a cadet and then joined the TA and recently I've joined the ACF again although I am still in the TA.

    I would echo what the above poster has said. The good bits are the fun element and training/facilitating the cadets to achieve things. The bad bits are paperwork.

    As an adult you will get out of the ACF in proportion to what you put in.

    There is a tendency for some to knock the ACF and drone on about the instructors being 'Walts'. This has not been my experience but I would say to those who moan get off your arrse join up, contribute and help to ensure its being done properly.
  4. Good CO

    Good CO LE Admin

    Thanks for the contributions k13eod and Buggerall
  5. I was an ex-cadet, spent time in the regs and, on return to civvy street, went back to the cadets to be an instructor. Having been there now for 7 years, I can say that although it has it's challenges, overall it's a fun and rewarding way to spend your free time.

    Best bits - seeing the cadets progress and achieve things they never thought they would. Organising and implementing exciting training packages. The fact that it is supplemented by the army and is very low cost for the cadets- especially those from deprived areas that maybe wouldn't get the chance to go on holiday otherwise.

    Worst bits - the paperwork, sometimes it does seem to take over your life!

    Doesn't matter if you've got military experience or not, enthusiasm and a willingness to learn is all that's required. It's not the army, it's not the TA - it's a great youth organisation with a military structure which offers some exciting opportunities for the cadets, chances to learn leadership and team-working that is so often missing within school and home environments.
  6. Just back from my ITC there on Friday it gives a better insight into the ACF rather than it bein just the ''extra youth club for neds/chavsticks''

    I was a cadet for 6 years and went for TA in Nov 2007 and have came back as an AI this year got my AI's course coming up in June down in Frimley, its certainly something i'd encourage folk to try as instructors you always get back what you put in - plus the fact u get paid more there than the TA :wink: lol
  7. maninblack

    maninblack LE Book Reviewer

    I was convinced to give the ACF a go by an ex-Para that I met at a show where the ACF had a recruiting tent. I went along expecting fat paedophiles and whimpering spoilt kids. I planned to leave after a few weeks. I left after 7 years and then only through ill health. This is my own view, others may disagree.

    My experiences were as follows.

    The Background
    I served in the TA for a short while in a recce platoon, and then joined the regular army. After leaving the regular army I applied for the TA again and found the local units to be a shower and so took some years out.

    The Staff.
    Like all staff in an organisation the ACF adults are generally a cross section of humanity. The staff are complex beasts and the organisation attracts good people as well as raving choppers. (much like the Big Army)

    I worked with ex regulars who were good and a small number who were not.

    I worked with ex-cadets, most of who were immature but a small number were superb.

    I worked with ex-TA who broadly were similar to the ex-regulars.

    The final cadre were the interesting ones. There are a small number of adults with no cadet background and no military background who join the ACF. Many of these people were the best instructors overall; they had no agenda. These were the people I was most proud to work with. The best instructor who I ever worked with was a sandwich shop manager who joined to support her son who was a cadet.

    The Equipment
    The ACF is always short of kit, half the time you will end up buying your own. It does turn you into a kit tart. There is never enough to go round and you will have to do some serious reappraisal of how to pack webbing. You don’t need 24 hours rations and an E & E kit, you need a space blanket, tissues for crying teenagers and a lot of morale boosting boiled sweets. You will never, repeat NEVER, be away from your bergan for more than 3 or 4 hours. If you are then you are into serious welfare and duty of care issues. These are other people’s kids not soldiers.

    The Pay
    See above… will spend it all on kit plus pencils, pens, paper etc.

    County Admin
    County administration is laughable. Cadet Executive Officers run each county pon a day to day basis. They last about 4 years in general. They start off all enthusiastic but after two years they are like a quartermaster. The answer is no now what is the question?

    You organise it yourself amongst the guys you workj with. Seniors are too busy covering their own arrses and filling in forms.

    ACF Officers
    There are two types.
    a) Those who believe that they are real officers and don’t let anyone forget it.
    b) Those who went down the Officer route to try and change the system for the benefit of the kids.

    That brings us nicely onto what the ACF is about…..KIDS
    The ACF is not the army although they like to behave like it when it suits them.

    ACF staff are paid volunteers, remember they are mostly there for the kids and should be treated with respect. The kids are challenging. Teenagers are very fragile, emotional and unstable. ACF kids often come from broken homes and have interesting issues. When you start to dig down the ACF does not attract that many normal, stable middle class kids. It gets kids from the arrse end of society and offers them a chance to develop self respect, self discipline, self reliance and self motivation whilst learning about teamwork.

    You will be giving these young people something that is generally lacking in their life.

    You will find that half the time they seem to hate you and half love you. Deal with it. You are not their mate but you will end up as their friend, in the true sense. You will be perhaps the one person in their life that you can rely on.

    In summary.

    You are not a soldier, you are a youth leader teaching valuable military skills from which they ;learn a lot about themselves.

    They are not soldiers, they are other people’s kids.

    You have a lot to give to these young people. Don’t whine about the youth of today, get involved and give them something to do.

    You will laugh but at some point you will feel like crying.

    You will meet some of the most dedicated people of your life and you will see teenagers who go from being a foul waste of skin to paid up members of society in a couple of years.

    That is all the thanks you get apart from a medal if you are robust enough to last 12 years. It is a hard earned medal that I used to laugh at until I joined.
    • Like Like x 3
  8. How long have you been an instructor in the ACF?

    I've been in the ACF as an adult for 23 years, but I was also a cadet for 5 years before that.

    What's your current role in the ACF?

    I'm a Detachment Commander (and have held similar posts since 1994). I currently command a Drums Platoon which brings the dual challenge of the usual APC training together with Drums training.

    What do you do for a job?

    I'm an HGV driver working for a nationally known wholesale company.

    How does the ACF impact on your full time job?

    Generally, it doesn't (aside from the evening rush to get home on a parade night). Drivers hours have recently had an impact on my ability to transport cadets to events. As I hardly ever work weekends, there is little conflict between my day job and the ACF.

    What's your favourite thing about being an ACF instructor?

    The opportunity (and the ability) to make a difference to young lives, to instill a sense of right and wrong and to provide a memorable chapter in the youth of today.

    What's your least favourite thing about being an ACF instructor?

    The politics. Some of those higher up the food chain than me (in my opinion) take themselves far too seriously and have lost sight of our core raison d'etre. God save me should I ever attain staff rank ;)
  9. mwl946

    mwl946 LE Good Egg (charities)

    How long have you been an instructor in the ACF?

    Joined almost 8 years ago - came in "off the streets" with no military experience whatsoever.

    What's your current role in the ACF?

    Currently 2IC of my Company. Was DC for 3 years before that. Also heavily involved in shooting.

    What do you do for a job?

    Senior staff nurse in a critical care unit.

    How does the ACF impact on your full time job?

    It doesn't, but at times my work conflicts with the ACF! Not always possible to get weekends off for training.

    What's your favourite thing about being an ACF instructor?

    The feeling that you re making a difference. The buzz that you get when you ve taught a lesson well and the kids want to learn even more. The wee lad who initially cant even hold the rifle never mind hit a target, who goes on to shoot at Bisley. The camaraderie, the banter

    What's your least favourite thing about being an ACF instructor?

    As with the previous poster - the politics!!
  10. What about the Combined Cadet Force? One of the biggest problems is getting teachers involved.

    I think Cadets is just the best. Having served in the Regs I have done so much more in terms of seeing the rest of the Army. It is like the Army but without the BS in terms of “can I get loads of Blanks or Pyro” Remember, it is not what you know………….. And if you don’t ask, you don’t get!!!!!!

    Asking the Regs to visit and provide a presentation and bringing weapons to show the kids. The kids just buzz off it.

    Where else can you shoot semi automatic rifles, ride in a chopper and help kids develop to become more confident and robust citizens. That is what it is all about………….. The kids!

    It is a lot of work. If you are already heavily committed in other aspects of your life, then the cadets is not really for you. Commitment and consistency is key! However, once are in it is very addictive.

    All I say is that being an Officer in the Cadet force allows you a better opportunity to organise activities (which is the whole point of it) for the kids. After all the Army does not actively recruit from the cadet forces but they have a budget.
  11. After serving a few years in the regs I had a 10 year break from green kit and then I saw the advert on the TV. I applied for the DVD, watched that then got in touch with my local County HQ who passed my details to the nearest Company. It took a little while at first as due to the time of year there was a lot going but a date for interview was still set even if it was for nearly 3 months in the future.

    Since then I have never looked back. I was placed with a good detachment and soon found my old training coming back to me. My detachment commander was able to support me in what I felt confident in doing and I was encouraged to start taking lessons for experience. Three and a half years down the line I now run the detachment and regularly have over 40 cadets on each parade night.

    I have found the whole experience very rewarding. Compared to some stories I hear I feel lucky to have a good Company who are prepared to back their staff 100% and provide the best tools and facilities along the way. The kit I have been issued has always been good quality (as well as the kit for the cadets) plus the Company are prepared to dip in to their own pockets to provide things like Company T-shirts and Norweigan fleeces at no cost to the cadets.

    If you're thinking of becoming an instructor just do it!! You won't regret it and the look of joy on the cadets faces when they achieve a star pass or marksmanship badge or some other achievement is reward enough.
  12. Just found this thread so thought i would add my tuppence worth.

    I did six years in the regs and after a few years of kicking around not doing much, i decided to become an Instructor in the ACF. I was a cadet for three years before i joined the Junior Leaders so i applied to my former County. This was in late 2004.

    Now, i have completed all my courses (ITC, AI's and KGVI - the new one), i am commissioned and run a detachment. As i am a shiftworker i don't spend as much time as i would like down the unit, but when i'm free i'm there. Cadets has changed a hellava lot since i was in, but it's still rewarding and fun. Yes, there are a lot of tools who are AI's and it seems to be, at times, a walt haven. However, the majority of the AI's i work with are sound and from all walks of life with all sorts of experiences that benefit the kids. Some AI's lose sight of this and in my opinion, are in it for the power trip (FFS!!). These throbbers should be kicked out as we don't need them. What we do need are people who are willing to give up some of their spare time teaching kids skills that may well be of benefit to them in life. That's what it's all about. It will also give them some personal pride and a sense of achievement. Lots of people moan about the youth of today, i include myself amongst them. However, i am trying to do something about it.

    Give it a go. You never know, you might enjoy it.
  13. I joined the cadets in 1993 and left in 1997 when I joined the Army. Since then I've been involved on and off as an instructor. It's very rewarding to see the kids better themselves and want to do something with their lives, especially those who've come from run down areas.

    Unfortuantly there are a few walts kicking around, there are some who are instructors just because it looks good on their CV, there are some who've lost sight of what being an instructor is and haven't had any direct dealing with actual cadets for years and there are some who are living out a fake career (the last deputy commandant of Cambs ACF was known to answer his civvy work & home phone with Col D******)!

    Apart from the above helping the ACF is very rewarding both for you and the cadets.
  14. Bump

    I’m grateful for my time in the cadets and the dedication of the staff. I learned more about map reading and drill than I ever did as a regular. I’m too old and knackered to be an ACF instructor, but if you are young enough and got something out of the forces then please consider giving something back.
  15. Nice to see a thread about ACF that hasn't been scrawled over with the usual taunts.

    I know 3 ACF instructors. Two are spot on and switched on, the third is a d1ck of the first order. I would like to think that the Cadets are wise enough to know which ones to really listen to.

    Three lads in my street are in the local ACF Det and are all lining up for a career in the Regs. Reflects well on their ACF team.