Cadet 'Majors' Attitude To Experienced Adult Instructor

Discussion in 'ACF' started by the_wolf, Jul 28, 2010.

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  1. Just something i wanted your thoughts on...

    A mate of mine was in the regs for 7 years, the RSDG to be exact, and left fairly recently. When he left he joined the TA for a brief spell but due to commitments to his civi job he had to leave. This was when he joined the ACF as an adult instructor. Obviously youll agree he has a fair bit of experience.

    Now being in the ACF for only a short period of time, around 5 months or so id say, he is viewed by some of the older instructors as being inexperienced.

    He recently attended camp with his lot and through the whole thing he was given shit by the other instructors (no doubt civis who have never had any experience before) then on a night ex he was asked to set up an ambush with his squad. In his own words it was a textbook ambush. This is when the 'Major' stepped in and said, 'No i dont want it done that way, i want it done this way', which by the way was wrong. The ambush ended up a big clusterfuck for which my mate and the cadets got bollocked.

    This Major as it happens has never been further than the cadets and is where he has earned his 'experience'.

    It ended up as a an argument between my mate and this Major which resulted in my mate leaving camp early and transferring to another ACF unit.

    Should this have happened at all and what do you think of some adult cadet speaking to an ex regular this way and treating him as if he knows feck all. Does it happen often?

    Im just curious more than anything else, i dont see why he should leave a unit he enjoys because of some knob
     
  2. msr

    msr LE

    I think you (and he) are confusing the 'army' with a 'youth movement with a military ethos'.

    He is not in the army any more. Get over it.

    msr
     
  3. msr - leave it, we've all had a few e-mails...he's noty worth it!
     
  4. As already stated it's a youth movement.

    You (he) will find that regular army experience counts for litte in the ACF, as well trained and skilled as you (he) may be, the Cadet Force trains to a Manual that is outdated compared to current regular SOPs.
    As an ex regular training cadet adults it can be quite challenging to bring ex regs down to a cadet level, which they may consider basic and below them..
    and to be fair most officers with only cadet experience are knobs anyway.. that's life..
     
  5. Might that be because it is basic and below (or better still beneath) them? I have nothing to do with ACF, I am a regular, and to think that the ACF expect volunteers to water down their years of experience/knowledge to a lesser level, in order to teach outdated practices to young kids who might, one day, wish to join up seems ludicrous. Would it surely not be better to move with the times and accept that even newly joined AI's who have recent experience on Ops MIGHT know a bit more about tactics etc than the cadet Majors who have never served? Am I being too naive?
     
  6. Why bother being an ACF instructor? There are no positives, unless your missing the Army enough to re-join then give it up and crack on with civi life. Atlease then you can look back on your military career and say it was good.
     
  7. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    Yes, you are. As mentioned time and again, the ACF is NOT a junior version of the Army. It is a Youth organisation, pure and simple. You may find that, for example, an ambush may be set in such a way that the opposing forces are very close - far closer than in a 'real' one. There are reasons for that - it's more fun, it's more exciting, easier to keep control, etc. It's not about teaching them correct tactics and drills.


    Cadets are not soldiers, and the Cadet Force is not the army.
     
  8. I'd disagree there, if it wasn't for the ex army ACF instructors who were at my ACF place in the 70's I'd probably never would have joined up. It was there stories and outlook that made my mind up to join.
    It may not be everyone's cup of tea but fair play to those that have a go to keep wayward youths (like I was) on the straight and narrow.
     
  9. RP578

    RP578 LE Book Reviewer

    Which leads me to wonder why are they being taught to ambush in the first place? If it's just about having a fun time and running around in the woods, why bother with drills at all (Health & Safety notwithstanding).

    I've always been in two minds about the Cadets. Whilst I'm all for giving kids an opportunity to get off the streets/out of their bedrooms and do fun and exciting stuff as well learn about the Armed Forces, I'm really not comfortable with militarised youth barking orders at each other. Completely understand that I'm coming across as a bleeding heart pinko, but I'm trying to be honest and in the spirit of the same I have to admit that I don't think I would be comfortable entrusting my kids to some of the Cadet Instructors that I've come across.

    Apologies for dragging this off thread.
     
  10. Oldsnowy, IMHO that's a load of old balls. I'm not saying that the ACF is a junior version of the Army per se, but just how many of those in the ACF go on to have a crack at joining up? It always has been a fairly good recruiting ground.

    I'm not saying that we should have them FULLY versed in tactics beyond their needs or comprehension, but maybe the Major in this scenario should show a little respect to the ex reg who was, VOLUNTEERING HIS OWN GOOD TIME, to be an AI. If that doesn't happen then I'm sure there will be lots of ex AI and very few actual AI to do the work, where will the ACF be then? Nice and close in ambushes for plenty of excitement, but with no instructors.
     
  11. It's all about maturity and whether you are comfortable in your own skin. Happens in any walk of life. Your 'mate' might also be adding to the situation by 'bigging' himself up and making the ACF Major look like a bit of a tit. Insecurity on both sides if this is the case.
     
  12. Seems there are faults on both sides, granted your mate has vast experiences that far surpass the Major's experience, he need to wind it down to Cadet level, many ex forces have made the transformation without any dramas, the Major was obviously not very tactful, one of the thing he failed to consider as an Officer is managing his men before his own needs, the major should be the one taking responsibility that's what his rank is for, the clusterfuck incident is the Major's fault.

    There is a complaints procedure your mate can go through, all the way up to the Commandant, who is usually ex Army himself, you may find the Major probably has pissed everybody else off, this could be all he needs to remove him, calm heads needs to prevail.



    Now as to what training method to use, the Cadet Manual is THE Bible of training, it is written up by Regular Soldiers based in Frimley amongst other sources, they take into consideration , safety, Cadet's ability and legality, the training produced therein is tailored accordingly, it is constantly checked and updated when new information comes in.

    In any dispute about what to teach and level of training , refer to the manual, its there in black and white, so if the Officer is wrong and your mate is right, the manual will say so, study it before starting training, then you can tell the said Officer to FO if he is wrong and the Manual is right, you're covered.

    The Army Cadet is a different from the Army, it is green yes that's the main draw, our main aim is to turn out confident, happy, resourceful, confident young adults, using military and disciplined training methods, not mini Ninjas.
    90% of the Staff are not knobbers, the rest ignore, bang one up if necessary to the commission and carry on regardless, they will be in the mess away from your mate, while your mate is making a real difference to some peoples lives and will remember him for a long time.
    He was just unlucky meeting the wrong sort, there are ex Regs who have been a while who should be able to give him some help.

    I don't have all the answers but I hope I can point your Mate in the right direction.
     
  13. the major has done nothing wrong, whatsoever.

    the purpose of the ACF is not to provide an early basic training. If people NEED to do ambushes correctly, they will be taught to do so before they are required to do so (this process is usually called 'Army Basic Training')

    the ACF has it's own written, progressive syllabus, and the cadets earn their 'star' badges (qualifications) through learning the syllabus and taking tests on the syllabus. Unfortunately, the cadets will be judged by how their actions compare to how the syllabus states things to be done. If they do it all to the book, they will pass. Do it completely unlike the book, they will fail.

    It doesn't matter if your mate set up the best ambush in the history of the ambushing world, if it differed from the written syllabus, it would have been completely and utterly ******* pointless to do it. It's all very well the cadets learning 'how proper soldiers do it' but it doesn't get them anywhere. With the facilities, equipment and instruction available on camp, it's the fortnight where counties and contingents can expect to get the max amount of cadets through the max amount of training, in the minimum amount of time.

    Yes, most of the ACF AIs have never done it. But what you can't argue with, is that every year they spend doing it, they learn the syllabus a bit better, and a bit better, and a bit better. And then the fact is, whether or not they've fought the Taliban, they do actually know how to teach things to the syllabus better than people who've never seen the syllabus - ex-army or otherwise. Every year the ACF receives a new batch of very clued up ex regs, but they quickly realise that they just don't know the syllabus. because it's wrong. Yes, it is, often, wrong. But it doesn't matter, because they're only doing it to earn their stars - there's no war or threat of death!

    The fact is, if the kids don't pass their tests, they don't get their stars. And without their stars, they cannot progress. So they get bored, then leave, and go back to smashing up bus shelters and hassling grannies.

    Furthermore, all the risk assessments, EASPs etc are all tuned for the way in which the syllabus states things are to be done. If things are not done to the syllabus, when a cadet gets injured, the ECO becomes liable - for they are not protected by the EASP, as the EASP relies on the syllabus way of doing things. Typically, Majors in the ACF command companies. Thus, it is very likely that in the camp situation, with training run at company level, the Major would have been the ECO of the exercise, and thus had every right to, and would have been stupid to do anything but, ensure that the ambush was carried out not how 'the army do it', but how 'the syllabus does it'.
    Training is now highly scrutinized in the ACF, so if the Major were to be the ECO, he has to be 100% happy with the way everything is being run. If that means doing it how he heard it - or read it; as opposed to taking on the experience of an ex-regular, then he will be encouraged to do so by the commandant.

    We must remember that whilst your mate has 7 years experience for fighting an armed enemy, he only has 5 months experience in dealing with young people in a military environment. When it comes down to safety, it's the latter figure that holds importance - especially under scrutiny.

    It's that simple. The major stepped in to ensure that both:
    • The way the manual trained cadets, and the way your mate trained cadets, were coherent so as to ensure that cadets were able to progress on the syllabus; and
    • The way the manual trained cadets, and the way your mate trained cadets, were coherent so as to ensure that the EASP was fully adhered to, and in the event of an incident occurring, the ECOs back would be covered.
     
  14. He recently attended camp with his lot and through the whole thing he was given shit by the other instructors (no doubt civis who have never had any experience before) then on a night ex he was asked to set up an ambush with his squad. In his own words it was a textbook ambush. This is when the 'Major' stepped in and said, 'No i dont want it done that way, i want it done this way', which by the way was wrong. The ambush ended up a big clusterfuck for which my mate and the cadets got bollocked.

    Dizzle, nice big explanation, which tidies up a lot of things on this thread, however you seem to have missed the bold point highlighted above. The Cadet Major clearly isn't all he is cracked up to be, even by the syllabus standards, if the ambush was so poorly executed that even he had to bollock the kids. Sounds like a pretty bad manager of men from the limited info available (not wishing to jump to any conclusions you understand).

    I still think that it is important to understand that people are giving up their own time to help out and instruct, if those in management can't see that and treat them badly, particularly by undermining them in front of cadets, then it is a poor show.
     
  15. What was the Majors role in the EASP, if he was in charge of the exercise then he was right to say what he wanted done text book or not, whether it went wrong or not, his exercise.

    "It ended up as a an argument between my mate and this Major which resulted in my mate leaving camp early and transferring to another ACF unit" why it didn't solve anything really did it.