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Discussion Scenario 2. Age.

maninblack

LE
Book Reviewer
#1
I received a suggestion that age should be discussed.

Within this there are two questions. These relate to the minimum age for cadets to join and the minimum age for adult instructors.

I have cloaked the identity of the member who suggested the topic so that he can also join in the discussion.


Member A said:
Age range

If there is one thing I would like to change in the ACF it is the age range.

I think that many 12year olds are too immature and unfocussed to benefit from ACF training. Also a massive amount of effort is expended on recruiting and training this age group, but retention is poor after 12-18 months service, with most leaving soon after. Many senior cadets complain that the resource is taken away from their training and simply being DS for the recruit and 1* wings on camps does not cut it.

I think the minimum age should be 13 and year 9.
Maximum age should be extended to 20 yrs and 6 months*
Adult service should begin at 21
 
#2
Personaly I feel the minimum age limit should be 13 and the upper limit as 19 as it's a Youth Organisation and 19 is really as far as you can get away with being a youth.

I think you hit it on the head in regards to becoming an AI though as 20 would be too soon and if you wen't straight from Cadet to AI you would find it hard to adjust from being one of the lads to one of the leaders. So 21 gives you a nice gap to sot yourself out and also finish college an uni commitments.
 
#3
maninblack said:
I think that many 12year olds are too immature and unfocussed to benefit from ACF training. Also a massive amount of effort is expended on recruiting and training this age group, but retention is poor after 12-18 months service, with most leaving soon after. Many senior cadets complain that the resource is taken away from their training and simply being DS for the recruit and 1* wings on camps does not cut it.
When I joined many moons ago it was the Job of the senior Cadets to instruct and supervise the junior cadets (overseen by the Adults).

Surely 1* & 2* are about gaining knowledge and 3* & 4* are about leadership and instruction, which can only be gained by looking after and teaching the junior cadets.

I know it was about 30 years ago when I was a cadet recruit, however have things changed that much that a senior cadet can not get pleasure out of the overseeing the development of Junior cadets.

As for age 13 – 18 is about right in my opinion.
 
#4
When did it go down to 12? and why?

Not a wah, it's just I've really only come across CCFs which still start in year 9 ( the old fashioned "move up" year for boys: girls of course are a couple of years more advanced in general at that age - so was 12 a happy medium?)
 
#5
I'm currently a cadet Sjt and would argue that it isn't the age limits that need to be reformed but the syllabus as whole. There is nothing wrong what so ever with joining at 12 as many cadets that I've see have matured quite rapidly and settled in really well. The problem is you tend to get a group of cadets who progress through their APC rather quicklyleaving only the top to be promoted. Those that don't get the rank tend to leave and so that it seems to be the crux of the retention issue.

I would agree to some extent that us senior cadets get ignored. For example in my detachment we have three adult staff as well as two cadet serjeants which only leaves one or two lessons for the junior NCOs to teach. When we go on field weekends the company's senior NCOs get shafted into the roles of section commanders which thus means that the lance jacks and some of the full screws get completely ignored altogether and so lack any real excitement or challenge.
 
#6
CAARPS said:
maninblack said:
I think that many 12year olds are too immature and unfocussed to benefit from ACF training. Also a massive amount of effort is expended on recruiting and training this age group, but retention is poor after 12-18 months service, with most leaving soon after. Many senior cadets complain that the resource is taken away from their training and simply being DS for the recruit and 1* wings on camps does not cut it.
When I joined many moons ago it was the Job of the senior Cadets to instruct and supervise the junior cadets (overseen by the Adults).

Surely 1* & 2* are about gaining knowledge and 3* & 4* are about leadership and instruction, which can only be gained by looking after and teaching the junior cadets.

I know it was about 30 years ago when I was a cadet recruit, however have things changed that much that a senior cadet can not get pleasure out of the overseeing the development of Junior cadets.

As for age 13 – 18 is about right in my opinion.
Senior cadets are still frequently used as instructors or assistant DS on training wings and this is one of the strengths of the ACF in my view. But in order for those 3 & 4* cadets to gain promotion they too need development and training, which they are not always getting as County OCs insist on playing the numbers game. Its not all doom and gloom however, but the seniors should be getting more than we give them, because of their loyalty, extra effort and contribution to their coys. Particularly as many of them will be the AIs of the not too distant future too.
 
#7
maninblack said:
I received a suggestion that age should be discussed.

Within this there are two questions. These relate to the minimum age for cadets to join and the minimum age for adult instructors.

I have cloaked the identity of the member who suggested the topic so that he can also join in the discussion.


Member A said:
Age range

If there is one thing I would like to change in the ACF it is the age range.

I think that many 12year olds are too immature and unfocussed to benefit from ACF training. Also a massive amount of effort is expended on recruiting and training this age group, but retention is poor after 12-18 months service, with most leaving soon after. Many senior cadets complain that the resource is taken away from their training and simply being DS for the recruit and 1* wings on camps does not cut it.

I think the minimum age should be 13 and year 9.
Maximum age should be extended to 20 yrs and 6 months*
Adult service should begin at 21
max age for cadets will have a hard ceiling of 17 years 364 days becasue of the difficulties in mixing 'adults' and 'young person' particularly under 16s ....

this has had an impact on a number of youth organisations

Scouting has had to re-profile the age groups of all sections because the 15 -25 age range for Ventures wasa nightmare

SJA had to abandon Adult Status Cadet Leader - and now has to appoint people who would have taken that role as Adult members attached to youth unit or if they meet the requirements commission them asa Youth Dept. Officer

arbitrary age limits for appointment of adult staff are also a problem becasue of the age discrimination stuff
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#8
The reason the age was reduced to 12 and in year 8 was that a child turning 13 during year 8 either had to join without his younger friends or wait for them to turn 13 if he did not want to join alone. Given that kids tend to have friends at school and tend to want to join groups together it make more sense to do it by school year.

By 18 I think a cadet should want to move on.

In general I would prefer ex-Cadets to go and do something else (adult service) before becoming CFAV. I would not want to be overly proscriptive about this because there are often good reasons why an ex-cadet cannot go into adult service and I would not want to lose them because of that.
 
#10
WO2.Ghandi said:
Maybe a spelling course would occupy the senior cadets for a while, they might even learn how to spell their own rank.
Erm the poster i think you're referring to is probably badged to a Rifle Regiment, they spell it Serjeant.....with a J.
 
#11
Both my older 2 joined as soon as they were old enough, my lad is still in and loves it (despite there being no money to actually DO anything) my daughter left after 2 years (because there was no money to do anything). I didn't think they were too young, they both looked after their own kit from day one, including ironing it. My only issue with the young starting age is keeping up with foot growth and boots!!
 
#12
Old_Gregg said:
WO2.Ghandi said:
Maybe a spelling course would occupy the senior cadets for a while, they might even learn how to spell their own rank.
Erm the poster i think you're referring to is probably badged to a Rifle Regiment, they spell it Serjeant.....with a J.
tee heee.....OWNED...as they would no doubt say :D
 
#13
Well he should try marching slower, then he wouldn't have run out of stuff to do as quickly.

It's the same old cack. Why should there be anything wrong because many kids leave after a year or two? In all probability they are devoting their time to something more important, like making a success of their education or chasing the opposite sex. Even if there was a problem, then it wouldn't be with circumstances they haven't yet experienced.

Since most kids won't complete the whole syllabus, put the focus on doing something worthwhile for them while you can, instead of persisting with the fantasy that something has gone wrong if they don't have to be forced out of the door at 18 'n 9 months with a brassard full of badges.

The same sort of misplaced focus is suggested for adults all too often. If they were my kids I'd prefer that the organisation consider a little more than their dates of birth when selected its staff. If a lack of AI's is responsible for a lack of cadet retention then why would you exclude what may be a perfectly good candidate?
 
#14
Year 8 or so I thought was the min criteria, if people are using 12, then yes it's too young and are likely to be in year 7 and still in the run round mode.

Joining in year 8 means being a cadet for nearly a year before going to camp and completed a few weekends.

They should leave the cadets on their 18th birthday as they are now adults. 18 year old CFAVI is a bad idea, thus avoiding the 19 year old Sgts.

CFAV joining age, 21 is a good one, leaving age is a bit... well... depends on your role. A 60 year old Detachment commander hmmm but then a grossly overweight one at 40, well.... all subjective and maybe where merit comes in...
 
#15
I think the CFAV joining age should be boosted to 19, merely to ensure a 'thinking gap' between cadets leaving the ACF as cadets and re-joining as adults, rather than merely appearing to 'transfer'.

I think moreso, there should be a stricter interviewing process for new CFAVs, particularly young ones. I don't think age is a just measurements to somebody's suitability to be an AI, I've met plenty of U21 AIs that are far more responsible and suitable for the job than some of their over-21 counterparts. I think, basically, Commandants should look at an individuals background, and decide what effect, good or bad, that background wil have on their CFAV service.

I don't think the 12 YO argument is a valid one, am I right in thinking it's 12 Y.O AND in year 8? If so, once kids start at school, they generally mature at the same rate regardless of whether their birthday is in the September or the July, and thus letting kids join the ACF by school year, as opposed to by age, is a good plan.
 
#16
I've been a CFAV for quite a few months now and in that time a lad from my det had to leave because he turned 18. He wasn't a model cadet and was held back from getting his second tape because he couldn't pass his 2* shoot. So the day after he left he removed his brassard and "became" a CFAV. He's been interviewed and is down for the next AIC but to all intents and purposes he still acts like a senior cadet, even hanging out with the cadets outside the gated before parade. It's been explained to him over and over why this is a bad idea but he really doesn't get it. I suggested perhaps he should join the TA and come back in few years but he thinks he's going to stay in the ACF forever doing exactly what he did as a senior cadet.

I have to admit I was shocked that this was allowed to happen.
 
#17
I would say 13 years 9 mths for cadets which allows a max of 5 years service
I think instructors should be 23 to join thus giving some balance to their rank of sgt / 2lt
 
#18
ex_mudmechanic said:
I've been a CFAV for quite a few months now and in that time a lad from my det had to leave because he turned 18. He wasn't a model cadet and was held back from getting his second tape because he couldn't pass his 2* shoot. So the day after he left he removed his brassard and "became" a CFAV. He's been interviewed and is down for the next AIC but to all intents and purposes he still acts like a senior cadet, even hanging out with the cadets outside the gated before parade. It's been explained to him over and over why this is a bad idea but he really doesn't get it. I suggested perhaps he should join the TA and come back in few years but he thinks he's going to stay in the ACF forever doing exactly what he did as a senior cadet.

I have to admit I was shocked that this was allowed to happen.
a quick word in the shell-like of the Person at county level responsible for Child protection should deal with that pretty sharpish - blind eyes are turned in other organisations usually because the loss of the Young Adult in question would be an issue , but as this one sounds a bit of a waster other than warm adult bodies ... this is 'grooming' behaviour so he's either on the pull or is too clueless to be adult staff ...

this is the into the realms of a scenario that arose in another Uniformed organisation with a youth section that ended up with the adult getting 14 years for buggery and gross indecency ...
 
#19
ex_mudmechanic said:
I suggested perhaps he should join the TA and come back in few years but he thinks he's going to stay in the ACF forever doing exactly what he did as a senior cadet.
A lot of people say this to cadets leaving, and to me, it's a rubbish thing to say.

Cadets is a club, where you have fun in a military environment, amongst some military training.

The TA is now an organisation where ESPECIALLY the younger ones are expected to deploy on operations within 3 years.

Wanting to carry on with 'green' activities post-18 and wanting to become a TA soldier in the modern day are different things.

Unfortunately, this leads to cadets becoming CFAVs not because they want to look after cadets, but because they want to carry on 'doing' cadets post-18.

I think a lot of young CFAVs would really rather be in cadets still, but don't fancy the operational bits (and the PT / hard work bits) of the TA, so become 'adult cadets' - CFAVs by trade, but cadets by nature.
 
#20
A lot depends on the individual cadets. Some 12 year olds can be quite mature and sensible whilst others can be a complete nightmare. The problem lies with the cadets "topping out" quickly. We have a cadet SSgt at my detachment who has done pretty much everything a cadet can do less CLC, SCIC and Master Cadet. He is working on his Master Cadet and the bids are in for his SCIC and CLC. He is still 16 so where does he go? Luckily he enjoys teaching and is often away as assistant DS on 1, 2 and 3 star boards. There is also a problem with the cadets being pushed through star levels to keep them interested. I find that when teaching the 2 and 3 stars I end up having to do a lot of revision to get them to a decent standard. There is a difference between passing the test and actually knowing the subject.

As for younger CFAV it should be down to the Commandants discretion. I think that if a cadet who reaches 18 3/4 wants to become a CFAV straight away they should go to a different company, or ideally a different county for at least a couple of years. This will allow them to make a break from their mates who are still cadets. It can be difficult for ex cadets who become CFAV in the county in which they have served for however many years. A lot of the CFAV's still see these new instructors as cadets and have difficulty trusting them, letting them get on it etc. It can be very frustrating for these new instructors who want to put back into the system and a sizeable majority leave because of this.
 

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