OK my son has recently joined the ACF

and is very keen. When I took him along I asked his OC if there was anything they needed which I MIGHT be able to help them with and she said 30 sets of PLCE! a bit of a tall order but I agreed to see what I could do although I did warn her that it would take some time.

Later I found out, from another instructor, that what they really needed was CS95 shirts which I can get for them without too many problems. Had she asked for these instead of the PLCE they would almost certainly have them by now.

Anyway my son. The first two times he went I did his uniform for him teaching him how to do it as I did so. Then I helped him a few times and these last couple of weeks he did all his kit himself. I inspected him each evening, needless to say the standard has been very high indeed, better than most of the regular soldiers I work with on a day to day basis and almost up to the standard of regular and TA recruits (I have taught both).

His OC has been away for a few weeks and the other instructors have been marking him on inspections quite highly. Tonight two other cadets came out before my son and said the OC had marked him down and had been giving him a bit of a hard time. My son was reluctant to confirm this but later did saying he only got low marks for his uniform (which as I already stated was of a very high standard, even by regular army standards) and she had been giving him a bit of a hard time.

I am concerned that this might have been, at least in part, because I have not as yet been able to find the 30 sets of PLCE and the fact that she made such an ambitious request, when she could have made a more moderate one, has not put her in a good light with the other instructors.

I did offer to help with kit and do not mind doing so (I will continue trying to find the PLCE as well as the CS95 shirts) but I am a little concerned that my sons OC might now be giving him a hard time simply because she made herself look a little foolish.

So what do I do? She is moving on soon and another instructor taking her place. Do I raise the issue with her? wait? let it pass until she goes?

I have half a mind to ask a friend, a senior WOII staff instructor, to do my sons uniform and see how she marks that!



I was a '58 webbing type of cadet. Does PLCE webbing consist of 30 items? Eek!! There's a thread going on in here somewhere about looking 'Ally', might bring a smile and have your son looking like the most warry cadet on the square ;)


Just a thought but if his uniform is well turned out, he shouldn't really need webbing, which could be bought bit by bit, until he does some fieldcraft/exercises? Was this a summer camp issue? Maybe I'm wrong tho' 8O
of webbing, enough for the whole unit. My son does not need it himself at this point but his uniform, ie basic kit is excellent.

Give me some credit I have now got some 25 years TA, RN and regular army experience and know better than to dress him up like an SAS wannabe in his first few months in the cadets.

His uniform, the same as everyone elses, is well presented and cared for to a high standard, certainly far higher than the average cadet.

Go in and have a word with the mad bint running the place.

Job Done. If she victimises him further afterthat, visit the Company Commander.


Cardinal said:
Give me some credit I have now got some 25 years TA, RN and regular army experience and know better than to dress him up like an SAS wannabe in his first few months in the cadets.
It was meant as a jovial comment, the thread has made me smile on more than one occasion.


Just read the topic change in your post. She wants you to buy 30 sets of webbing for the Unit!!!! Oh my God!!!! That's gotta be a joke. I mean if you are a millionaire and the kids all come from families that might find it hard to kit out their kids maybe, but I'm guessing that that not the case. Mind you if it is, do you need a new best friend? ;)


Go and confront the mad bint. If you can obtain kit for them, then she should indeed be kissing your arrse. But if, like most of the other parents, your only contribution is the fact that you have produced a son that wants to go to cadets, then she should be happy about the fact he is attending at all!!

This bint is out of order. Sort her out, and maybe look at relocating your son to a better cadet detatchment (assuming one is available).

Another thought: If she is indeed leaving soon, then tell her that no kit is available, and make sure she is clear that your son will not be punished for your "failure" to come up with the goods - you did state you "might" be able to help, but did not guarntee - and your offer should no way affect your sons training.

Continue your efforts to source kit for them, and when the new boss takes over, go in and say "Look what I have for your cadets! I would have donated earlier, but your predecessor was a complete bitch"
is actually quite easy. When a TA or regular soldier leaves most of their uniform is donated to cadet units anyway, most units keep a list of recipients. That is why I can get the CS95 uniforms and boots, they would most likely go for rags anyway since they don't get re issued.

Similarly kit like sleeping bags and webbing, although it is for the most part re issued sometimes it is not and then becomes buckshee and available for cadet use. Examples are when PLCE green bergens and webbing were replaced by DPM, the cadets got a lot then and now the arms bergen is going to be replaced by inf bergens so the all arms ones will become available.

Webbing, bergens, patrol sacks and sleeping bags are available for cadet units but they take a while to get, especially 30 sets.

All a far cry from when I was a Marine Cadet and we begged anything we could and were pleased to get it (sadly nothing much has changed in this respect Marine and Sea cadets are very much the poor relation of the cadet world). The ACF is in contrast well provided for but in this case a little greedy.

Do the det a favour and get them boots! webbing is coming down in price, and a SAAV for £25 will happily suffice for a year or two,


but a decent pair of boots is all too often overlooked by the cadet forces, and too many are wearing useless, shoddy, dangerous and painful boots, that will sap morale of a cadet very quickly on a camp or training area.

I have suggested in the past, that the cadet forces start charging/paying deposit for for other less Health and safety critical items of kit like S95 shirts, trousers, headgear and then issue a proper boot to our potential future soldiers. Some cadets are walking round with worn out expensive surplus shite on there feet, that is simply not fit for purpose.

I recently took part in a 2 nite ex where we fielded 105 cadets at Longmoor and the surrounding TAs. 3 cadets boots completely fell apart. Two of those cadets had privately purchased Britton Proboots (which are expensive dodgy shite in my experience) whose entire soles disentegrated. Thankfully it wasnt cold or wet that weekend, or we might have had a few Hypothermia cases!
or daughter joins the cadets I suggest they go to the QM's and source kit from their returned/disposal items.

I was able to get my boy the equivelant of a basic TA issue from returned items, that were going to be disposed of anyway, from two TA units over a two month period.

3 sets of CS 95 (only a little wear and fully servicable)
1 CS 95 field jacket (new but a small tear 1" long at the bottom which was easily repaired)
Softee (never worn)
2 green shirts (one had a lot of wear but was servicable while the other looks new)
JWH (a bit too big but almost unworn)
belt nylon
Green Aramid Gloves (unworn)
DPM Goretex suit (used but servicable)
Magnum Leather Boots (still boxed)
Matterhorn Orions (quite a lot of wear but recently resoled and servicable)
Combat Assault Boots (worn but servicable)

After this I found these items for him:
PLCE (lying in a trench on SPTA, complete with mess tins, hexe cooker, waterbottle, bivvi kit and the usual) I asked around and no one claimed it)
Berghaus Roc Bergen (cost 5 pounds, far better and less damaging to the backs for cadets who are still growing)
Issue sleeping bag (cost 7 pounds)

By asking around, not wanting everything at once its possible to get loads of buckshee kit in this way. Its something I shall continue to do not just for my own boy but the other cadets in his unit as well, I just dont want the unit to get greedy, make unreasonable requests and want everything yesterday.

Apparently this lady also wants me to have everything laundered before donating it! I would have thought the cadets mothers might have been willing to do this.

He still has not been issued any kit as yet.


Kudos for the effort. To be blunt this is something she should be doing herself, as you rightly point out, the TA have a mechanism for writing off kit to ACF units and she should know this. I used to have all the returned kit put in a box and every few months let the AI's take what they wanted. Seeing as most TA units will bend over backwards to help, especially if the det is in te TAC, chances are she's either never got off her fat arrse to find out what she can scrounge or she's pished a few people off and they just don't bother with her.

If your lad's getting a hard time go and speak to her. Tell her you'll transfer him to another det and they can benefit from your efforts to provide kit.
Daft Bint

Cardinal if you fancy helping out another Detachment you'd be more than welcome at mine, kids are crying out for kit, but I can only source from flea bay at the moment. :(

Seriously The ACF can be a little insular banging on the door of her OC with a complaint may only impact your lad more as she is likely to get a slapped wrist and soldier on as it were, Find out how long she has left at the det and if to long and your lad is suffering move him to another one if possible in a different company.

And if the rest of her staff are aware that this is happening especially if she has any ex regs then they should be more than willing to stand your lads corner or any other cadet for that matter that's what we are there for.

we are lucky in that we parade ina detatchment next to a TA cantre, and they are oftyen wandering over with bits of kit no longer needed by them. I have also managed to get hold of quite a bit of webbing for my lot. however 30 sets would be amazing, i can't believe anybody would ask for that as a starting point if offered buckshee kit.
I wonder whether the OC has been marking your lad down 'only on his kit' because she believes you are preparing it for him. Alternatively because his kit is too good and showing up other kids.

Elsewhere you will see references to people joining a training environment having had a leg-up through previous experience or personal/family interest. I have witnessed others in Regular & TA service getting a hard time, as the army likes to see people learning from the system. e.g. Join as a marksman and you get labelled a know-it-all, play dumb and get really good after instruction and they'll talk you up. If they then find out you could do it all along they know you're clued-up on more than shooting.

Hopefully in your son's case the other cadets will have realised he's being marked down unfairly, so will get respect from them - especially if he maintains his standards. His CO can't keep it up, if she does she'll lose any respect from all around her. If the lads want to show her up someone else can wear your lad's kit and see how his inspection goes.

Hope he enjoys it.
Cardinal said:
All a far cry from when I was a Marine Cadet and we begged anything we could and were pleased to get it (sadly nothing much has changed in this respect Marine and Sea cadets are very much the poor relation of the cadet world).
Can say that again. We get 8 sets of OG PLCE at our unit, the rest is still 58 pattern.
I loved being a Marine Cadet, it was a brilliant time full of brilliant kids most of whom went on to join one of the services many went on to do the full 22.

booty_cadet said:
Cardinal said:
All a far cry from when I was a Marine Cadet and we begged anything we could and were pleased to get it (sadly nothing much has changed in this respect Marine and Sea cadets are very much the poor relation of the cadet world).
Can say that again. We get 8 sets of OG PLCE at our unit, the rest is still 58 pattern.
What, stop whinging, we get fcuk all. (apart form 3 sets of complete 58pat webbing and various odds and ends that is of no use)
I have to say that I find this DC's attitude to be a damned disgrace!

As has been mentioned already, most parents, etc. do nothing other than allow their offspring to attend. A notable exception to this is Lairdx who isn't even related to the youngster he introduced to us, but still keeps sending bits of buckshee down to us (most appreciated old chap :D )

You should hear the cries of anguish when we ask them to drop their young off at a central point to be transported to various events! We ain't even asking them to travel far but it's still too much for some.

I truly wish this youngster was one of mine. Aside from the offers of kit, the attitude and inherited experience would create a virtuous circle among the other cadets and standards would naturally rise without too much extra effort.

I salute you old chap and apologise for the attitude of my fellow cadeter.

Depending on your location, I have a full set of DPM PLCE available for the cause. Not sure the S10 will be of any use but your more than welcome to the rest, complete with extra yoke for the side pouches.

Sadly there is no bergan on offer as it is currently MIA somewhere in Norfolk.

Maybe others on here may be able to help with the offer of kit they no longer need.

Can also do a new issue type sleeping bag as well if it helps.

Have a few basics of CS95 left but as I am 6'4" I don't think it will be much use to the average cadet.

PM me if the odffers any use and you are not too far away.