Things bothering me

Discussion in 'ACF' started by Sir_Henry_Simmerson, Dec 14, 2006.

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. I've been enjoying this site for some time, and have now reached the point where I need to clear up a few things, mainly to establish whether or not I have turned into a pompous old fart or not.

    These things bother me about the ACF detachment at which I am an Adult Instructor and I want to know if this is institutional or not. I am considering changing Counties.

    1) Smoking, in front of cadets, and allowing cadets to smoke. Why does it seem to me that being a chain smoker is a requirement of being an AI?

    2) Socialising with cadets. Not in the dodgy List 99 kind of way, but having a drink with those that are over 18. They're still cadets, and should not be drinking in uniform, or be out with AIs socially (evenings and weekends.) And I don't mean just young ex-cadet AIs, but nearly 40 year old ex-reg types too.

    3) Doing feck all instruction, and leaving it to cadet NCOs who are not very good at it.

    Whilst I look forward to the usual banter in response to this, I would also welcome some (at least a bit) of constructive comment.
  2. Ok let me just stand beside you on these points.

    Smoking in front of cadets..No NO NO...sets the wrong example.

    Drinking with cadets NO NO NO socialising at all!!

    Cadet NCO's... Have a one way conversation with them, better still, you show them how its done, and how you want it done, and how it WILL be done, have NCO continuation courses

    Im ex reg, cadets will imitate what they think is right, if you have to ask yourself "is this right what Im doing" then it probably isnt

    Open to banter from anyone................
  3. Ok, as a STAB I see it this way...

    You're out on the piss in the town, and you run into a load of Cadets who are over 18 who are legally on the piss as arn't going to ignore each other are you?

    Guys, these things happen. Personally, I reckon the ACF should be non-smoking, but thats just me.
  4. i think we should only smoke hallucinogens and or opium infront of the them how smoking should really be done.........
  5. Bumping into each other whilst on the lash is one thing, going for a drink after parade is another beast entirely.
    Whether or not the people doing this noticeit, it undermines their role as a youth leader and instructor.

    'Cdt so an so get us a pint kid/mate'

    'piss off get your own'

    'right then wait till the next parade'

    'ffok off you should'nt be drinking with me anyway, I could report you you know, we cadets know a lot nowadays'

    '(fook he's right)'

    Other cadets viewing it as favouritsm etc

    Yet again another bad side of the ACF portrayed through nob head instructors who should know better.
    What'll be next an 18 and 8 month old cadet gets drunk and ends up sleeping with a 20 year old instructor? The news spreads through the unit/company/county instructor gets booted and the paper reads
    'Teenage Cadets drunken orgy with adult carers'

    Ok maybe a bit OTT but it could happen. It only takes one idiot.

    The ACF is a good organisation that deserves support, but constantly has a dark shadow cast over it due to incompetent idiots that think the red book is a fashion accesory for when the heirachy are about.

    Rant over :D
  6. I'm with majority on this one except for the smoking bit.

    Ive worked with emptyeye and have seen the way he works and have aspired to be a little more like him (not going up a belt size or grey or indeed foriegner)

    Whilst I agree that directly sparking up in front of cadets is a bit fat freddy I personally think that if one of the older wiser cadets just happens to walk by then so be it. If they want to smoke also then fine no probs so long as we (adults) are no present. Just no offering or accepting of said cancer sticks from either party.

    Emptyeye you still owe me by the way!
  7. Are there any ACF units badged to the QGR?
  8. ) I smoke. It isn't hard to do it somewhere away from cadets, so there is no good reason to do it in front of them.

    2) hmmm, 18 y/o cadets are not a situation I have faced yet. I'm too busy to be going to the pub at the end of an evenings training and on camp there is generally a seperate bar for AI's. I can only see this cropping up if I bumped into them when I was out at the weekend when I would be with my wife and/or friends. I cannot for the life of me imagine why any 18 year old out on the town would want to spend time with someone 30+ years older and I would encourage them to spend thier time with people of their own age. To be fair I am probably not great on the pastoral side anyway, what I think I bring is my military skills and experience, so I would be quite suprised if my cadets wanted to socialise with me. Incedentally that is why I get annoyed when Adults with poor military skills get knocked, they too bring something valuable to the party and have skills I lack.

    3) You have to do what works for the whole detachment given the resources you have. More senior cadets need to practice instruction, but equally they need to be competent (perhaps not perfect) too. I don't think you can have hard and fast rules, it is all matter of judgement and doing the best you can with the resources you have.

    Ex Reg and Ex TA too, so I'd agree with emptyeye's final point.
  9. Thanks for your comments. I am concerned by adults and cadets going out for a drink together after a parade night, and being in a round, and sharing each others ciggies. It makes me not want to socialise with the other adults as I don't want to socialise with kids 20-odd years my junior.

    I am new-ish to the ACF having been TA (thought never a STAB, I've got 'O' Levels :wink: ) and I accept that the ACF is different, but I have seen similar behaviour during my limited exposure to other units in the Company. I saw two SSI's hug 14 year old female cadets goodbye after a weekend camp on one occasion. FFS.

    I think It's time to look at another County, as I live near the junction of three, but I have been concerned that this behaviour is 'normal' accross the whole organisation.
  10. Sir Henry,

    It is something alot of ACF units might do but this is not so much County Wide as down to the DC.

    I run a unit and we never smoke anywhere near the Cadets. The Cadets do not smoke at the unit as MOD property is no smoking.

    They are not allowed to swear and we also would never join them for a Drink. We never get the chance as Adults let alone inviting Cadets along.

    I would suggest having a word with your DC. I am sure that this is something his DC did and the one before that but that does not make it right.

    If something happens and you knew it went on certain questions might be heading your way. Also you should not have to make yourself out to be a non team player by staying away from the other Adults.

    The ACF has no official QRs to back us up only our personality so allowing breaches of discipline or breaking down boundries is only going to lead to disaster.

    Hampshire on the whole is pretty good, are you anywhere near us?

    Never lower your standard to conform, you are right and so stick to your guns.

  11. Sir Henry, you had several good answers, but there is actually an official position re smoking. JSP 535, the Red Book, states that CFAVs are not smoke in the presence of cadets. (In case you have not come across term, CFAV = Cadet Force Adult Volunteer, used because 535 being a Joint Service Publication, is supposed to apply to all three cadet organisations).
    It is also offical ACF policy to discourage cadets from smoking and I personally make it as difficult as possible, but there are limits on what one can do.
    As to drinking with cadets, irrespective of age, after a parade night, that is a no no, for all the reasons already stated. It could also be said that it is covered by the bit that states adults should never place themselves in a situation whereby allegations of misconduct could be made by cadets.
    The issue of cadets instructing depends on the local situation, but leaving all instructing to cadets is not appropriate. Beside which, no cadet, no matter how old/experienced may instruct without an instructor present, or at least in close proximity. That is also written somewhere. (As I am not in the habit of carrying my Red Book or 2 volume ACF Manual with me everywhere I go, particularly when I am not 'cadetting', I do not recall where).
    You original question was were these issues universal or county specific. 1) Failure to observer the rules re smoking will probably apply to some detachments in all counties. It is a matter of habit. 2) Drinking with cadets will be confined to the odd detachment here and there. There are plonkers in the ACF in all counties and at all levels. 3) Adults abdicating responsibility for instructing will be rare, but same answer as 2).
    As has also been stated, what happens at specific detachments nearly aways orginates from the attitude and behaviour of the DC. See if you can not 'encouage' your current detachment to comply with the rules.
    (OK, so you will probably be accused of being a pompous old fart, but without some of us around, inappropriate habits will continue).
  12. Just to give you a slightly different angle, I’m an ATC Squadron Commander - - banter expected here :) - and I agree with all of the comments made by amongst others OBLI. We are all covered by JSP 535, so smoking is a NO. None of my staff smoke on parade nights at all, although some from my detached flight – based at another location – do have the occasional smoke round the back out of sight. I put up with it as long as they don’t do it in view of the cadets.
    Going drinking with the cadets is a complete NO. We are in loco parentis, and anything we do that could put us in a compromising position with cadets in our charge is completely out of order and, frankly, pretty stupid. It makes no difference if they are under or over 18, they are all in our charge and we must not abuse that position of trust. I do have a problem with one of my adult instructors doing this, and am currently dealing with it. He used the “what if I meet them in the pub by accident “ argument, and I’m afraid that doesn’t wash either. If that situation occurs, you say “good evening xxxx” and then go back to your mates (as you probably won’t be there on your own unless you’re really sad) and stay away from them, you do not socialise with them if you can possibly avoid it. Chances are that they will be with their mates/other cadets who may be under 18 anyway. I have to recommend my guys for extension of service every 4 years, and this guy is only getting a one year extension this time. If he doesn’t toe the line then I’ll be taking him up in front of our Wing Commander.
    We do use cadet NCOs for instructing, but at the lower levels, and with mentoring by staff to ensure standards are maintained.
    From what I've seen, the DC at the ACF unit co-located with me pretty much runs his unit the way I run mine.
    As the rest have said, units vary from place to place, but you must make an effort to make yours correct. Have a quiet word with your DC, along the lines of “some one on my AI course told me that a DC up country got into trouble because his staff were ……..” Maybe that will nudge him in the right direction.
    Best of luck Mate.
  13. In common with most other replies set your own standard and stick by it. Doesn't your TSA ever show up un-anounced. Sounds like some of your oppos could be retiring early.
  14. Sir Henry - don't jump ship! Make a stand for what is correct. The rules and regs are there - they just need enforcing by CFAV of all ranks; supported by the Cty HQ PS!!!!

    I look after training safety but I am all too aware of some of the 'moral' issues that are far too 'accepted' amongst cadet 'social' activities.

    The only future for this youth movement is for the standards to be applied and a good example set by all.

    I firmly believe that if this is not addressed it will not be the lack of trg safety that kills the ACF; it will be one of conduct between adults and minors in their 'duty of care'.
  15. I am an OC of a CCF Section (as well as being Group A) and have definite views on this, although from a different perspective.

    1) Smoking, which is endemic in the forces, must be kept away from cadets. One of my officers smokes (anti-)socially, but he would not dream of doing it outside of the mess. If anyone was instructing my cadets on a camp or attachment were to light up near my cadets I would have quiet but firm words. [Then again I still haven't worked out where my 15 yr old girls did there smoking on last central camp].

    2) Myself and my two officers take our Upper 6th cadets out for a curry once a term. This is a recognition of their efforts and also that they are 'part fo the team' (please excuse inverted commas). We do all drink on these occasions, however we stick to the school rules that we may only do so over a meal, and do not 'go on' afterwards. Our contingent also hold an annual dinner at school for the Upper sixth where they have a formal mess dinner with alcohol. I think both of these activities do nothing to detriment the section. However we are scrupulous about it, and officers do not over-indulge (unlike our contingent commander RN). However, I recognise there are wide differences between the CCF and ACF on that front.

    3) It is the role of the cadet forces to promote leadership by allowing senior cadets to instruct. However, there does have to be an element of quality control. The CCF has no AI equivalent, but in my detachment we try to strike a balance between the Officers and NCOs instructing. If junior NCOs insruct they will be supervised. If your AIs are a hotbed of walts, who like posing in front of kids, smoking (hardly posing), and trying to show off down the boozer then they need gripping. If you are an AI and are unhappy with the other AIs, for specific grievances, then speak to your detachment commander.