Thoughts on the Air Training Corps

#1
Not-so-Little Miss H_M has decided that she would like to join the cadets, specifically the Air Training Corps, which is just as well because I told both her and Ex-Mrs H_M that she was not joining the ACF! I wondered if anyone on here had any (constructive) thoughts on the ATC. I understand that the curtailment of cadet gliding at the Volunteer Gliding Schools and the paucity of Air Experience Flights has led to much unhappiness.

She already attends Scouts on a Friday evening but is looking for something a little bit more adventurous and challenging. I can take her to the recruitment evening on 25/09 and it will give me an opportunity to assess the situation for myself.
 
#2
Not sure this is helpful, but there has recently been an ATC Flight set up at my old school. From what I have seen of them they are smart and take pride in their appearance. Personally I never quite got round to being a Cadet of any sort, but had friends in the ACF and one in the ATC and they actually sounded quite similar.
 
#3
Well done for raising a child who wants to do something that doesn't involve swiping a screen or sharing 'funny' cat videos from you tube. You have succeeded where I am failing miserably.
 
#4
For a more challenging youth movement how about the venture scouts (if they still exist)

The various cadet movements have more rules and less freedom of activities than the scouts can provide imho.

It's a shame the army cadets are getting such a bad reputation these days, but most of the ACF instructors I know do constantly complain that the organisation is going down the pan and is full of bitchy back stabbers.
 
#5
For a more challenging youth movement how about the venture scouts (if they still exist)

The various cadet movements have more rules and less freedom of activities than the scouts can provide imho.

It's a shame the army cadets are getting such a bad reputation these days, but most of the ACF instructors I know do constantly complain that the organisation is going down the pan and is full of bitchy back stabbers.
Her Scout troop offer some good, challenging activities - she went on camp with them to Swanage and went coasteering, for example.

What I have seen of the ACF over the years has not impressed me, although I realise that I might well be unfairly maligning her local ACF Detachment.
 
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#6
ATC offers the potential of gliding, AEF flights.

During my time in I logged up as many flights I could get, chipmunk, bulldog, seaking, wokka, herc. You also get to do the green stuff, shooting, field craft etc.
 
#7
start collecting gash green kit and boots if you can, ATC does not issue it but the blue comes from the RAF (not shoes), subs at her ladyships det is £15 a month, some trips will cost extra.
in her first year she got to go on a training ship for a week {£100}, various camps and RIAT, DofE is greatly encouraged done bronze starting silver, and every year they have a grown up style dinning in night at a decent venue
Do not be surprised if they mention adult instructor volunteering to you
 
#8
I was in 1414 Sqn Crowborough in my youth and before joining the Army, it was a good laugh. Went flying in Chipmunks and gliders, shot .22 and loads of camps away. From my experience I would say go for it, if nothing else they get to socalise with real people instead of online.
 
#9
I'm a big fan of the cadet organisations, if I hadn't joined as a teenager I sense my life might've taken a very different track indeed.

My niece is 13, and I have been dropping hints to her mother that joining the ATC or ACF might be a good idea, frankly I think I'd be better off trying to persuade Jeremy Corbyn to join UKIP. My niece is the archetypal glued-to-a-smartphone, monosyllabic replies, utterly disinterested demeanour, and far from excelling at school. I'm not saying that the cadets would sort all of that, but at least it'd get her out of the house and amongst decent children; it'd also enable a positive adult influence (which she doesn't get from her mother, the fat waste of atoms).
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
#10
Not-so-Little Miss H_M has decided that she would like to join the cadets, specifically the Air Training Corps, which is just as well because I told both her and Ex-Mrs H_M that she was not joining the ACF! I wondered if anyone on here had any (constructive) thoughts on the ATC. I understand that the curtailment of cadet gliding at the Volunteer Gliding Schools and the paucity of Air Experience Flights has led to much unhappiness.

She already attends Scouts on a Friday evening but is looking for something a little bit more adventurous and challenging. I can take her to the recruitment evening on 25/09 and it will give me an opportunity to assess the situation for myself.
I'm an ex-inmate of that particular asylum, although my experience is now four decades out of date. However, the four years I spent in the ATC did shape my character for the better. I learnt a little bit about discipline, commanding people (I wound up a sergeant) , imparting knowledge (I used to run some of the classes), firearm safety and so on. And a lot of those lessons have stayed with me.

But - like the rest of life - I suspect the standard of the individual squadrons will vary. That said, I think little Miss H_M is going to inevitably end up a member of the ATC for a while at least. If she's got her heart set on it, you won't be thanked for stopping her. And if it's not for her, she'll realise for herself and just stop going.

Wordsmith
 
#11
Not-so-Little Miss H_M has decided that she would like to join the cadets, specifically the Air Training Corps, which is just as well because I told both her and Ex-Mrs H_M that she was not joining the ACF! I wondered if anyone on here had any (constructive) thoughts on the ATC. I understand that the curtailment of cadet gliding at the Volunteer Gliding Schools and the paucity of Air Experience Flights has led to much unhappiness.

She already attends Scouts on a Friday evening but is looking for something a little bit more adventurous and challenging. I can take her to the recruitment evening on 25/09 and it will give me an opportunity to assess the situation for myself.
Well done for raising a child who wants to do something that doesn't involve swiping a screen or sharing 'funny' cat videos from you tube. You have succeeded where I am failing miserably.
Is she into video games and stuff?

 
#12
Her ladyship has done all sorts of stuff, from heart start course to cyber safety, looking ahead if nothing else its good for cvs and uni applications
 
#13
Slightly biased (I have just stood down as an ATC Adult Warrant Officer after 17 years due to health reasons but remaining as part of the Sqns civilian committee) All of the cadet forces are good but I think the ATC edges it, gliding is all but gone at the minute but AEF in tutors is still there as flying scholarships available, the training provides B-Techs as well as practical skills such as first aid, one of my ones whilst working part time at a restaurant saved a customer who had collapsed life last year with the skills she had learnt, now qualified as a FA instructor. Camps at RAF stations are good and usually cost around fifty quid for a week away, there are also overseas camps in Germany ,Cyprus and Gibraltar, as an older cadet the International Air Cadet Exchange opens up, I have had cadets in the US, Australia and Ghana with that.
Shooting is the same syllabus as the ACF though there are less weapons qualified instructors as it is treated more as a speciality than a requirement for staff.
RIAT is the biggest annual camp with around 800 cadets and 250 staff helping to run the airshow, always oversubscribed for places with cadets ,approx. 25 from each Wing attending ,cost for it is around £20 .
In the last few years I have had cadets flown in Pumas (thanks to OC 33Sqn, one of our former cadets) Chinook, Tutor, Hercules, Gazelle, Squirrel and to top it Tucano and Hawk .
Tell her to go for it, the more she puts in the more she will get out off it .
Oh by the way what Sqn, I may be able to tell you more about it ?
 
#14
Is she into video games and stuff?

Not really, no; I can see where you are going with this but tbh, I don't think that she would pass a PULHEEMS due to an extreme allergic reaction to legumes, which necessitate her carrying Epipens. However, she is the sort of person who would make a good, committed Cadet Forces officer should she choose to do Adult service.
 
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#16
Do not be surprised if they mention adult instructor volunteering to you
Unfortunately, I don't live with her anymore and my house is about 75 mins drive away. I do work in the vicinity but I have the current Mrs H_M and Master H_M to consider too. Also, I probably do the best part of 50 days a year with the AR. My time to assist her Sqn would be very, very limited.
 
#17
Had a great time in the ATC as a young lad.
As another has noted lots of flying, gliding and dressing up in green stuff.
As for the range trips to RAF Hereford, outstanding. More rounds and weapons that I ever had in the mob.
 

maguire

LE
Book Reviewer
#18
for the massive part, I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the ATC and I credit it for getting me several jobs (on more than one occasion I've been told well polished shoes made me stand out from other candidates...).

sad to hear gliding has gone - the couple of yearly trips up to RAF Sealands (iirc) were always highlights, as was the trip down to Hendon for the aircraft rec competition.
 
#19
I was in from 13-18. 324 Sqn in sunny South Shields. Massively positive experience. I was at an all lads private school in Newcastle during the week so spending some time with kids from a broader mix of backgrounds was important.

As a squadron we were busy - something on every weekend - shooting (.22 number 8’s on the local TA indoor range; 5.56 L98s and 7.62 L81’s up at Ponteland and other ranges, and an occasional trip to Bisley); sport (inter squadron rugby, cricket, football, swimming, athletics, orienteering); adventure training, annual camps, international camps etc. We had opportunities to fly 5-6 times a year.

All of that was a direct result of having a group of bloody amazing civilian instructors. The uniformed VR(T) staff were awful - in it for the dubious kudos and getting pissed in the mess, but the CIs were there in the rain, driving buses, taking ranges. 20+ years on, I realise now how much I owe them.
 
#20
Not-so-Little Miss H_M has decided that she would like to join the cadets, specifically the Air Training Corps, which is just as well because I told both her and Ex-Mrs H_M that she was not joining the ACF! I wondered if anyone on here had any (constructive) thoughts on the ATC. I understand that the curtailment of cadet gliding at the Volunteer Gliding Schools and the paucity of Air Experience Flights has led to much unhappiness.

She already attends Scouts on a Friday evening but is looking for something a little bit more adventurous and challenging. I can take her to the recruitment evening on 25/09 and it will give me an opportunity to assess the situation for myself.
100% get her in. My (biased) opinion is that it's the best out of the cadet options. Lots of opportunities green and blue.

One poster mentioned about kit issue, our squadron issues everything apart from boots, shoes and green belts although we are in the minority on that. Blues do get issued though.

I'm lucky in that there are a few ex Military on our squadron staff so I really enjoy the banter in the office as well as working with the cadets. If you are asked to get involved, you don't have to go into uniform, you can be a civilian instructor and get involved in various aspects of the air cadets without committing fully.

Its now known as the RAF Air Cadets now not ATC.
 

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