What's the realistic time commitment as an AI?

I'm aware of the general time commitments re: evenings, weekends, camp- but what would I really find myself doing if I eventually became an AI? How much prep do you do before parade night?

Does this change much for officers?

Also, I have a driving licence but no car. Is this a problem? Do you have lots of paperwork/kit to take with you each time and drive or do you manage using public transport?
LFB, re commitment, two nights a week is a realistic expectation. Occasional weekends and your annual Summer Camp is an additional expectation. That said, however, all other time given to your 'hobby' depends upon your availability, knowledge level, level of interest and professionalism. If you want to learn, this is best done at home, or in your own time. If you want to be as professional as you can be, preparation of lessons; to maximise the Cadets learning experience; is essential. Again your imagination and knowledge will help you.

All of your kit can be transported on public transport. Try and 'borrow' a locker from somewhere, and leave your kit at your unit. Arrive early to press your uniform, clean your boots and carry out final prep for your lessons and 'job's a good-un'. You will probably be able to pick up an E version of the manuals from your training officer. this will help you prep Lesson Plans etc.

Hope this helps and good luck

I left a couple of years ago but was Detatchment Commander when I left after having been an AI for 5 years. As an AI I used to spend about an hour before leaving for the unit in bulling my boots, ironing my kit etc. I also used to double and triple check my lesson plans for mistakes and make sure I had all the necessary kit (I used to take all of my own in as if it was the Units kit it invariably went walkies) i.e. for section formations I had a set of circular cards with ranks/jobs on it (as per the manual), or I made OHP slides for individual lessons.
Other than that I spent a couple of hours a week writing up my lesson plans for the following week (always at least a week in advance) and if I had time I would pick a couple of other lessons from the manual so that I could write them up and eventually get ahead of myself. This was also handy for my ITC and Frimley courses. It took just over 2 years but it's worth doing!
Our counties commitment was at least 2 weekends a year plus Annual Camp (or half if you were working and couldn't get all the time off) or Easter Camp. Although it wasn't uncommon for most of us to do 6+ weekends, Easter and Annual.
When I became a DC it became a whole different ball game! As well as preparing my kit (an hour a night) I also had to plan the training programme (took a week at the end of each month doing it an hour a day or so as you have to plan for weapons visits and around official visits), complete pay claims, update M84's, fill in Roll Call books, update personal details, speak to parents,sort the accounts, prepare information packs and attend monthly Company DC meetings and any other DC meetings held at HQ, and prepare for Annual Inspection. It ended up being a couple of hours a night if not more.
You really need to set yourself a limit. I tried to do everything myself and it doesn't work so you need to delegate some tasks while remembering that it is you that carries the can. Don't get me wrong: I loved it but it can become all consuming. Set yourself an hour or so a night and stick to it!!

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