Why be an ACF AI when you could join the TA?

#1
Not a Wah.

I was bimbling along on a CFT the other day and there were a lot of Cadet instructors about, it was a big Cadet camp. Looked like they were all enjoying it, cadets and adults so good on 'em.

Anyway, the Officers and AIs were of various ages but quite a few seemed to be in the 18 - 43 bracket. As I went past several younger ones who were marking a route out for the cadets, I got to thinking "Why would you be an AI rather than join the TA?"

I was an Air Cadet many years a go but joined TA on the day I was old enough.

I can understand some people might have health reasons and so on.

What is the motivation to do one rather than the other?

As I say this is just out of general curiosity, not a wah so hopefully it can be kept sensible.
 
#3
jarrod248 said:
Maybe they have health problems barring them from service but wanted to help in some other way.
Well yes, I did mention that though. I was thinking other than that.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#4
A distinct possibility of "big fish, small pond" syndrome. To move from Cadet CSM, bossing around all and sundry, to lowest recruit with no authority or credibility may be a difficult pill to swallow for some.
 
#5
I have recently become an AI having left the TA on grounds from my employer.

There are a lot of young ex-cadets who become AIs because frankly they like all the dressing up in green, getting rifles and wagons and radios and having a big Army game... but don't like the idea of the range being 2-way. They also don't like the idea of having to be a private-rank again, most of the idiots in the AIs who like their ranks too much are the ex-cdets. many had great fun with the cadets and have no inention of military operations or even basic training, so they just 'stay in cadets'. To be frank, many young instructors act far more like youths than youth leaders.

However, on the flip side, there are other reasons. Without my job, I would still be suitable for the TA, but chose to leave and become an AI as my employer will not employ me if I am in a position where I can be mobilised. As my contract is renewed monthly, I had to go! The ACF however, still lets me enjoy some of the activities that I enjoyed in the TA, but without me losing my job. I also get a lot of satisfaction from working with young people as you can see them develop and improve themselves from your work. In the TA - where it is training or operations, without going on Ops (and even with, in some cases); I don't know if the opportunity to see the results of your effort are so clear cut.

In a kinda messed up way, ACF Ais who sign the paperwork and hand their CRB in become the rank of PI and earn a higher wage than a TA Pte. It's kinda warranted, as in reality I have a lot more responsibility as an ACF instructor than I did as a TA Pte. However, It can't help in the A/B comparision!

I think, above, are your 4 main reasons people become young AIs not TA Soldiers:
• They like green skin, weapons, and all that jumble, but don't like the idea of lots of tabbing around in body armour and being shot at.
• They like having a rank and being the big man straight away, not having to wait a few years in the TA.
• They have other circumstances (medical, work, etc) that prevent them being in the TA, but still wish to contribute to the military, and enjoy some of the military activities and lifestyle. (This is also applicable to ex-soldiers especially)
• They understand that whichever they do, it'll need to be their part time job. And the ACF get paid more.
 
#6
you get outted in the TA if your a walt and the ACF love you for it :)
plus there 2 different jobs ones kiddy fildderling
the other you are the kids getting fiddled :)
 

the_boy_syrup

LE
Book Reviewer
#7
When I joined the TA in 2003
I had been out since 1996 so had to go back and do basic training at Grantham (fair enough)
A1's didn't they just swapped their kit over and were straight in

So I don't see the big drama's about them joining unless as you say it's big fish, small pond syndrome
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#8
the_boy_syrup said:
When I joined the TA in 2003
I had been out since 1996 so had to go back and do basic training at Grantham (fair enough)
A1's didn't they just swapped their kit over and were straight in

So I don't see the big drama's about them joining unless as you say it's big fish, small pond syndrome
Do you mean AIs with previous military experience? Because if not, they most certainly would have to attend CIC/CMSR.
 

the_boy_syrup

LE
Book Reviewer
#11
RP578 said:
the_boy_syrup said:
When I joined the TA in 2003
I had been out since 1996 so had to go back and do basic training at Grantham (fair enough)
A1's didn't they just swapped their kit over and were straight in

So I don't see the big drama's about them joining unless as you say it's big fish, small pond syndrome
Do you mean AIs with previous military experience? Because if not, they most certainly would have to attend CIC/CMSR.
Nope he was at UNI no previous

One minute he was in recruits and the next straight into a troop

I asked the recruiting Sgt and got told A1's didn't have to do it

Mind the idiot of a Sgt brought his son from the cadets to do a lesson on SA80 because he couldn't put the sling together

One Army :wink:
 
#13
I've a view on this one, as I'm an Instructor with a Cadet group in the North West and in the TA.

Some of my Cadets know I'm in the TA, ask a few silly questions, ie, have you killed anyone, etc, then clear off back to whatever lesson they were in. I make it known that I like to keep both my Cadet and TA roles different, partly because I don't like walting to start with, and because I don't want hoards of kids chasing me around asking if it's really like COD4. If they've an honest question/interest with regards to signing up, then I'll answer and help them out the best I can.

As an Instructor, and feel free to agree/disagree, I've noticed that a lot of instructors tend to buy the Gucci gear, black/green Buffalo jackets, thermal mugs/BCB flasks, and rock about on a Cadet night just bimbling around, shouting at Cadets, and basking in the 'glory' that the cadets seem to look at them with.

I've been on a few 'excercises' with Cadets, and many time I've watched some harrassed 16-17 Cdt Sgt trying to bark orders on a section assault and making it feel as real as he/she can, with some Instructor either berating him for one choice or another, or just bimbling around like the Lord of a manor.

I've often asked some of the younger Instructors why they don't just come over to the TA, or move onto joining the Regs, as they've some knowledge and would experience a different world. I've had a few sensible answers, ie, doing this because they're putting something back into the Cadets, getting a taste of it before I join up, etc.

But the majority like the attention they get from the Cadets - they are 18+, in green, and barking orders and teaching lessons as if they've been there and done that, and a lot of them love the attention they get.
There are a few ones that have tried and not made it due to health reasons, ie, dodgy hearts, doing it while at Uni, family reasons, etc.

Out of my Cadet group, a small portion do it because they want to learn as much as possible before turning 18 and hitting the Careers Office and signing up to either Reg or TA and I've all the time in the world for them. Another portion do it because they geniunely want to help kids.

But I can't help but notice that most of them do it because they want the good gear, get to dress up, and walt it up to the cadets, but don't want the flak that comes with wearing the kit for real, ie, getting bollockings, cft's, PT, ops, etc.

(Goes into hiding for incoming)
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#14
the_boy_syrup said:
Nope he was at UNI no previous

One minute he was in recruits and the next straight into a troop

I asked the recruiting Sgt and got told A1's didn't have to do it
The Sgt was talking bollox (although there did exist a proviso that exempted Cadets who had attained a level of proficiency from elements of initial training) and how he actually got away with this is beyond me.

Rudie said:
You could say why be in the TA rather than the regular army?
Too old (as was then), but still itching to kill the Queen's enemies?
 
#16
therealbigdizzle said:
• They like having a rank and being the big man straight away, not having to wait a few years in the TA.
What good is having a rank when everybody else is at the same rank as you? All start as SI. But away from the kids we all have the same rank: Adult. Its just that some of our adults are responsible for the Safety and welfare of other adults AND the cadets! I have never felt like the 'big man' one bit. I felt I had a responsibiity, that is sometimes quite challenging. I felt more like the big man when I was a Cadet CSM some 20 years ago!

However, there are a tiny few AIs who were mediocre cadets who then become mediocre AIs, just for the thrill of wearing 3 stripes when they struggled to earn 1 as a cadet. They soon disappear though.
therealbigdizzle said:
• They understand that whichever they do, it'll need to be their part time job. And the ACF get paid more.
The ACF, currently, don't get paid at all. And I predict we will never be paid again (or only for annual camp)

But we still turn out and do it. How many TA will you never see again now that you are closed until April?
 
#17
Going back to the early seventies I got caught with an employer who would not accept the, even then, low risk of call up liability, at least not without a firm message that if that came first career would become second.

I think it was one of the occasional ads run by MoD at the time I picked up on and decided that, having had an odd sort of childhood myself, that some of what had been a fun and maturing process for me at NU OTC (now EM OTC), could work for others, so applied to Hants & IoW ACF- end of for about 8 years, as they were an active county, the Company being led successively by good quality and enthusiastic OC's, and other DC's and their AI's being, as they are, individual, certainly not without fault, but on the whole pretty dedicated with their time and effort to the purpose.

We were pretty safeguarded from the "in in for the power" and "in it walting" sort of guys, not least because we had good Regular Sponsor Unit contact, and excellent relations with the CTC, all of whom, if they felt as many here about the ACF, at least gave us fair chance to prove them wrong. In the interests of keeping things professional we also had a reasonable proportion of ex serving AI's and the permanent staff, all retired officers or SNCOs, and all experienced enough army and cadet-wise to know what you were thinking before you created the next cunning plan!
 
#18
Moobe said:
I've a view on this one, as I'm an Instructor with a Cadet group in the North West and in the TA.

Some of my Cadets know I'm in the TA, ask a few silly questions, ie, have you killed anyone, etc, then clear off back to whatever lesson they were in. I make it known that I like to keep both my Cadet and TA roles different, partly because I don't like walting to start with, and because I don't want hoards of kids chasing me around asking if it's really like COD4. If they've an honest question/interest with regards to signing up, then I'll answer and help them out the best I can.

As an Instructor, and feel free to agree/disagree, I've noticed that a lot of instructors tend to buy the Gucci gear, black/green Buffalo jackets, thermal mugs/BCB flasks, and rock about on a Cadet night just bimbling around, shouting at Cadets, and basking in the 'glory' that the cadets seem to look at them with.

I've been on a few 'excercises' with Cadets, and many time I've watched some harrassed 16-17 Cdt Sgt trying to bark orders on a section assault and making it feel as real as he/she can, with some Instructor either berating him for one choice or another, or just bimbling around like the Lord of a manor.

I've often asked some of the younger Instructors why they don't just come over to the TA, or move onto joining the Regs, as they've some knowledge and would experience a different world. I've had a few sensible answers, ie, doing this because they're putting something back into the Cadets, getting a taste of it before I join up, etc.

But the majority like the attention they get from the Cadets - they are 18+, in green, and barking orders and teaching lessons as if they've been there and done that, and a lot of them love the attention they get.
There are a few ones that have tried and not made it due to health reasons, ie, dodgy hearts, doing it while at Uni, family reasons, etc.

Out of my Cadet group, a small portion do it because they want to learn as much as possible before turning 18 and hitting the Careers Office and signing up to either Reg or TA and I've all the time in the world for them. Another portion do it because they geniunely want to help kids.

But I can't help but notice that most of them do it because they want the good gear, get to dress up, and walt it up to the cadets, but don't want the flak that comes with wearing the kit for real, ie, getting bollockings, cft's, PT, ops, etc.

(Goes into hiding for incoming)
Pretty much the same experience of the ACF as me then. There's easily enough bad apples to put me off, and I regularly debate whether it's still worth it or not. But there's enough good apples, and enough success stories of the young people we train, to keep me doing it.

Tbh, the gucci kit ones just make me have a giggle to myself. They spent their hard earned cash on things they don't need and actually make them look an utter spanner, whilst I don't sit in the bar moaning about paying the rent.
 
#19
Rudie said:
You could say why be in the TA rather than the regular army?
I can only speak for myself.

I get to pick and choose when and who with I do an operational tour.

Although this may seem mercenary.

The Army gains by getting a reasonably experienced (1 Herrick tour) infantry PTE and I gain by getting 12 months of disposible income I can't really spend, an Op tour bonus and a warm fuzzy feeling from knowing I've done my bit.

For this the army has to only pay me around a grand a year and give me the kit I need, everyones a winner.

I will be doing my second tour late 2010 if all goes to plan so the Army has certainly had value for money out of me.

And if anyone has a problem with me being TA and volunteering for ops they've never told me so without the comfort of an anonymous website.




Which makes me think Arrse is perhaps over-run with walts and cold-war salisbury plain veterans
.

I've always fitted in quick on account of being physically fit, willing to learn, not a gobsh1te and reasonably intelligent.

If the Army offered a short service engagement (like the 4 Para gap year scheme) that involved an Op tour I would have done that instead because I'm not a big fan of drill nights and bone weekends in some sh1t hole camp the Regs haven't used since national service.
 
#20
mark1234 said:
The Army gains by getting a reasonably experienced (1 Herrick tour) infantry PTE and I gain by getting 12 months of disposible income I can't really spend, an Op tour bonus and a warm fuzzy feeling from knowing I've done my bit.
Oh.. and no pension.
For this the army has to only pay me around a grand a year and give me the kit I need, everyones a winner.
and do they? unless you're on Ops... do they feck.

I will be doing my second tour late 2010 if all goes to plan so the Army has certainly had value for money out of me.
The Army gets value for money from everyone in the TA.. because it spends so fcuking little on you it can't fail.

And if anyone has a problem with me being TA and volunteering for ops they've never told me so without the comfort of an anonymous website.
Don't think im dissing you for it. Just think the way TA soldiers get treated is a joke... and whilst you've named some good reasons to be in the TA... I don't think they're by any means good reasons not to be in the Regs.
 
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