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

Discussion in 'ACF' started by EX_STAB, Dec 15, 2009.

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  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.
  2. Could be that AI's like the thought of the Army and the uniform but dont fancy the thought of going on tour,
  3. Well yes, I did mention that though. I was thinking other than that.
  4. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator

    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 :)
  7. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    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
  8. RP578

    RP578 LE Book Reviewer

    Do you mean AIs with previous military experience? Because if not, they most certainly would have to attend CIC/CMSR.
  9. AI's don't get shot at
  10. You can do that in the TA too. :roll:
  11. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    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:
  12. You could say why be in the TA rather than the regular army?
  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)
  14. RP578

    RP578 LE Book Reviewer

    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.

    Too old (as was then), but still itching to kill the Queen's enemies?
  15. You could but that's a different question - one for the TA forum perhaps?