Civilian Instructor, Mr Tolson and Cadet Warrant Officer Parr both attended a Pre Uniform Course this weekend at RAF Wittering. This course is the first stage of becoming a uniformed member of staff within the Air Cadet organisation, whether you want to become a Non-Commissioned Officer or a Commissioned (VRT) Officer.
The course started at 0900 hours on the Saturday of last weekend, and started with a brief of what the course contained and directing staff introductions. It was then time for candidates introductions followed by group ice breakers, which allowed us all to find out information about each other, and that we seemed to have a lot of kayakers among the group.
We then broke up into lessons on expectations of uniform service, Health and Safety, policy and role of RAF VR(T), policy and role of ATC SNCO and finally a group debate. The lesson were split up by lunch which was followed by a tour to either the SNCO mess or the Officers mess, dependent on which role you wanted to go into.
In the evening each candidate sat a Belbin assessment which gives you an idea on which role you naturally take within a team, which was followed by a number of scenarios which the candidates had to deal with. The scenarios really did challenge your knowledge of the Air Cadet Organisation and tackled how you coped under pressure.
The rest of the evening was devoted to socialising with the rest of the candidates as well as the people from the civilian instructor’s course that was running simultaneously to the pre uniform course.
On Sunday they learnt about the ACOs and RAFs, structure, organisation and current news, as well as the ranks of all three services. Everyone then sat a knowledge test on the subjects just learnt, which gave feedback after every question allowing candidates to establish where the weaknesses are in their knowledge. The day was ended with a talk on opportunities as an adult within the ACO, and what to expect in the next stages of the application process.
Both Mr Tolson and Cadet Warrant Officer Parr enjoyed the weekend and found it beneficial, they now both anxiously await their reports which should come out in the new few weeks.
Mr Tolson said “The weekend was a real eye opener into the world of Uniformed Staff in the ATC. To be put in a scenario and given the overall decision for that situation, makes you truly understand the sheer importance of the Staff influence. I have really learnt something from this course.”