149 (Poole) Squadron Uniform Hints and Tips Booklet
Cdt Ryan Cure
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Uniform Information Remember The RAF let us wear their uniform as they are happy to let us represent them in the local community. This is especially important in the local area, as with no local RAF bases, to the general public, the ATC is the RAF. This means that everyone needs to wear their uniform in the correct manner & maintain its appearance to the highest standards. It is important to be proud of the ATC and its uniform.
General Appearance 1. Don’t wait to be pulled up by an NCO or a member of Staff. Check yourself over before going on parade. Get into the habit of checking each other. Remember, you are a team. 2. Before leaving home check that you are clean & tidy! If paper has been in short supply make sure your hands are free of writing! 3. Haircuts & styles must be according to regulations! That is, hair should not be touching the top of your ears, sideburns must not be longer than halfway down the ear and no longer than to the bottom of the collar of your shirt. For females, if hair is longer than this, it is to be kept in a hairnet of a colour closest matching the colour of your hair, or black, or dark blue. 4. If an item of uniform no longer fits or is unserviceable, then get it changed. Speak to an NCO, who will sort you uniform out when they next have the opportunity 5. For guidance speak to the NCO or a member of staff. This is possibly the most important piece of guidance in this booklet. 6. This is not really uniform guidance, but remember to carry your cadets record of service books, often called ‘three eight double twos’ due to it being RAF Form 3822, with you all the time you are at cadets, including camps, off squadron activities, especially flying and gliding, and even when uniform is not worn, such as sports nights
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Uniform Information List of Uniform Issued to Cadets on enrolment
Item Beret ATC Beret Badge and Fastening Shirt, Long Sleeved Shirt, Long Sleeved Jersey Trousers, No.2 Dress Skirt, No.2 Dress
Quantity 1 1
Colour RAF Blue/Grey Silver
1 2 1 1 1
Wedgwood Blue Working Blue (Dark Blue) RAF Blue/Grey RAF Blue/Grey RAF Blue/Grey
Brassard Anorak, Jeltex Tie
1 1 1
RAF Blue/Grey Blue Black
Shirt, Long Sleeved Trousers Jacket Belt Distinguishing Badge
1 1 1 1 1
DPM Green DPM Green DPM Green Olive Green Black with white writing
Black with white writing
Notes To be worn with beret
Only issued to female cadets To be worn with No.2 Trousers
To be worn with Wedgwood Blue shirt only
See Brassard Section for placings See Brassard Section for placings
You may not be issued all of this uniform at the same time due to supply issues If you do not have full uniform, then do not wear the uniform at all. By full uniform, it is meant a full set of one uniform, i.e. working blues, rather than all of the kit above. It is alright to turn up in uniform if you have blues but do not have greens, providing it is a blues night. Also, small items, like an unissued belt should not stop you wearing uniform, unless it is a parade or other formal occasion. Uniform is issued free of charge, and is replaced as you grow out of it, or the uniform becomes unserviceable. If the uniform is not returned after issuing, if, for example, when you leave, then you will be charged for uniform. Also take care not to lose your uniform, it may be charged for when it is replaced.
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Beret • Moulding the Beret 1. Take the beret and place upside down alternately in hot and cold water, immersing the blue woollen part in the water. Take care not to get the leather band wet, as it will shrink. 2. Place the beret on your head, and mould it so that the beret badge is over your left eye, and the excess material is pulled over to the right 3. Take the beret off, making sure that the beret retains the required shape 4. Leave the beret to dry naturally 5. You may find that the beret doesn’t stay in the required shape after moulding, in which case just remould the beret, and it will eventually go into the correct shape. However, moulding the beret is not a regular job, and only tends to have to be undertaken a few times for the beret’s life. •
Wearing the Beret
1. Pull the beret onto your head so that the band is level on your head about a thumbnail above your eyes. It is usually a good idea to put the front of the beret on your head first before pulling the rest on so that no hair sticks out of the front of the beret 2. Pull the excess material over to your right ear after positioning the beret so that the badge is over your left eye 3. It is a good idea to check that the beret badge is the correct way up on your beret, so that the text on the badge can be read, as beret badges can sometimes find themselves upside down after being left with other cadets. It is also a problem sometimes that the beret can be ‘fluffy’. If this occurs, it can be fixed by using an electric razor on the beret to remove the excess material
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Uniform Information Shoes If you are male, then make sure that the shoes which you get have a toecap, if you are female then use shoes which do not have a toecap, but are smooth leather all round Shoes, whether you are male or female need to be black and made of leather. There are many internet cadet shops and military surplus stores which can be used for this, but my recommendation is to look in shoe shops or even supermarkets if your budget will not stretch as far as some. Remember to wear black socks with your shoes with no logos or cartoons on if you are male, or female and wearing trousers, and near-black tights if you are female and wearing a skirt. Preparation To get good shoes, it will take hours of polishing to get it mirror shiny, so the first thing you must do is find somewhere comfortable, as then you will be able to keep at your shoes for longer, and therefore get your shoes better in a shorter time. To first start on the shoe, if you have any mud, dust or other muck on your shoes, get it off, by wiping it off. If it is really bad, then wash off the dirt and come back to them later. Also, if there are any scratches on your shoe, then be prepared to take longer on your shoes, as more scratches=longer time Right, now you are ready to open your polish. It is recommended to use Kiwi black polish, as kiwi really does give the best shine. Some people may be tempted to use parade gloss, but it does contain paraffin, which will have a detrimental effect on the shine you will achieve. Just stick to regular old kiwi black. Polishing (Bulling) the shoe In normal life, it is fine to polish your shoes using brushes, but they are too coarse to get a good shine. It is therefore necessary to use a softer material to polish with. Cotton wool is good, as is a duster. First, if you are using cotton wool, take two pieces of cotton wool, and roll them into balls. If a duster is to be used, wrap the duster around your finger, ensuring that there is no wrinkles around the part where the pad of your finger is. This is important, as this is where you will be polishing the shoe from. Next, immerse the two cotton wool balls, or the part of your duster you are using into water. Take one of the balls, or part of your duster, and dip it into the polish, but do not take too much. Rub the polish onto the shoe in small circles. Aim for a motion of about an inch in diameter. Too small, and you will be there all day, too big and you don't really achieve anything. Once polish has been applied, take your second cotton wool ball, or if 149 (Poole) Squadron Air Training Corps Page 5
Uniform Information using a duster, take an unmarked part of the duster and immerse it in water, and then move the unmarked material in the circular motions. Repeat this process, adding further ‘layers’. After about two or three ‘layers’, you will start to notice that the part of the shoe you have polished is looking shinier than the unpolished parts. A benefit of using water is that it waterproofs the shoe and you get a lovely shine in the end For males, it is normal to concentrate on the toecap, and it is better to have this shinier than the rest of the shoe. However, you should polish the rest of the shoe sometimes to make your shoes really good. For females, the entire shoe needs to be polished. This process is not a quick one, and takes literally hours to get a good shine. For an inexperienced cadet to get to the smooth state, it takes about 1.5 hours per shoe, so you are looking at three hours work. For a more experienced buller to get to this state, it takes about 45 minutes, so you are looking at about an hour and a half’s work. It is purely dependant on the skill of the buller and the state of the shoes, i.e. any scuffs or scratches.
Caring for your shine •
All you need to do now is to make sure nobody scuffs them, stands on them or spills anything on them. Once you have good shoes, you will realise how hard it was to get them there, and will be very protective. Therefore, take great care not to ruin anyone else’s shoes
Keep out of reach of little peoples sticky hands
Keep a cloth over them to keep off dust. Putting them in the box they came in can also help
If you manage to keep them scuff free and shiny, all you will need to do before you go to cadets is just give them a quick polish using the technique above.
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Brassard A. IDENTIFICATION BADGE To be worn centrally, 6mm from the top edge of the brassard. ALWAYS PRESENT
B. DISTINGUISHING BADGE To be worn in a central position, immediately below the identification badge. ALWAYS PRESENT
C. FIRST-CLASS, LEADING OR SENIOR CADET BADGE To be worn in a central position, immediately below the distinguishing badge. STAFF CADET: LEFT BLANK
1. LEADERSHIP COURSE BADGE To be worn in a central position, immediately below the classification badge. ALWAYS PRESENT WHERE QUALIFIED
2. NIJMEGEN BADGE To be located with the base of the badge 7.5cm from the lower edge of the brassard, in the centre if possible, but on the left if worn with the Corps Marksman badge. ALWAYS PRESENT WHERE QUALIFIED
4. MILLENNIUM VOLUNTEERS BADGE To be positioned 6mm from the left-hand edge and 6mm from the lower edge. ALWAYS PRESENT WHERE QUALIFIED
3. MARKSMANSHIP To be fixed 6mm from the right-hand edge and 6mm from the lower edge of the brassard. ALWAYS PRESENT WHERE QUALIFIED
5. COMMUNICATOR / BANDSMEN’S BADGE These ‘project’ badges are only to be worn where space exists as higher-priority badges have yet to be gained, and preferably in a central location.
Note on Marksmanship Badges, only one to be worn according to this order of precedence: a) Squadron Marksman b) Wing Marksman c) Region Marksman d) Corps Marksman e) Cadet 100 (= highest)
6. FIRST AID BADGE To be worn only where the MV or Marksmanship badge has yet to be gained, 6mm from the lower edge of the brassard.
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Uniform Information Brassard Examples & Notes Notes: a) As both the MV and Marksmanship badges are available, no First Aid badge may be worn. b) As the Corps Marksman has been gained, the crown is fixed so its bottom edge is 7.5cm from the bottom of the brassard. c) If this cadet gains the Leadership Course Badge, one of the project badges would need to be removed. d) If this cadet were also to gain the Nijmegen badge, this would be placed in a ‘balancing’ position on the left-hand side, with the bottom 7.5cm from the bottom of the brassard.
Notes: a) This shows how a qualified Staff Cadet would wear a Communicator, Band and First Aid badge. b) As previously, the project badges are worn centrally, but space is left where the classification badge rested. c) Again, if this cadet gains either the Nijmegen or Leadership badges, one of the ‘project’ badges will need to make way. d) As this cadet has yet to gain either a Marksmanship or MV, the First Aid badge should occupy the ‘senior’ space available for the Marksmanship badge.
When sewing on your badges, make sure that you sew using appropriate coloured thread, like black, dark blue or dark grey, or else you will be ordered to re-sew your badges. Also, make sure that you sew on your badges well; a badge which has even the slightest part which is not secure is liable to be removed by an NCO for re-sewing, which is not a good thing to happen. Also, remember to wear your brassard on your left, and fasten your brassard to your shirt/jumper using the epaulette. Do not wear your brassard with DPMs. 149 (Poole) Squadron Air Training Corps Page 8
Uniform Information DPM DPMs (Disruptively Patterned Material), more commonly known as greens or combats are what are used for the more active of squadron activities, like shooting, fieldcraft, initiative exercises as well as off squadron activities like gliding. To care for your DPMs, make sure that all of the clothing is washed and clean. Also, although the creases do not show very well with DPMs, do try at least to get some into your shirt and trousers, in the same places as on your other uniform shirt and trousers. It is recommended to wear a t-shirt under your DPM shirt, but if you choose to, it must be black, brown, olive green or beige/sand. Brightly coloured t-shirts are not allowed. During Shirtsleeves order, the sleeves of the DPM shirt are to be rolled up so that they come above the elbow and are equal in length, and the top button of the shirt is to be left undone. All other buttons are to be done up and the zip is to be fastened up to the second button so that the top button can be undone. When it is not shirtsleeves order, the sleeves of the shirt are to be rolled down, and the jacket is to be worn. The jacket is to be buttoned and zipped up fully, with the collar of the jacket turned down all the way around. All buttons and zips of the DPMs are to be kept fastened, and all cords are to be hidden. The bottoms of the trousers are to be ‘bloused’ over the top of the boot. The trousers issued have a drawstring for this, but you may wish to buy trouser twists for this purpose. Remember, the only blue items to be worn whilst in DPMs are your beret, and rank slides if you are an NCO. When wearing DPMs, boots must be worn. There is no definite model of boot which must be worn, but it is highly recommended to have boots which come up above the ankle. To keep the boots in good working order, then you must polish the boots. To do this, you must use two brushes, a ‘putting on’ and a ‘rubbing up’ brush, which can be obtained from a shoe shop or supermarket if you don’t have any, but it is worth scouting in the cupboards for as most people have them. Use the harder brush to press gently into the polish and then rub all over the boot, replenishing the polish if necessary. Leave a while whilst you apply polish to the other boot. Then, with the softer brush, rub up the polish on the first boot until it seems to go a little shinier than before, but no major shine will appear. Once you have finished one boot, do the other. One or two coats at a time should suffice. This will take elbow grease, but is worth it, as it nourishes and waterproofs the leather, and stops the leather of the boot from rotting. From time to time, or if you know you have been in water, take off the laces of the boot and polish in the folds of leather where the tongue of the boot is. This will stop the boot rotting in this place and so impede the waterproofing of the boot. It is important before polishing however to remove any mud or dirt from the boot, which can be achieved by scrubbing with a washing up brush and using water in a sink. Remember to dry the boots after doing this!
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Uniform Information Shirts There are two types of shirt issued to cadets, the Working blue shirt and the Wedgwood blue shirt. The Working blue shirt is the darker blue shirt and is worn on most ‘blues’ nights at cadets. This shirt is worn without a tie and with the top button undone. In the summer months, ‘shirtsleeves order’ is usually given, in which the sleeves of this shirt are to be rolled smartly up so that they are equal in length and above the elbow, and a jumper is not worn. Your brassard is to be outside of your rolled up sleeves. If a jumper is worn, then the collar should be outside the jumper. The Wedgwood blue shirt is the lighter of the two shirts and is worn mostly for parades. It is worn with the issued black tie and so your top button must be done up. If this shirt is to be worn in ‘shirtsleeves order’, then although a jumper is not worn, do not roll up your sleeves. If you are wearing your shirt when it is not shirtsleeves order, then the collar must be kept inside the jumper. To iron your shirts, just iron in the normal places, and make sure that no creases lie where there should not be. A common way to see a cadet that does not iron is to look for the marks where the shirt has been taken out of the packet, and has not ironed out these creases before wearing the shirt. Iron the shirt along the collar, the main body of the shirt and the sleeves, ensuring that a crease runs from the middle of the base of the epaulette to the cuff. To store your shirts, hang up the shirts, do not fold them up. This makes it easier to iron your shirts, as there will be fewer creases, and those which should be there will be stronger to see.
Wedgwood Blue Shirt
Working Blue Shirt
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Uniform Information Trousers Trousers are common indicators of good uniform, along with shiny parade shoes. The trousers worn by you as a cadet are to have two creases only in them and the sharper the crease, the better it looks. There are two patterns of trousers in common use in ATC squadrons at the moment, the older, thicker material pairs, and the newer, slightly thinner pairs. The slightly thinner pairs do give a slightly better crease, but there is not much to choose between the two materials. Whichever is issued, there needs to be some ironing of the trousers taking place. To iron the trousers, take one leg of the trousers, and position it so that the seam of the trouser runs down the middle of the leg, and the front and back of the trouser is in half, to achieve a crease along the middle of the front and the back of the trouser leg. No other creases should be in the trouser. Once you have stopped wearing the trouser, it is a good idea to hang the trousers up, rather than folding or throwing in a corner, as this will result in extra creases which are not needed. It is recommended to use a hanger which can hang up the trousers so that they can hang full length, as this keeps the trouser in shape. It is a common complaint that if the trousers are not lined up exactly and ironed on the same crease every time, then parallel lines, or ‘tram lines’ will be created. To get rid of these, iron the trousers when they are still damp, and press very hard so to flatten the incorrect crease. It is also a good idea to iron the trousers whilst damp to get sharp creases in your trouser an easier way.
Skirts The skirt should be pressed to ensure a creaseless finish. The skirt should be dry cleaned only. The skirt is always worn with tights, the current regulation colour being ‘barely black’.
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Uniform Information Tie A tie is worn by all cadets when in wedgewood blues. The tie must be black, and tied in a full Windsor knot, but if you have an issued tie, or a black tie you have bought yourself, it does not matter. It is difficult to tie a Windsor knot if you do not know already, so to tie this you should: 1. Have your wedgewood shirt collar buttoned up & upturned & drape the tie around the collar with the wide part of the tie at your dominant side (Left or right handed). 2. Pull enough of the wide part down to just touch your belt & cross the wide part over the narrow part of the tie. 3. Pinch the crossover point & pull the wide part of the tie towards your chest & up towards your chin. 4. Now bring the wide end down & wrap it around the Narrow part from the front. (You should wrap the wide part around the narrow part outside of the knot.) 5. You should now have the Wide part to the left, inside out. Take the wide end & pass it across the front of the knot to the right. 6. Pass the wide end behind the knot & back up through the loop. 7. Nearly done! Now pass the wide end down through the knot you have just created. 8. Using both ends of the tie adjust its fit so that the knot is tight & the shirt collar button is hidden. 9. Take care in removing the tie as it can easily be distorted or stretched. The picture on the next page describes this visually. Remember that when caring for your tie to never put a hot iron directly on the tie, as this will distort the tie, and melts the material the tie is made from, so that it looks shiny. Although many things in the ATC are desired to be shiny, a tie is not, so please donâ€™t do it. If you desperately must iron the tie, put a damp cloth between the tie and the iron, but it is unusual for a tie to be in so bad a condition to need ironing.
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Uniform Information Belt The belt worn whilst in either working blues or Wedgwood blues is a blue/grey belt made from material and is about an inch in width, with a tension buckle. The other belt which you will be issued with will be an olive green belt, which is much thicker than the blue belt, and has a different type of fastening, more of a clasp. The blues belt needs to be kept in a shiny condition, and as there are two types, Brass and Staybright, they require different maintenance. Staybright buckles do not need much maintenance, whereas Brass buckles require regular polishing by using a metal polish, such as â€˜Brassoâ€™ and a duster. The belt, when worn should have the excess length pulled no more than one inch past the first belt loop on the trousers or skirt. This can be achieved by adjusting the length of the belt by using the toothed clasps on the back of the buckle. On the greens belt, no polishing should be undertaken, the belt clasp should be non reflective, as it is designed for use in a combat environment, and a shiny belt clasp could give away your position.
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Uniform Information Jersey The jersey is pretty much the easiest bit of kit to look after, except for the jeltex. It only needs to be ironed on the epaulettes and elbow pads if they become noticeably creased, and does not need to be ironed anywhere else. It is washable, but it must be taken care so that the jumper does not shrink, as it is made from wool. The major maintenance job for the jumper is just picking off bits of fluff which gather on the jumper, but other than that, it pretty much looks after itself. Just remember to not use the pen pocket on the jerseyâ€™s left sleeve, but use your trouser pockets for carrying your 3822, notepad and pens.
Jeltex Anorak The anorak does not need to be ironed or washed in the washing machine; the only care which it needs is to be hand washed if it becomes visibly dirty. It may get creases, but this is unavoidable for such a garment. Just remember to keep the epaulette fastened on the coat, and the collar folded down whilst wearing it.
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Published on Mar 15, 2010