Well troops what web site would be complete if we didn’t include what we wore and why we swore!!!
I was fortunate enough to have joined when we wore the old battle dress blues and then progressed onto the new look AirTC. Of course since then further changes have come about ……ahhh the forever “morphing” ATC.
Here's some backround info on the ATC:
The Air Training corps is the official cadet movement of the Royal Australian Air Force. The Corps was founded in 1941 as a pre-enlistment training scheme for young men aged between 16 and 18 entering the RAAF as aircrew. Between 1941 and the end of WW2, 11925 members had enlisted in the RAAF, of whom 7000 were trained as aircrew. Today's Air Training Corps is a community based organisation still supported to an extent by the RAAF but relying increasingly on assistance from the corporate sector to provide the necessary funding to allow cadets to undertake a wide range of aviation and adventure based training.
Now where to begin …....oh well may as well start from the top and work our way down ….
1st on the list is the AirTC Insignia!!!
I distinctly remember many a cadet having to “sew” their insignias in as the pins on the back were forever snapping off, mind you no blue tack was used here I learned my lesson. Now for those fortunate enough to keep their pins straight and in mint condition there was the added risk of the clips going missing hence them having to endure and adapt with a piece of erazor and whacking on the back of the pins so that their heads would not be pierced like a combat boot stepping on a ”punji spike”.
The old blue “C Cap”/forage cap, for those enquiring as to what the “C” stood for, kindly email me and we will respond as it was at a time when female cadets hadn’t graced our ranks yet, and the answer here would be inappropriate. It was compulsory to have to sew the top of the cap as leaving it open like that was downright “improper”. That goes for the clips on the side of the caps as well, which held the sides in place otherwise they would come unstuck and we would look like wing nuts!! Well at least it kept our ears warm .
The “Air Tactical Commando” Flashes…… Boy did we have fun with these. They came in 2 fashionable colors Navy Blue and Olive Drab. Later on in years we used them for our jungle greens whilst out on bivouacs. The green ones not the blue ones that is . As for the epaulets hmmm we quite often used to unbutton them and tried flying like a bird …….needless to say we never got off the ground ,if your smiling its because you did it too so no rolling your eyes please.
What self respecting cadet would go out to parade nights without the “Al Capone” suspenders .Actually they were really borrowed from the “Police Force” and no one ever told us why we were issued with them..…so if you know then do let us know. Oh yeah and no clip-ons either …buttoned they were ,like the whole uniform itself buttons for everything you could imagine.
The trousers…baggy as usual and guess what …BUTTONS for the fly aswell. So if you were busting then you prayed that you were nimbled fingered and got ‘em unbuttoned ASAP.
Now we come to everyone’s favorite accessory the AB boots!! (Ankle Boots) None of this fancy state of the art well cobbled shoe mind you. So many times did we receive a size nine up the bum with these things . They came in two different styles….Toe cap or Aligator crap. The latter being a task when it came to spit polishing your boots. Then there was the sole a health hazard at the best of times new and used, by that I mean even when you wore ‘em out you still had the nails to contend with .And when they were new well all I can say is that is it any wonder we were known as flyboys, as we went arse over tit every time we paraded around a corner or they had just polished the drill hall.
If you can imagine when the CO would call out “FLTSGT” and he came marching round the Flight then all of a sudden you saw arms and legs and the cap flying through the air !!!……..and we still had to have a stern look in our faces and eyes front. SHEESH!!
And finally we get to the Great Coat….
Now these things apart from being heavy were terrific!!! On one hand you always looked like a cop every time you walked down the street with them, so this made us rather feel warm and fuzzy. Now when they replaced these with the “Psychological Raincoats”, well all I can say was that we were bitching. Oh why “Psychological” I hear you ask?? Well if you thought you were not getting wet then you weren’t. Only the CUO’s were allowed to do up the top two gold buttons and if you were caught with them on, look out!