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RFA Cadets June 2016 Intake Epaulettes and Buttons


Feel free to get rid of this thread if it's the wrong place!

I'm going to BRNC in June and I've just got a forest's worth of paper through the letter box in joining instructions.
Somewhere in the kit list it says that you have to order epaulettes and buttons before you join, but it doesn't give you any information on what you need.
I emailed the DO last week and he sent me back this list (see below). I know that TPotter didn't get the details for the epaulettes with the joining instructions he got in the post either, so I thought I would post this for all Cadets in the intake just in case they didn't receive the information.

(Think this is obvious, but I will say it anyway; order the appropriate insignia for your rank- if you're not an SE cadet, don't order the SE lapels!)

I think other companies supply them, but they have heavily hinted that you should buy them from Baun & Co...

My order came to about £100, which seems ridiculous

BAUN & Co Portsmouth

14 Queen Street



Tele: 023 9282 2045 (They also do mail orders)

Cadet SE - Items to be purchased before arriving at BRNC Dartmouth

Epaulettes (Shoulder Boards) laced to Rank of Cadet (SE) 1 Pr

Soft Shoulder Slides laced to Rank of Cadet (SE) 3 Pr

Lapel Insignia Cadet (SE) for No1 Blue Uniform 1 Pr

Lapel Insignia Cadet (SE) for No2 Mess Undress 1 Pr

RFA Buttons anodised 4 Large, 4 Medium, with split rings for No1CW.

RFA Buttons anodised 4 Medium, with split rings, plus 2 Link Buttons, for 2BW.

RFA Buttons anodised 4 Small with split rings, for White Waistcoat.

Obtain all written receipts and bring these with you when you join BRNC in Oct. We will then ensure the correct form is filled out to reclaim the costs.


I paid about £110 for mine from Baun and Co a couple of years ago when I started. The guy there is a right miserable sod isn't he? Didn't seem very excited about getting my money!

Is a little on the pricey side but you can claim it back so no bother.


I had a pleasant lady on the phone, she seemed to know exactly what I needed. Couldn't tell me the price though since she was in the shop floor, just said that I'd be claiming it back anyway. I think they really take things for granted; as long as the MOD recommend them and cadets need the items they'll be getting the money, which is a bit unusual in this day and age. I wonder where Baun and Co stands as an outfitter; it sort of reminds me of the old Hornblower novels where officers had to purchase their own uniform, and took the piss out of anyone with inferior epaulettes and shoe buckles.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

RFA at HMS Raleigh

Lantern Swinger
Jago, they use one company and you get to claim it back as soon as you start the course, means everyone looks the same. I know I used to send out the letters before the current DO...
If you think that is pricey wait until you qualify!


Lantern Swinger
You could try asking around and see if any former cadets have spare rank slides? Yes you can claim the money back but it can end up costing a small fortune to join. Add in costs of medical and vaccinations and you could be looking at close to £300. I really struggled to find the money before I joined.

Getting it all back was lovely but it caused a financial problem in the short term.


Lantern Swinger
Well gents/ladies? uniform tailors do not get a lot business and so the cost per unit tends to be high. The RFA will pay the cost of your outlay, so the only expense you have is awaiting the repayment of your expenses (tends to be about a month upon submitting the correct forms). Baun's is recommended because they know precisely what the RN/RFA want. However you are free to buy your gear off any tailor and claim it back, but I would say its highly unlikely that any others would have the RFA buttons / epaulettes in ready stock, we are after all a very small organisation!

Do I use Baun's these days, well no, I live in the North and use a Merchant Navy tailor in Hull, but I do have to spend a reasonable amount of time describing precisely what I want and quality controlling what I receive. I would strongly recommend you guys go with them.

As to second hand gear yeah their is some going around but why go through the hassle, and you will never get the buttons this way. If you cant afford the expense up front contact RFA HQ. If you feel a little shy about it, contact me via pm and I will see what I can find out for you!
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