Army Cadet Force
|Army Cadet Force|
|Active||1860 - Present |
|Role||Volunteer Youth Organisation|
Officers and CFAVs: 8,500 (2010) 
|Headquarters||CTC Frimley Park|
|Motto||To Inspire To Achieve|
|GOC Support Command||Maj Gen Rob Nitsch MBE|
|Patron||Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II |
|Colonel in Chief||HRH The Duke of Edinburgh |
The Army Cadet Force (ACF) is a British youth organisation that offers training and experience around a military training theme including adventurous training, at the same time as promoting achievement, discipline, and good citizenship, to boys and girls aged 12 to 18.9 years It is a separate organisation from the Combined Cadet Force which provides similar training within principally independent schools.
Although sponsored by the Ministry of Defence the ACF is not a branch of the British Armed Forces, and as such cadets are not subject to military 'call up'. Some cadets do, however, go on to enlist in the armed forces in later life, and many of the organisation's leaders have been cadets or have a military background. Cadets do participate with the regular army on some occasions, however.
The Army Cadet Force Association (ACFA) is a registered charity that acts in an advisory role to the Ministry of Defence and other Government bodies on matters connected with the ACF. The Army Cadet Force is also a member of The National Council for Voluntary Youth Services (NCVYS), as an organisation with a voluntary and community youth focus.
- 1 History
- 2 Ranks
- 3 Cadet Force Adult Volunteers
- 4 Organisation
- 5 Activities
- 6 Uniform
- 7 References
- 8 External links
In 1859 local Militia units (predecessors of the Territorial Army), were organised into a nationwide Volunteer Reserve Force because of the threat of French invasion. The first unit of the ACF to be formed was the Robin Hood Rifles formed by Octavia Hill on Frimley Park in 1889. These new Volunteer units formed Cadet Companies and eight public schools formed independent cadet units (fore-runners of the Combined Cadet Force). The late Victorian period was when the time of social change began to take hold in Britain and a Mr Adam Gray who was considered to be a pioneer in Social Work founded Independent Cadet Corps units.
In 1908 when the Territorial Army was formed both the Volunteer and Independent Cadet Companies came under the control of the Territorial Forces Association, whilst the Public School units were part of the Officer Training Corps. In 1914 all independent Cadet units were taken under control by the War Office and the name Army Cadet Force was born.
During the war, the War Office extended the earning of Certificate A, which with Certificate B, had been used by the OTCs (Officer Training Corps), to the Cadets. This became the goal for most cadets until the APC tests were introduced. The tests covered many aspects of infantry training, including drill, map reading, weapon training and shooting, fieldcraft (also known as Battle-drill), fitness, and command instruction.
The award of the certificate permitted the holder to have a four-pointed star on the lower sleeve The star was red with khaki edgings. A technical certificate (Certificate T) was also developed, in 1943, covering engineering knowledge. The award of this gave another four-pointed star, but with the centre in blue. The holder of a Certificate T was assured the entry into one of the technical corps (RE, RAOC, or REME) on being called-up. The Certificate A holder was given a shorter training period.
In 1923 as a result of Defence cutbacks all Governmental and Military support for the ACF was withdrawn. This led to the forming of the British National Cadet Association (BNCA) by notable figures such as Lord Allenby who were keen to maintain the ACF and lobby for Government funding, this was partially successful in during the 1930s. From 1939 the Cadet Forces supported the Home Guard at a time when the threat of German invasion was very real, because of this in 1942 the ACF was re-formed.
Following a Government review of the Armed Forces in 1957 the ACF assumed its role of a national youth organisation sponsored by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
Prior to the 1982 females were unable to join the ACF, although they were able to join an attached unit (if there was one at that location) of the Girls Venture Corps which had been formed in the early years of the Second World War
Ranks in the ACF follow the pattern of those in the British Army.
As well as learning new skills by working through the APC syllabus, experienced cadets can be awarded a rank. As the Army allows its soldiers to take on responsibility and leadership as NCOs, so too does the ACF give a greater role.
The word 'Cadet' or letters 'ACF' must be displayed in combination with the badge
|Rank||Cadet||Cadet Lance Corporal||Cadet Corporal||Cadet Sergeant||Cadet Staff/Colour Sergeant||Cadet Company Sergeant Major||Cadet Regimental Sergeant Major||Cadet Under Officer|
The titles of some ranks may vary as cadet detachments are affiliated to Army regiments and adopt their terminology.
There is usually only one Cadet RSM per county. In many counties there is the opportunity for appointment to Cadet Under Officer(CUO), an appointment rather than a rank allowing the holder to stay in the officers' mess.
Although promotion is based on merit rather than progression through the APC syllabus, the following criteria must be met before a cadet is eligible for promotion:
- Cadet Lance Corporal - Passed APC 1 Star - In most counties, must complete a Junior Non Commissioned Officer Course to allow promotion. A Cadet Lance Corporal would be allowed to start teaching lower starred cadets basic drill and first aid.
- Cadet Corporal - Passed APC 2 Star - In most counties, must complete an M.O.I course, which helps the senior cadets to teach junior, or lower starred cadets. In some cases you do not have to pass two star training to be allowed promotion to Cadet Corporal.
- Cadet Sergeant/Staff Sergeant - Passed APC 3 Star - In most counties, Cadet Corporals must have an interview with the Cadet Commandant to see if they are able for promotion to Sergeant, promotion to Staff Sergeant follows after a period of time as Sergeant. Cadets can now apply to go on other courses, such as Skill at Arms, or Fieldcraft, to enable them to qualify to teach lower starred cadets.
- Cadet Sergeant Major - Passed APC 4 Star - In most counties, must hand in a copy of their CV, along with an essay on why the cadet believes they are able for promotion to Cadet Sergeant Major, Cadet Regimental Sergeant Major follows if a Cadet Sergeant Major shows exceptional skills in their role In exceptional circumstances, a cadet not meeting these criteria can be promoted with the agreement of the ACF Cadet Commandant.
- Cadet Under Officer - Passed APC 4 Star - May be awarded to a cadet sergeant major who has shown officer potential, and has in some cases, passed the Master Cadet Course, promotion to this is done at the cadet commandants excretion.
Cadet NCOs wear reduced size khaki chevrons on their brassard. NCOs from detachments affiliated to those regiments that do not wear khaki chevrons may wear the pattern worn by that regiment. Cadet Sergeant Majors wear the same crown badge as worn by WO2s of the Army.
The adults who are employed to help run the ACF are collectively known as Cadet Force Adult Volunteers(CFAVs). CFAVs wear the badges of rank as worn by Army NCOs  with the addition of the letters ACF under the badge.
The letters ACF must be displayed in combination with the badge
|Rank||Civilian Assistant||Probationary Instructor (PI)||Sergeant Instructor (SI)||Staff Sergeant Instructor (SSI)||Sergeant Major Instructor (SMI)||Regimental Sergeant Major Instructor (RSMI)|
Cadet Force Adult Volunteers
Adults may join the ACF to instruct through two different routes - as an Adult Instructor (AI) or as a Commissioned Officer.
Prospective Adult Instructors begin as a Civilian Assistant (CA) before passing a medical and an enhanced disclosure. After completing the Adult Induction Course, which takes place over 4 weekends at county level, they then become a Probationary Instructor (PI). As a PI, adults then go on to complete the Initial Training Course (ITC) held at brigade level and run by a Cadet Training Team (CTT). On successful completion of this course they will be appointed to the rank of Sergeant Instructor (SI). Progressive training takes place for Adult Instructors, as with cadets, an Adult Instructor may take part in a variety of different courses. A further mandatory course at Frimley Park is the Adult Leadership and Management Course. This new course is a replacement for the old Adult Instructors' Course which became the Skill at Arms Instructors' Course. On successful completion of this course an AI is eligible for promotion to the rank of Staff Sergeant Instructor (SSI). The King George VI Memorial Leadership (KGVI) Course is the final course for AIs and the further ranks of Sergeant Major Instructor (SMI) and Regimental Sergeant Major Instructor (RSMI) are possible. Adult Instructors will be expected to work in a team with their superiors and senior cadets they are responsible for, to deliver effective training to the cadets.
The other route a CFAV in the ACF may take is that of becoming a commissioned officer. The CFAV will apply and partake in the same selection process as above, however once a Potential Instructor, the individual may apply or be nominated to become a commissioned officer. To do so, as of 2006, the individual must then attend a Cadet Forces Commissions Board (CFCB), similar to an Army Officer Selection Board though less physically demanding. The applicant will be assessed on their literacy, problem solving, and leadership ability. Successful applicants will then be appointed to a TA Group B Commission in Her Majesty's Land Forces, making them a non-deployable Officer. Commissioned Officers in the ACF will hold senior leadership roles with more responsibility and commitment attached than roles occupied by Adult Instructors, for example detachment commander or within their Company HQs..
The Cadet Force is one of the few voluntary organisations that pays its adult voluntary staff for their time. These staff can receive up to 28 days pay per year, they also receive subsistence and travel expenses for attendance on evenings, weekends and annual camps. In 2009/10 pay bill for ACF part-time staff was £14,632,160 and their expenses totalled £368,349 The cost of full-time staff was estimated at around a further £6,250,000 of public funds.
Most British counties have centralised cadet forces that make up the ACF as a national whole. The counties are generally split into companies, each of which includes several detachments, the name given to a unit of cadets that parade in a particular town or village. Some battalions or Counties are affiliated with a certain Regiment or Corps within the British Army, and wear their insignia including cap badge, colour of beret and stable belt subject to individual County/Area regulations. In other battalions or counties each detachment is individually affiliated to a Regiment or Corps within the British Army. Detachments are usually called by the name of the place in which they are based or those attached to schools may use the name of the school.
Army Proficiency Certificate
The Army Proficiency Certificate (APC) is the training syllabus of the ACF and is divided into five levels each covering the core subjects but in more detail as they progress.
- Basic/Recruit (introductory training)
- 1 Star (cadets learn the rudiments of each subject)
- 2 Star (cadets learn each subject in more depth)
- 3 Star (cadets master each subject)
- 4 Star (complete two progressive subjects or courses)
- Master Cadet (cadets must successfully complete the Master Cadet Course held at CTC Frimley following a recommendation from their Cadet Commandant)
- Drill and Turnout
- Military Knowledge
- Skill at Arms
- Map and Compass
- Expedition Training
- First Aid
- Physical Training
- Cadet in the Community
Drill & Turnout
Cadets are taught a subset of the drill movements taught to the regular army. They begin by learning basic foot drill and progress to learn rifle drill and banner drill. They are also taught how to wear and take care of their issued uniform.
In fieldcraft lessons, cadets learn infantry skills such as patrolling, section battle drills, ambush drills, harbour drills, and how to survive in the field. Field exercises take place once every few months, and at annual camp. On exercise, cadets wear Disruptive Pattern Material camouflage clothing, dulled boots, camouflage cream to eliminate the face's natural shine, a bush hat and foliage to break up the shape of the head and shoulders, a Cadet Training Vest or PLCE webbing to carry rifle magazines, water bottles and emergency rations, and a bergen to carry a sleeping bag and basha (improvised shelter) building materials. Cadets are issued with 24-hour ration packs and hexamine cookers (known as Rat-Packs and Hexi cookers to cadets) as used by the infantry. As part of a platoon, cadets set up harbour areas (operations bases), post sentries, and send out patrols to carry out reconnaissance, lay ambushes, and assault enemy positions. Cadets become familiar with hand signals for silent communication, and patrol formations for crossing different types of terrain. Scaled down versions of these expeditions are regularly held at a local detachment during the warmer months.
Skill at Arms
The L98A2 Cadet GP Rifle is a version of the British Armed Forces' L85 A2 (both part of the SA-80 family of weapons) adapted to fire only on a semi-automatic setting. In order to become proficient on the weapon and pass the one-star Skill at Arms (SAA) test, cadets must show they can handle the weapon safely, perform stoppage drills, and field strip the weapon for daily cleaning. Once this has been done, cadets can fire the weapon using blank rounds in field exercises and with live rounds on a range possibly gaining marksman qualification badges based on their accuracy. There is also a deactivated version of the GP Rifle, the L103A1 DP (Drill Purpose), this is generally used for teaching cadets the basics of the weapon they are handling and for rifle drill. Cadets also to fire the Rifle No 8 .22 calibre rifle on a 25 m rifle range.
Many cadet forces have also adopted .22 calibre "conversion kits". These kits allow the 5.56mm L98 A2 rifle to fire .22 calibre bullets, as many .22 calibre rifles are no longer in working condition.
Senior Cadets who have passed two-star Skill at Arms are introduced to the L86A2 Light Support Weapon which, unlike the GP, can fire in fully automatic mode. With its longer barrel and bipod, the L86A2 has a greater range and muzzle velocity, and with its SUSAT (Sight Unit Small Arms Trilux - the optical sight on top of the weapon), it allows for greater accuracy.
Cadets can enter various shooting competitions, including the prestigious Green Howards competition, once they have completed Cadet APC 2 Star
Cadets learn how to navigate using a map and compass. Cadets learn to use Ordnance Survey maps plot and find six-figure grid references, calculate distances between points, and to recognise various conventional signs. The two-star map and compass course then introduces cadets to the Silva (Expedition 4) and Suunto (M-5N) lightweight protractor compasses. Cadets learn to use and plot grid and magnetic bearings in degrees only (whereas the Army uses mils) to understand the three different types of north, to account for deviation of the grid-magnetic angle, to understand contour lines and more advanced conventional signs and the preparation of route cards. Once cadets are experienced in Map and Compass, they are taught how to lead expeditions, which also included their knowledge of fieldcraft.
As part of the training syllabus Cadets are taught First Aid to recognised standards and are awarded relevant certificates. The syllabus is broadly based around the St John Ambulance Activity First Aid syllabus, working at the following levels.
- Basic & One Star cadets carry out syllabus based training covering incident management, making an emergency call etc.
- Two Star Cadets are required to complete the St John Ambulance Youth Activity First Aid certificate Course
- Three Star Cadets have to complete the first day of the St John Ambulance Activity First Aid Certificate Course
- Four Star Cadets may choose to complete the full Activity First Aid Course as one of their progressive subjects.
In addition to this many of the counties within the ACF are delivering the British Heart Foundations "Heartstart" course  to their cadets, offering them quick access to Emergency Life Support. This is often offered at the Basic level, exposing almost all of the cadets to First Aid. Once cadets have completed this, they become qualified first aiders.
Cadet and the Community
These community projects enrich local knowledge and encourage good citizenship, usually a cadet can contribute to his/her community by charity collection, public parades, assisting local services and helping at public events. This involvement within the community is important for improving confidence and social skills.
Duke of Edinburgh's Award
The Duke of Edinburgh's Award is a voluntary, non-competitive programme of practical, cultural and adventurous activities for young people aged 14–25. A young person can undertake a DofE programme at three levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold. Each have differing criteria for entry and the level of commitment necessary to gain each award. Cadets who meet the age criteria can become DofE participants and work towards their own DofE Award.
Cadets are often encouraged to achieve the Bronze, Silver and Gold awards as they progress through their cadet careers. Lots of cadet force activities can count towards each level of a participants' DofE programme and very often gets them recognition for developing skills and giving to their communities.
The DofE is widely recognised by employers as it helps demonstrate that young people who hold a Duke of Edinburgh's are keen to take on new challenges, have a higher level of self-confidence than their counterparts and have leadership qualities with the added experience of teamwork.
Many detachments hold charity events, and participate in various activities such as tree planting, or carrying their standards at a Remembrance Parade in their local area.
Leadership training is an important part of the ACF training programme, with training available at higher levels too. Most areas run NCO courses, designed to help newly promoted NCOs to perform their duties well, or to train those eligible for promotion. There are also a number of courses run centrally by the ACF. This includes the Junior Cadet Instructors Cadre (run locally at a county level) and the Senior Cadet Instructors Course which is run at a Brigade level by Cadet Training Teams.
Master Cadet Course
The Master Cadet Course was introduced in 1989 to advance to the leadership, instructional and administrative abilities of post 4-star cadets. It is held at Cadet Training Centre Frimley Park in Surrey. Passing the course makes the candidate eligible to be appointed as a Master Cadet.
The following criteria must be met to be eligible for the course:
- Aged 16 1/2 years old or older
- Hold the rank of sergeant or above
- Have passed fieldcraft as a progressive subject at 4-star level
- Have passed the Senior Cadet Instructors' Cadre
Cadet Leadership Courses
The Aim of the Cadet Leadership Courses (CLC) is:
'To develop cadets' initiative and self-reliance and to exercise them in the problems of practical leadership.'
Each Course has 120 places and is focused on leadership training and assessment, which is developed through a variety of activities including:
- Minor Tactics
- Watermanship Training
- Command Tasks
- Endurance Training
The Courses take place at both the Cadet Training Centre, Frimley Park, or at Nesscliffe Training Barracks, Shropshire, England.
File:Cambs acf brazzard.jpg
All cadets are issued Combat Soldier 95 (CS95) DPM clothing as issued to the British Army. Whereas all CFAVs are issued with Personal Clothing System Combat Uniform (PCS-CU) in Multi-Terrain Pattern (MTP). All cadets are scaled to receive the following:
- Headdress (depends on regimental affiliation) - Beret, Tam o' Shanter, Glengarry or Caubeen
- Two CS95 Lightweight Jackets
- Two CS95 T-Shirts
- Two pairs of CS95 trousers
- CS95 Windproof Smock
- Cold weather liner (fleece)
- Working Belt
However the uniform will be changing to the new MTP gradually.
CFAVs and cadets are currently having their Combat Soldier 95 (CS95) clothing replaced with Personal Clothing System Combat Uniform (PCS-CU) in Multi-Terrain Pattern (MTP), currently replacing CS95 in the British Army. PCS-CU uses a modified MTP camouflage pattern, based originally on the US Crye MultiCam, but updated as part of the Personal Equipment and Common Operational Clothing (PECOC) programme. PECOC took the opportunity to create a completely new style and cut of clothing as well as slightly altering the MTP camouflage pattern. Early MTP uniforms, issued for Op Herrick in 2010, were essentially CS95-style with MTP rather than DPM pattern camouflage. Although cadets are still keeping their green fleece, and cadets are using patches instead of brazzards, the patches are Velcro and are hard to come off.
Some counties may charge a small deposit for uniform that is refundable on its return. All cadets and CFAVs must have "ACF" visible at all times on their uniform. Cadets are given "ACF" badges for their brassards while adults usually wear rank slides with "ACF" embroidered on them. Boots must be purchased by the cadet or their parents if not supplied.
The ACF has its own stable belt which can be worn by cadets and instructors, but they can also wear the stable belt of their affiliated regiment/corps. Stable belts can be worn by cadets of any rank but many counties impose local requirements such as star level or rank. They may be issued at the expense of the detachment or company but are usually a private purchase item.
- "Army Cadet Force yearly review 2009". Archived from the original on 30 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-24.
- "Army Cadet Force home page". armycadets.com. Archived from the original on 16 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-24.
- Charity Commission "THE ARMY CADET FORCE ASSOCIATION"
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- Full list of NCVYS members
- MoD(A) website. "MoD History of the Army Cadet Force (ACF)". Archived from the original on 16 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-10.
- AC 14233 The Army Cadet Force Manual (2012 Edition), Paragraph 6.014
- AC 14233 The Army Cadet Force Manual (2005 Edition), Paragraph 6.012
- Army Dress Regulations (All Ranks), Part 08 "Dress Regulations for Combined Cadet Force (Army Sections) and the Army Cadet Force", Ministry of Defence, October 2012
- "Skill at Arms Course". Retrieved 19 January 2012.
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- "ACF Basic Training Syllabus and Tests". Retrieved 2010-04-13.[dead link]
- "ACF One Star Training Syllabus and Tests". Retrieved 2008-10-10.[dead link]
- "ACF Two Star Training Syllabus and Tests". Retrieved 2008-10-10.[dead link]
- "ACF Three Star Training Syllabus and Tests)". Retrieved 2008-10-10.[dead link]
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- "L98A2 Weapon Handling Test". Retrieved 2010-06-22.
- MoD(A) website. "ACF Activities". Archived from the original on 16 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-10.
- DoE website. "The Duke of Edinburgh's Award". Archived from the original on 9 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-10.
- "Master Cadet Course page at armycadet.com". armycadets.com. Retrieved 2012-01-17.
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- Army Cadet Force Official page