Combined Cadet Force
The Combined Cadet Force (CCF) is a Ministry of Defence sponsored youth organisation in the United Kingdom. Its aim is to "provide a disciplined organisation in a school so that pupils may develop powers of leadership by means of training to promote the qualities of responsibility, self reliance, resourcefulness, endurance and perseverance". It is not a pre-service organisation, although it acknowledges that one of its objectives is "to encourage those who have an interest in the services to become Officers of the Regular or Reserve Forces", and a significant number of officers have indeed had experience in the CCF. Prior to 1948 cadet forces in schools existed as the junior division of the Officers' Training Corps framework, but in 1948 Combined Cadet Force was formed covering cadets affiliated to all three services.
- 1 History
- 2 Contingents
- 3 Cadets
- 4 Uniform
- 5 Adult Volunteers
- 6 Training
- 7 Alternative organisations
- 8 See also
- 9 Notes and references
- 10 External links
The CCF was created on 1 April 1948 by the amalgamation of the Junior Training Corps (formerly the Junior Division of the Officers Training Corps) and the school contingents of the Sea Cadet Corps and Air Training Corps. CCFs are still occasionally referred to as "The Corps". The CCF is separate from the Sea Cadet Corps, Army Cadet Force, and Air Training Corps. Pupils normally join at the age of 13 or 14, with both sexes able to take part.
On 12 May 1859, the Secretary of State for War sent out a circular letter to the public schools and universities inviting them to form units of the Volunteer Corps. The first school cadet corps was established at Rossall School in February 1860, initially as an army contingent only. Felsted already had an armed drill contingent at the time of the War Office letter under the command of Sgt. Major Rogers RM; its claim on these grounds to be the oldest school corps was upheld by Field Marshal Earl Roberts in a letter to the Headmaster of 1904. Other corps were very quickly formed in 1860 at five further schools: Eton, Harrow, Hurstpierpoint, Rugby and Tonbridge. In February 1861 the Oxford City Rifle Cadet Corps was founded, with five companies, the first of which was composed of pupils of the Linden House School, a private school in Headington. In 1908, the units were re-titled the Officer Training Corps (OTC). A school contingent may have any combination of Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force and sometimes Royal Marines sections, the army section is almost invariably the largest.
Independent and State Schools
The CCF movement is dominated by the independent sector with 200 contingents still being based in independent schools with only around 60 in state schools. It was reported in 2008 that some private school CCF detachments would be opened to pupils of local state schools however there was no resultant change.
In February 2014 it was announced that Public schools will lose millions of pounds of funding and support for cadet forces under plans to divert the money into the state sector. Under the plans, 100 state schools will set up cadet units by the end of 2015. A further 250 are expected to follow suit.
In 2001, the then Minister of State for Defence replied to a question posed in Parliament about how many CCFs were currently affiliated to the MOD.
|Section||Number of cadets||Number of schools|
|Royal Air Force||9,438||185|
|Royal Marines||inc. in Navy||19|
In October 2007 the under-secretary of state for defence gave details of the total number of CCF sections, and the number in state schools.
|Royal Air Force||199||41|
|As of 2011, there are 19 Royal marines detachments.|
|Army and Royal Marines||RAF||RN|
|Cadet Under Officer|
|Cadet Regimental Sergeant Major ||Cadet Warrant Officer||Cadet Coxswain|
|Cadet Company Sergeant Major |
|Cadet Staff/Colour Sergeant||Cadet Flight Sergeant|
|Cadet Sergeant||Cadet Sergeant||Cadet Petty Officer|
|Cadet Corporal||Cadet Corporal||Cadet Leading Rate/Leading Hand|
|Cadet Lance Corporal|
|Cadet/Marine Cadet/Ordinary Cadet/Able Cadet||Cadet||Cadet Able Rate|
Most Cadet ranks are standard non-commissioned ranks, prefixed by "Cadet", for day-to-day administration the "Cadet" prefix is often omitted. The highest rank depends on the size of the contingent, but are usually Cadet Coxswain (Royal Navy Section), Cadet Regimental or Company Sergeant Major, (Army and RM Sections) and Cadet Warrant Officer (RAF Section). Rank slides are worn on the front of the combat jacket or shirt and have the letters CCF under the emblem.
Some contingents may have Junior (and sometimes Senior) Under Officers. Cadet Under Officers' rank badges are blue bands 12 mm wide across each shoulder slide, with the addition of the letters CCF underneath.
The Royal Navy Section wear a distinct CCF Cap Badge. The two regulation uniforms for RN cadets are No. 4 working dress and No. 3 parade dress. These are differentiated from regular RN uniform by the wearing of brassards (one on the right arm with any qualifications & the Contingent title, one on the left with any rank the cadet may have) and the 'CCF RN' rank slide. They may be issued with combat uniform if required and some schools have No 1 uniform for senior cadets.
Royal Marines Section
Royal Marines sections wear the bronzed Royal Marines badge with a red "tombstone" backing on a blue beret with DPM (camouflage) trousers, combat jackets, and shirts (CS95) along with boots much the same as the army section.
The Army Section wears the cap badge of their associated regiment or corps, or their school cap badge. Now the CCF is being issued with PCS CU MTP uniform, however there are some units still wearing the Combat Soldier 95 Pattern (CS95) uniform and a small proportion who still have 'lightweight' OG (olive green) uniform or older pattern combat uniform. Ranks are shown with qualifications on a brassard, or with combats on a rank slide marked 'CCF'. WIth MTP uniform Cadets are to wear their qualification badges on the blanking plate on their uniform on the right arm (this replaces the brassard). New rank slides for MTP uniform for CCF Army section and ACF cadets have been issued. They are plain olive green with the word 'CADET' in embroidered red capital letters at the top. They no longer have 'CCF' on them. All cadets will have these regardless of whether they hold any particular cadet rank or not. Any rank is shown underneath using black chevrons or a black emblem in the case of cadet warrant Officers.
RAF cadets wear the RAF cap badge with No.2 dress, either with dark blue shirt (2c) or 'Wedgewood' (2, 2a, 2b). They are distinguished from regular personnel by their brassards. They may be issued with combat uniform if required.
Unlike in other cadet organisations (ATC/SCC/ACF), most adult volunteers are officers, the exception often being the school staff instructor (see below). CCF officers are often teachers from the school, and are not normally eligible to be called up. They hold acting officer ranks up to and including lieutenant colonel (the highest substantive rank is that of lieutenant) or its equivalent in the other services.
CCF(Army) and CCF(RAF) Officers are in special categories of the reserves of their service. CCF(RN) Officers are 'appointed' and do not hold commissions, albeit their ranks are the same as for RN (and RNR) officers with the suffix RNR(CCF), their rank braid is 'wavy', the same form as used in the past by the RNVR. CCF(Army) officers hold commissions in TA Group 'B' (the same group as UOTC Officer Cadets), and wear a CCF marking on their rank slides. Unlike officers in the Army Cadet Force CCF(Army) officers do not attend the Army Officer Selection Board and are selected based on recommendation from the Headmaster of the employing school. CCF(RAF) officers' commissions are Volunteer Reserve (Training Branch) (RAF VR(T)), and they wear a VRT pin on their rank braid to signify this.
In the main supporting role to the officers is the school staff instructor (SSI), who is usually an ex-forces SNCO or Warrant Officer. They retain their rank as a courtesy and are employed by the school to instruct and assist in the running of the Contingent. Whilst the majority of the SSIs are SNCOs it is also possible for them to be a commissioned officer. There is usually one SSI per Contingent and they are supported by serving regular Non-Commissioned Officers from Cadet Training Teams (CTT).
Some contingents may have one or more Civilian Instructors. These are Adult Volunteers who normally instruct in a specialised role (first aid, signals etc.) when the establishment level of officers does not include persons with sufficient knowledge to teach these subjects. They receive no pay for time spent with cadets but may claim reimbursement for expenses at the Contingent Commander's discretion. Many are members of the academic or support staff at the school.
|Army (TA Group B)||RAF (VR (T))||RN (RNR CCF/SCC)|
|Acting Lieutenant Colonel||Wing Commander||Commander|
|Acting Major||Squadron Leader||Lieutenant Commander|
|Acting Captain||Flight Lieutenant||Lieutenant|
|Lieutenant||Flying Officer||Sub Lieutenant|
|Second Lieutenant||Pilot Officer|
The different sections naturally have different syllabuses with a degree of overlap. All the sections learn drill and all cadets are trained to fire the L98A2 5.56 mm Cadet General Purpose rifle, a semi-automatic only version of the L85A2 used by the UK armed forces. There are also opportunities to fire the .22 No.8 rifle and the L81 Cadet Target Rifle.
Cadets in the Royal Navy section receive instruction in boat-work and other naval subjects (including flying with the Fleet Air Arm). The Royal Navy also offers many CCF courses during the school holidays which are open to any members of any CCF. The Royal Marines section, although a part of the Navy, tend to train independently, covering battle drills, weapons handling and marksmanship, fieldcraft, camouflage and concealment and the history of the Royal Marines.
Army section cadets are sometimes able to specialise in subjects such as signalling, REME skills and infantry tactics, and are trained accordingly. 2006 Health and Safety/Child Protection legislation (and fallout from the Deepcut affair) mandated that cadets must be housed separately by both gender and age (under 18s and over 18s) and, as most MOD accommodation cannot cope with this, leading to a reduction in the number of courses offered to cadets.
RAF section cadets are given the opportunity to fly in both powered aircraft, most notably the Grob Tutor and Vigilant and in unpowered gliders such as the Grob Viking; their training and flying courses are identical to those available to members of the Air Training Corps.
All sections can undertake leadership courses at Frimley Park, Nesscliff or RAF Cranwell, as well as adventurous training. There are also other courses available for cadets to enhance their skills, such as Junior and Senior Cadet Instructor Courses (JCIC, SCIC).
Some schools recognise that pupils may not wish to participate in CCF activities and so alternative organisations exist, such as the Community Service Organisation, which allows pupils to volunteer to help in hospitals, schools, and charity work.
Other activities often on offer are:
A few other schools make CCF attendance voluntary (like Stamford School, with the largest voluntary CCF contingent in the UK), which tends to reduce numbers compared to compulsory contingents, but potentially results in a more uniformly dedicated membership that responds well to training as well as CCF activities many CCFs also offer the chance for RYA, NICAS, BTEC and Duke of Edinburgh qualifications on top of their CCF training programmes.
Some of the voluntary CCF schools also run the other options such as community service.
- Sea Cadet Corps
- Royal Marines Volunteer Cadet Corps
- Army Cadet Force
- Air Training Corps
- Girls Venture Corps Air Cadets
- Reserve Forces and Cadets Association
Notes and references
- 'History of Felsted School (1564–1947)' by Michael Craze
- "Combined Cadet Force (CCF)". Rossall School. Retrieved 12 Apr 09. "It has, however, been established that Rossall was the first public school to enrol Volunteers and have them sworn in under the provisions of the Volunteer Act, and we have the original muster book in which the first names were entered on 1st February, 1860. Other Corps at Eton, Felsted, etc., were raised within a month or two."
- 'History of Felsted School 1564-1947', Michael Craze
- Giles Hudson, “Shots of Shots: Photographs of the Oxford Volunteer Rifle Corps”, Matters Photographical (1 Dec 2012)
- Henry, Julie (2012-01-08). "Military cadet forces in every school, says schools commissioner". The Daily Telegraph.
- Garner, Richard (20 September 2008). "Private schools will let state pupils join cadet forces". The Independent. Retrieved 2010-04-30. "A ground-breaking agreement to allow state school pupils to join cadet forces in some of Britain's most elite private schools is to be announced this month. Six of the country's top fee-paying schools – including City of London boys' school and Highgate – have agreed to open up their Combined Cadet Forces to neighbouring state schools."
- Henry, Julie (2012-01-08). "Military cadet forces in every school, says schools commissioner". The Daily Telegraph.
- "Parliamentary questions". Hansard. 2001-02-06. Retrieved 2007-09-11.
- "who we are".
- "Parliamentary written questions". Hansard. 2007-10-29. Retrieved 2008-03-13.
- "Cadet Ranks".
- "Cadet Ranks".
- "Uniform regulations for officers and instructors" (DOC). MOD. Retrieved 2007-09-11.
- An example of a CSO school: City of London School
- "Brighton College Community Service page". Retrieved 2008-06-03.
- "Brighton College DofE page". Retrieved 2008-06-03.