CCF Boots - not issued?


I'm a retired loggie. My son has just joined his school CCF, and I've been sent a bill for £35 for a pair of boots. Can anyone explain why boots, unlike the rest of the uniform, has to be paid for? Seems odd to me.(but then he has got size 11 feet...:) )
Join the club - my son has joined HCS CCF and I had to buy his boots (£38 in my case!). I offered him a pair of my old junglies but he didn't want to be different - that'll soon change!

And I'm a serving loggie - perhaps we're being discriminated against!


ACF are the same. I've been given reasons ranging from the cadets feet are still growing, therefore the cost of replacing them every so often would be too much. Too foot health, eg athletes foot etc, from 2nd, 3rd and 4th hand boots.

I never got athlete's foot from my 25th hand ammo boots at Sandhurst!


Just saying what excuses I've been given. I had no problems with the used boots I got from Fieldtextiles either.

HS12 :D
As a cadet I was told boots are the one piece of equiptment that cannot be reissued. Therefore with the high turnover of cadets (esp. in the ACF) it would not be cost effective to give everyone a pair of boots.
It has always been the case, I joined the ACF in the 1970’s and my parents had to supply my boots (good old Army & Navy stores).
IMHO Growing is a valid excuse, a youngster can change foot size on a regular basis between 13 & 18
Regardless, a small price to pay for such a worthwhile pastime


Got it, thanks for the replies. I think that its not just cadets feet that are still growing but I suppose the old RQMS's line of "You'll grow into that sonny" holds true for other parts of the uniform. I think have a pair of DMS in attack, and maybe even some puttees... :D


War Hero
I am a little surprised at the price being charged for boots though - £38! My last pair purchased from the kit shop at Frimley cost me £27 including p&p, only about a year or so ago. Sounds like someone is making a profit out of the kids.


people at my ccf have to buy their own boots, they can either get them through the SSI or go to the local army surplus shop to get them them self, either way i think brand new boots come to about £30.


our cadets are told they need boots and that they can get them from an army surplus in town, but if they want i will try and get them a pair ( i sort stores, i think I got this role beacuse i am willing to talk to anybody to aquire stuff) i tend to get em for about £10 snd hand or £20 new as I am normally buying a few pairs. we will also take cadets old boots in part ex if they are going up a size ( so long as they havent nackered em) as these can then be sold on to a smaller cadet. the Det makes no profit out of this, but it means the kids can get em at a normal price, as at one point our local army suprplus was charging a minimum of £35 for boots of any kind and i felt this was taking the piss.
i must say our local TA unit are very good for bringing in boots or anything they no longer need, and most boots from them can be sorted with a bit of polish and an evening in front of the TV (i really should have said i dont spend that many evenings in front of the TV with a big stack of boots to do, as it makes me sound a bit sad)


The same thing in my day, all of 10 years ago when i first joined as an Army cadet. Mind you boots cost me nothing then, I bought a second hand pair from an Army Surplus store for about ten quid.

I never got my issued pair as an Adult Instructor either, which annoyed me. Still, it's a shame the money isn't there to supply the cadets with all of the kit.

Though I must say I was particularly annoyed when I visited my last cadet unit on their summer camp a few months back, to find ten sets of brand new PLCE webbing sat in a box. When I enquired, I was told it was for adults only. I hope they're not doing this with other pieces of kit
25 years ago the excuse was that as the kids feet are still developing/growing and supplying boots could leave the MOD open to compensation claims later in life.
I understand that the Police has never issued boots/shoes either.


War Hero
Air Cadets is just the same. However the boots we get are given to us direct from RAF Lyneham, so we only have to pay £10 at the most.


War Hero
Yep, had to buy mine too. I think its to stop the cadet accidently getting polished boots by mistake. Although my unit used to allow you to sell your old boots via them to the new lot, so I did get some money back


Well I'm going back to the early 70's when I was in the ACF and took a size 11,my old mans mate was in the Welsh Guards at the time and I had two new pairs of boots every 3 months along with other bits of kit.
I think the rule was you had to hand the old kit in to get it replaced,I never did of course and it kept coming.
But I'm sure that sort of thing doesn't happen anymore.
I've never seen anyone since in a Ford Cortina selling kit in a pub car park anyway.


Indeed the CCF at Welbeck do get them issued. This is for a number of reasons: a) the students have committed themselves to an extended period of service as officers post Welbeck/Uni, have passed RCB/AIB/OASC, and are seen as not quite your normal school CCF, b) they are all 16+ and their feet are either at adult size or very close, and c) their training is different to a normal CCF and their boots stay with them through Uni and into service, allowing for normal replacement as necessary (if I recall correctly). Also parents pay the government for their offspring's maintenance (according to their financial ability) and I suspect some of this is offset against the cost of kitting them out. Although issued military kit is not specifically mentioned I certainly had to pay for shirts (RAF style), school trousers etc for my lad.


Apart from, it appears, Welbeck, every other CCF have to find their own boots. We buy ours in bulk when the cadets join, along with a few other necessaries such as name tags, trouser twists and an OG T-shirt. With subs, it all comes to about a £50 initial joining fee.

We'd love to do it cheaper, but wheras you can pick up the odd few pairs of boots here and there, we're looking at 70-80 pairs each September!
With the equipment issue within the military generally being what it is, it would be churlish to complain too loudly about the ACF cadets not being issued boots.

However within my detachment the cost of providing boots can be a significant hurdle for the kids joining, particularly as single parent families and very low incomes are the norm in my location.

It is certainly not the first time that I have had to 'organise' boots for some youngster..............
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