CCF - National Service by the Back Door?

Pupils at state schools will be offered military training under plans to expand the cadet scheme....Chancellor Gordon Brown, set to announce the expansion, hopes to double the size of the 42,000-strong Combined Cadet Force.
Link is here:,,30100-13506189,00.html

So, rather try and convert the unconvertible, looks like the Government are out to try a different route in order to instil some form of discipline on 'wayward youth'. Apart from the obvious job opportunities, and any recruiting spin offs, is this really an act of war?
but...but... that would involve kids being taught how to use.... GUNS!!!! Unthinkable in Neue Arbeit's Brave New World.


War Hero
Meh, its a good idea, just as long as they keep up the standards of my old unit, not the sacks of sh!t I sometimes saw on camps. Mind our contingent were all volunteers so maybe 'conscription' isn't the answer
SCoy said:
Meh, its a good idea, just as long as they keep up the standards of my old unit, not the sacks of sh!t I sometimes saw on camps. Mind our contingent were all volunteers so maybe 'conscription' isn't the answer
Spot on! I've seen terrible conduct from some public school CCF conscripts at camps, while those who volunteer and are keen are good. In state schools where it tends to be volunteers only there is no problem - expanding the provision across more schools is a good idea but those who need it most are likely to be those who will never volunteer.

Nothing found on the BBC news site yet...
Where are they going to find the grown-ups to run the new units? The Cadet forces continually have a hard time with recruiting and retention as it is. A great many of the CCF AIs and Officers I met were teachers who were pretty much press-ganged into doing it by their headmasters and had no enthusiasm for the job. The ACF/ATC/SSC instructors, for all the limitations some have, at the very least have enthusiasm on their side and if they're trained properly (instead of a five day course on how to hold your KFS properly in the mess and maybe one day long talking shop per year if they're lucky) and supported, they could be a hell of a lot better.

SCoy said:
Meh, its a good idea, just as long as they keep up the standards of my old unit, not the sacks of sh!t I sometimes saw on camps. Mind our contingent were all volunteers so maybe 'conscription' isn't the answer
Hark at the West Cross Commando! :lol: :wink:
Crabtastic is quite correct - where will they find willing adults? They do not all need to be teachers in the school, but some will have to be, and volunteers will not be easy to find. My school has a reputation, well deserved, for staff getting involved in extra-curricular activities but only has four volunteers from about 90 staff - and one of those four (me) is old enough to retire... Perhaps we should note from the Sky News report that Gordon "hopes" to double the size of the CCF, not "will".
i don't think he had CCFs inmind , ACFs also have units in schools as well as their own huts and TACs.

agreed on the points re: Adults to run the units, some teachers in regular schools are already CRB cleared so they could be asked to join up and saving time, one Teacher did just that, she set up a unit in her school so she does Teaching by day and Instruct cadets by night and now she is a commisioned officer.


War Hero
Aye, fair point, but at least I have a vague idea of which piece of clothing goes on which piece of the body and can grasp the idea of putting my foot on the floor at the same time as everyone else :D Still, I have to go to a grammar school to learn that. Imagine what a genius i'd be if I had gone to a public school :D
Was thinking about how it would all work. Would it basically be a CCF unit, with it's own SSI, stores and armoury as well as the instructors recruited from the teaching staff to work alongside the local CTT, or would it come under the control of the county like with the ACF and just become another detachment? In my CCF it really helped that most of the staff had served in the Regular Army or were in the TA, they knew what they were talking about and how things were meant to be done.

Also would it be part of the timetable? In my old school you could either join the CCF or become involved in a number of other activities mainly to do with fulfilling parts of the DoE award, all this took place on a Wednesday afternoon. If it had been an optional after school activity I don't think it would have been so popular and those involved might not have got so much out of it.

I think it's a great idea and hopefully they will be able to establish it in as many schools as possible.
My ACF unit is a stones throw from the local cretin academy, its a large purpose built building, and we have our own armoury etc, and i reckon we could take on an extra 30/40 kids.

It wouldnt be too much of a problem adult wise, ACF adults are always crying out for new recruits, and if the size of the cadet hut is a problem then its not too much of a drama to dump an armoury in the corner of a PE store in a school. The rifles would only need to be DP, as the school wouldnt have a range, and add to that an office for the Detachment weekly running, and you're well away, using the Gym/Hall as a drill square.

Come to think of it, it'd probably perform better than a cramped ACF hut. All you'd have to do is attach a school to each company in the county/batallion, and thats the oranganisation sorted. Most ACF units have 3 instructors, and if you second one from each unit in the county and send a pair to each new school unit, it provides opporitunities for advancement and challenge for adults as well.

ACF does provide a valuble service to the Army and society in terms of recruiting and keeping kids off the streets, and looking at ti this is a cracking idea. Also, in the spirit of the CCF, this could easily be extended to the ATC and SCC.


More crap pie in the sky ideas. Get the schools working in the first place, When ws the last time some of the "Arrsers" on here walked into a state school? To see it falling to bits, staff moral rock bottom, Kids been taught utter gash, buget gone.

The scheme would be taxpayer-funded, with private sponsorship also matched by the Treasury.
Would this mean CCF kids running around with BAE systems cap badges on?
Surely they would be better off affilating schools to a local ATC/ACF unit and give the unit more resources. My old ATC unit activly recruited from a core of 3-4 local schools and always numbered 70 - 100 cadets. I can't see how they can make it compulsory though, just need to make the kids more aware that the units are there and not full of 'untrendy' spods.

The kids have to want to be there or they just won't turn up. If kids are supposed to be in school all day but bunk off anyway how are you expecting a handful of staff to enforce cadet attendence? Cadet RMP's banging down doors?
Where is the funding coming from, education or MOD? I assume MOD, so which area is going to get more cutbacks :D

Plus anyone else find the thread title vaguely amusing? 'National Service by the Back Door' :lol:
When were you last in a state school?

Falling to bits? No, we get repairs done quickly, within a day for anything with a safety implication. We have some painting done almost every day.

Staff morale rock bottom? No, it is probably the close to being the highest I have known it to be - and my career started when Harold Wilson had the keys to Downing Street.

Kids been taught utter gash? Not really, there is some truth perhaps but the curriculum is strictly governed by the National Curriculum - something that was so good that it had to be made compulsory for state schools, but so bad that the Tories did not apply it to public schools.

Budget gone? Money is always in short supply no matter how much you get, you could always do a better job with more. However, we are better off in state schools than we were some years ago. However, as it is close to the end of the financial year, we are just about out of money at the moment...

Cadets running around with BAE Systems cap badges? It would not surprise me if they started to appear - about six months after body armour gets issued marked "Sponsored by the News of the World".
My old ATC unit activly recruited from a core of 3-4 local schools and always numbered 70 - 100 cadets.
And mine. I even remember doing a Schools visit with my OC whilst a Cadet Flt.Sgt..... to my own school. Not as embarrassing as I thought it might be, and fully supported and endorsed by the Headmaster (Ex-FAA Suez Wyvern Jockey) The deputy head (RAF LAC in France in 40) and the Head of English (Ex-RAF Liberator Pilot). The headmaster actually made it a free period , and 'encouraged' students to attend.

Always remember being quite proud to be standing there in front of my peers with my Dof E badge , Yellow lanyard and Wings up, and being able to announce I had soloed an aircraft before getting my driving licence.

Not sure how it would be received nowadays, but having bumped into a load of Pongo cadets a few weeks ago , the enthusiasm is there , but as previously mentioned, it needs adults willing to get involved. Recruitment advertising needs to be targeted here, including visits to Regular and Reserve establishments, British Legions etc etc.
JOHN MAJOR had the same idea look where that ended up nowhere.
good idea but nothings going to happen
The CCF is definitely an under-exposed activity, as in it can be fairly secretive. What I found in my time there was that even the press-ganged kids brightened up at the prospect of seing the regulars on trips or visits. Their is far to little support from the regulars, it was a full year before I saw a real squaddie and 3 before i met anyone badged into my parent regiment and I learnt a lot from them! Before that I only had the barely moderated cadet-nazi NCOs to give me an impression of the army. Glad I stuck with it though!
brighton hippy said:
JOHN MAJOR had the same idea look where that ended up nowhere.
good idea but nothings going to happen
it can work if the cash is stumped up
Just caught this thread after being away for a fortnight.

Abeaumont and Crabtastic have spotted the fundamental flaw in this idea: we already struggle to get good AIs/SSIs so where on earth are we going to source fresh adults from? Let's not forget that for every Labour MP saying "Let's support the Cadet Forces" there are another 10 from the loony left saying "Let's stop these kids from being able to train with and fire weapons, in case it turns them into future bank robbers".

As an aside, I wouldn't be too keen on taking in waifs and strays into my Detachment - I see my role as youth worker: not social worker or rehabilitation worker. There are enough little tw@ts in society without having them land on my doorstep!!
Finding instructors will not be a problem. Ruth Kelly has a list of people considered suitable to care for youngsters...quite a few are PE teachers...
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