Discussion in 'ACF' started by walting_matilda, Oct 13, 2010.
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Why are CCFs treated so badly by the other cadet forces in the UK.
Probably because the visible standard of the CCF does tend to be lower, uniform haircut and behaviour wise. A lot of CCFs are compulsory and the kids just don't want to be there, so the hope of getting them to make a decent attempt at ironing their kit is just lost. I think there is also the myth that CCF is only for posh kids.
Agreed, but I think the standard is very varied as is the ACF. But what gets me is that the Army Cadet Magazine does not have any Army CCF in or when it comes to cadet spending the cadet force thinks that the CCF will cought up via the school.
Well they are destined to become Officers...
Again, an Officer thing. One is often forced to do a few years in Father's Regiment before getting the inheritance donch'a know
You really don't know do you...........
Might it vary from school to school to some degree??
I'm from across the pond but my son attended a boarding school in the UK. He, being septic, did not join CCF but from what he told me the headmaster was supportive of the CCF program and although there was a Major somebody who was in charge of the CCF the headmaster would get personally involved in the CCF training program.
Good CCFs are the best; they're better funded, have well-educated kids with good standards of everything... because they go to posh public schools. These are the ones whose instructors can motivate them into giving two shits. Unfortunately the vast majority lack this sort of instructor and the motivation that ACF units have (if you don't want to be in ACF, bloody well leave) and so the whole corps has a bad name.
Might have been the case with my son's school. The headmaster was a former Royal Marine officer with a MC from the Falklands and the elderly Duke who was the chairman of the board was a retired Brigadier IIRC. I do know from visits to the school that the CCF boys looked pretty good.
So why does the ACF and the cadet movement treat them so bad.
I think he's quite right actually. At some of the more 'traditional' public schools, the fathers coughing up £fortune per year for their attendance are probably quite 'traditional' in their thinking, and would like to think some military activity will toughen their kids up and maybe lead them onto an honourable career in the Armed Forces.
The reality is you usually end up with a plentiful amount of kids who piss about, wear the uniform in rag order and generally waste time, money and resources; but it's hard to do anything about it because they don't want to be there, the instructors don't want them to be there, but they don't get a choice. At least with the ACF it's easier to get a grip as it is optional in both directions - you don't have to keep them!
I don't agree with the 'officer' element of his point, but the latter bit is kinda right - it's definitely a factor of the problem is that the kids are forced to be there, and the parents encourage it; but they just don't! And you can't just keep punishing the with bone jobs to do, they realise they're doing your nut and do it all the more. In our local CCF, my ACFs had some involvement with, the teachers that train the Army section know full well they're not interested in it, and treat them accordingly. It's a pretty dull atmosphere. The cadets who do want to be there are put into the marine section who get the majority of the funding, equipment and training opportunities.
Unfortunately, CCF instructors are a very different breed to ACF instructors. CCF Instructors are teachers who attend an ITC-like course at Frimley. They then become eligible for a commission. But many teachers are only really interested in letting the kids have a good time. They're not far bothered beyond that. Some that I spoke to see it as a slight interest thing that gives them a bit of an extra edge of experience on their career.
IMO, if CCFs were optional, they'd attract a better bunch of kids, and a lower amount of teachers would be required meaning only the ones who really wanted to be there were too, and they could run with much more of the benefits of ACF units. Instead, they have to operate silly systems like I mentioned, where one platoon / coy will be the serious cadets, whilst the rest just get chored one afternoon a week, pratting about on a drill square or whatever. Many contingents are 500+ cadets, if only half want to be there that's 250 sets of kit; and if each cadet fires 40 rounds of blank in the year, 10,000 rounds; of ammunition, plus a year's worth of rations, transport, insurance, and the rest of it; to entertain kids who simply do not want entertaining, and instead spend the entire time making life suck for those that do actually want to be there.
My plain view is that there is no point whatsoever in spending money on an activity for kids who don't want to partake in it! But, as Mr Plume said above - there is much pressure from those that pay their fees to give them some good ole fashion military training in their teenage years.
1. Not sure that the "posh kid" thing is entirely accurate: there are CCFs in state schools too (mostly at the grammar schools, but there are certainly some in the comprehensive system too).
2. Are CCFs really compulsory? Probably in only a minority of schools. I joined a (public school) CCF waaaaaay back in 1980 and even then it was voluntary (although a fair few only joined in order to get out of "granny-bashing" which was the alternative).
As an aside, HK Jr has just joined her (co-ed state school) CCF contingent as one of 80 out of her year of 120. All volunteers, so there's at least one CCF that must be doing things right. And the boys have even been made to cut their hair (something which the school should be demanding anyway, IMHO, but that's another story...)
But that is how Frimley spells cadet - FUN
If the CCF had the support of the cadet forces and the CTT (who are never there) then things could change; but alas it seems like a catch 22.
The biggest problem with inter ACF and CCF events which i have looked at in the past, is the fact that most CCF`s parade weekdays after school say 1530 onwards and most ACF dets parade 1900 onwards the time frame doesn't work too well. Also until recently my nearest school with a CCF, was open as a school on Saturdays, making weekend events hard to arrange. Its not ACF treating them any different its just they are two different animals.
One of the more positive examples: Alleyn's School
This is the elite unit that launched my long and illustrious military career (cough, splutter). Went back for a reunion a couple of years ago, and the children who were in the CCF couldn't stop talking about it. But then, it's voluntary, as it should be.
No, it isn't. But everyone loves a stereotype and this one seems to cover the CCF side of things!
Again, not all; but many are, and for every unit that you need to give somebody a bad rap, you probably need 3 to build it back up again. I think the relatively disciplined ACF just see a mass of long haired, beret straight-out-the-packet, 95 shirt zipped to the top and hanging out, boots half undone, trousers long, unshaven wealthy teenagers running around a transit camp and think 'CCF...'.
Im sure there are some decent CCFs about, I just found with the few that I've worked with that the adults have little motivation to work with the kids who have little motivation, so the whole thing just wraps up in a lack of motivation and effort; and it becomes a chore for all but those who actually want it.
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