How Many Cadets will become Members of the British Armed Forces?

According to a UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) FOI request, between 01 July 2007 and 30 June 2010, approximately 82,000 cadets left the Army Cadet Force (ACF) and the Combined Cadet Force (CCF).

As of June 2018, the ACF has 39,000 cadets and 9,000 adult volunteers in 1,600 detachments across the UK. As of 2014, the CCF had 42,950 cadets and 2,810 adult volunteers in over 400 secondary schools across the UK. A CCF contingent may include Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army or Royal Air Force sections. There is an aspiration to increase this number to 500 schools by 2020.

The data includes all reasons for leaving including:

  • Over age:
    • ACF need to be aged over 12* and under 18 (*aged 12 by 01 September at the start of year 8 in school or equivalent in Scotland and Northern Ireland).
    • Typically CCF would join in Year 8 or Year 9.
  • Non-attendance.
  • Disciplinary.

Of the 82,000 cadet leavers during this period, 5,400 could be matched to a Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) service personnel record (JPA captures all service personnel from Army, RN and RAF, as well as Adult Volunteers and Reservists).

This gives a conversion rate (i.e. those who joined the Services) across the cohort of 6.6%, with:

  • 7.8% being male cadets.
  • 3.7% being female cadets.
  • 6.7% from the ACF.
  • 6.0% from the CCF.
  • The average leaving age being 15.5.
  • The assignment type of converters being:
    • Regular forces: 3,484.
    • Cadet force adult volunteers: 782.
    • Volunteer reserve: 1,172.

Useful Links

  • ACF: https://armycadets.com/.
  • CCF: https://combinedcadetforce.org.uk/.
  • Cadet Apprenticeships: https://cadetapprenticeships.co.uk/.
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