This article on the UK’s Service Cadet Organisations is divided into Five Parts:


4.0     Introduction

The part of the article outlines the role of cadet force adult volunteers and the benefits of being a volunteer. It also highlights the cadet expansion programme, as well as the role of MOD and certain groups.

4.1     Cadet Force Adult Volunteers

“Mrs Osborne added: “I would also like to pay tribute to the adults who lead and look after the cadets, both full-time and especially the volunteers, without whose dedication and commitment, not to mention good humour, the cadet organisations would simply not exist.”” (Brown, 2018).

Cadet force adult volunteers (CFAV) – also known adult cadet volunteers, adult volunteers, or adult instructors – do not require any previous military experience. CFAV’s must be between 18 and 55, be reasonably fit, and commit to one or two evenings a week – plus some weekends and a two-week annual camp. Not only do CFAV’s have the opportunity to influence young people in a positive manner, but they can also develop their own confidence and skills through leadership and team-building activities, as well as gaining vocational and training qualifications up to Master’s degree-level.

On 01 April 2017, there were approximately (MOD, 2016; MOD, 2017):

  • 27,750 community and CCF CFAV’s, down from 28,600 on 01 April 2014.
  • 24,410 community CFAVs, down from 25,790 on 01 April 2014.
  • 3,340 CCF CFAV’s, up from 2,810 on 01 April 2014.

On 01 April 2007, there were approximately 26,000 CFAV’s who volunteered a total of “590,000” weekend days and “1,630,000” evenings (BERR, 2007, p.5). CFAV’s are categorised by the MOD as volunteers and, as such, do not qualify for the National Minimum Wage, although they are entitled to certain remuneration such as travel expenses (BERR, 2007).

The introduction of a new ‘Cadet to Adult Volunteer’ pathway has been designed to make it easier and quicker for cadets who were young leaders to become adult volunteers in the officer role, lower the age of commission from 21 to 18. (Army Cadet Volunteer, 2018, p.31). This is facilitated with the introduction, in December 2017, of the new “Cadet Forces Commission” which recognises the unique status of volunteers as youth leaders (Army Cadet Volunteer, 2018, p.30).

As part of their induction and training, CFAV’s must undertake and/or be familiar with: the Familiarisation and Assessment Weekend (FAMASS); Redbook; Safeguarding procedures; Cadet Force Instructor Techniques (Burns-McCombe, 2018, p.16-17).

CFAV roles include:

  • County Commandant: Colonel (OF-5).
  • County Deputy Commandant: Lieutenant Colonel (OF-4).
  • County Training Officer:
    • Usually based at the County HQ.
    • Reports to the Commandant and Deputy Commandant.
    • Usually in the rank of Major (OF-3) or Captain (OF-2).
    • Must have completed the Area Commanders Course.
    • Plan and deliver all training for senior cadets.
    • CFAV inductions and CFAV course preparation.
    • Liaise with Training Safety Advisor.
    • May command a County Training Team.
    • May organise Detachment Commander’s events.
  • County First Aid Training Officer.
  • County Signals Officer.
  • Company Commander: Major (OF-3).
  • Detachment Commander: Second Lieutenant or Lieutenant (OF1).

There are a number of NCO ranks, including:

  • Non-uniformed Civilian Instructor (CI).
  • Sergeant Instructor (SI).
  • Staff Sergeant Instructor (SSI).
  • Sergeant Major Instructor (SMI).

4.2     What are the Benefits of Becoming a Cadet Force Adult Volunteer?

The benefits of becoming an adult cadet volunteer include (East Midlands RFCA, 2018):

  • Opportunity to gain new skills, practical training and experience;
  • Develop team working and leadership qualities;
  • Chance to gain vocational qualifications;
  • Try out activities on offer to the Cadets;
  • Give something back to the community you live in;
  • Make new friends; and
  • Make a difference to the lives of young people.

There are also a variety of qualifications available, for example:

  • Short Range Conducting Officers Course delivered over two weekends or four consecutive days.
  • Navigation Tutor Course (Army Cadet Volunteer, 2018, p.23-25).
    • Trains CFAV’s to deliver APC 2 navigation training.
    • A train the trainer course enables CFAV’s to deliver APC 3- and 4-star navigation training.
    • To become a NNAS Course Tutor, CFAV’s need a minimum of Silver NNAS, BEL, Lowland Leader, Hill & Moorland Leader or higher, Mountain Bike Leader, Orienteering Coach L2, JSMLT or higher.
    • CFAV’s deliver the APC navigation syllabus, but appropriately qualified and experienced CFAV’s can also deliver the NNAS awards at the same time.

4.3     What is the Cadet Expansion Programme?

“The ambition of the programme is for pupils to use the benefits of the military ethos to achieve a good education and positively shape their futures.” (Wood, 2014, p.7).

The Cadet Expansion Programme (CEP), also known as the Cadet Forces Expansion Programme, is a joint venture between the Department for Education (DfE) and the MOD, with the aim of more young people in state-funded schools benefiting from the cadet experience.

The CEP is open to all types of government-funded secondary (local authority, academy, and free) schools, university technical colleges, and 16-18/sixth-form colleges.

Both departments believe that service cadet organisations can help transform the ethos of a school, and the UK Government’s ‘Positive for Youth’ strategy, published in 2010, highlighted its ambition for more young people from a wide range of backgrounds to benefit from the cadet experience (Cabinet Office & Department for Education, 2010).

On 30 June 2012, the then Prime Minister announced the expansion of cadet forces. Prior to the current CEP, in England, there were 237 CCF contingents based in both state and independent schools and colleges (Wood, 2014):

  • 61 in state funded schools; and
  • 176 in independent schools.

By June 2014, there had been 42 new units approved: 21 partnerships and 21 new units, with an aspiration for a total of 100 new units by 2015 (Wood, 2014). This target was achieved in March 2015 and the MOD now wants a total of 500 by 2020 (MOD, 2016).

Between November 2015 and September 2017, a further 81 schools were approved to establish a CCF contingent (MOD, 2017b).

4.4     Army Cadet Force Outreach Project

The Army Cadet Force Outreach project is an early-intervention programme specifically designed for crime-vulnerable 12 to 14 year olds and run in conjunction with local schools, police forces and community groups.

It provides adventurous training and challenging activities using Army loaned facilities and equipment. It majors on confidence-building and raising self-esteem.

4.5     Youth United

The Cadet Forces have been involved in Youth United (formerly Project YOU) since February 2009.

Youth United is a coalition of youth organisations, mainly uniformed, with the aim to reach out further in the UK to encourage more young people and adult volunteers to take advantage of the opportunities available.

4.6     Youth and Cadets Team

The Youth and Cadets team, based at the MOD in Whitehall, is a component of the Reserve Forces and Cadets Division offering advice to government on youth policy and the cadet forces.

4.7     Brigades and Regional Point of Command

Each region of the UK has an Army Brigade or Regional Point of Command (RPOC), which is the regional military authority supporting the CCFs in that area.

The Army has nine Brigades or RPOCs and London District (LONDIST) which deliver operational effect and regional responsibilities across a region of the UK. The regions are roughly aligned with the Reserve Forces and Cadets Associations (RFCAs), although there may be two different Brigades working within an area covered by one RFCA.

As well as managing training and recruitment for the Regular and Reserve units within the area, they work with the CCFs in their area to assist with adult training and organisation operations.

The Staff Officer II (SO2) Cadets, a Major (OF-3) provides administrative and some financial support for CCFs. The Brigade Commander, a Brigadier (OF-6) is in overall command for the Army Formations and CCFs within that geographical region, and is supported by the Deputy Brigade Commander, usually a Colonel (OF-5).

Each Brigade will also have an appointed Colonel Cadets, whose duty it is to advise the Brigade and Deputy Commander on cadet matters.

CCF (RAF) sections are assigned a parent RAF station by the RAF, and will also be affiliated to a local unit, with RAF personnel assisting in coordinating visits.

4.8     All-Party Parliamentary Group for Reserve Forces and Cadets

The role of the all-part parliamentary group for reserve forces and cadets is to promote interest in Britain’s Reserve Forces and generate new thinking on their role and structure.

Return to Part 03 Continue on to Part 05