Maj P Highway
School Staff Instructor (SSI)
WO2 (SSI) D Rai
The Combined Cadet Force (CCF) is a voluntary youth organisation based in schools and colleges, sponsored and administered by the Ministry of Defence (MOD). CCF units are known as contingents and may comprise of up to 4 sections: Royal Navy (RN), Royal Marines (RM), Army and Royal Air Force (RAF). The CCF is not part of the Armed Forces.
Today the CCF is a vibrant, inclusive youth organisation for students aged between 13 and 18, offering significant developmental opportunities through the use of military-orientated and adventurous training with a 60/40% weighting respectively.
There are some 240 CCF contingents with 40,000 cadets. The role of the CCF is to help boys and girls to develop powers of leadership through training, which promotes qualities of responsibility, self-reliance, resourcefulness, confidence, endurance, perseverance and a sense of service to the community. Military training is also designed to demonstrate why defence forces are needed, how they function, and to stimulate an interest in a career as an officer in the Services. Additionally, the CCF contributes yet another challenging dimension to what is already an intensive educational programme at Maidstone Grammar School, developing many skills and personal attributes that will remain of value throughout the cadets’ lives and which will be relevant in whatever career they pursue.
Maidstone Grammar School CCF began its history as early as 1897 and a Cadet Corps was established in 1906. After several changes in status it became the CCF in 1948. It has now been in existence for 114 years having celebrated its centenary in 2006.
Year 9 cadets are eligible to enrol into the CCF in the first week of the new academic year. They enter into a basic training package giving them a taste of each of our 3 sections, introducing them to the ranks; uniforms and customs; safe weapon handling; marching and basic leadership skills. Generally, they join the section of their choice but this can be changed after completing Recruit Camp which is normally held in December.
Once fully enrolled into the CCF, cadets have the opportunity to attend camps and a wide range of courses, most of which are free or heavily subsidised ranging from sailing to adventure training; from leadership to gliding. The lists of activities on offer runs to over 30 different types. Flying scholarships are also available to the more senior RAF cadets.
The Royal Navy Section provides training in leadership and seamanship. Training includes nautical elements such as sailing, navigation, canoeing and yachting with the opportunities to obtain nationally recognised sailing and power-boating qualifications right up to instructor level. The section has an affiliated ship, HMS Kent, and a number of land based establishments offering varied and exciting activities.
The Army Section provides cadets with a challenging range of activities including infantry work, first aid, map reading, orienteering, weapon training, camp craft, battle craft and self reliance. Skills as instructors and leaders are also developed. Infantry exercise weekends and a week at Summer Camp provide many activities for both military and adventurous training. Army scholarships at Sixth Form and University level may be awarded to suitable applicants.
The Royal Air Force Section has as its primary aim, the provision of opportunities for cadets to fly. The pilot instructors are keen that cadets should fly the aircraft and, apart from take-off and landing, much of the time in the air is spent with the cadet in control. Instructors also give the cadets the opportunity to experience some exciting aerobatics. Week long RAF camps at Easter and in summer provide opportunities to see how an RAF station works and to take part in some of the activities.
The CCF is however not primarily intended as a recruiting wing for the Armed Forces and carries no liability for military service. Having said that, a high percentage of commissioned officers within the Armed Forces have previously been members of a CCF Contingent somewhere in the UK.
It should be noted that much of the activity carried out by the CCF can count as part of the service activity within the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. In return for all that is offered we insist that cadets attend training after school every Thursday. A dispersal parade is held at 1700. If a student cannot commit to this minimal requirement then the CCF is not for them.
Please see the Recruitment documents section to download and print applications forms, terms of service etc HERE
- Terms of service – please print off a copy, complete the bottom portion and return the form back to the CCF office (the old school house – there is a CCF letter box to the rear of the house)
- Application for membership & Uniform sizing form – please print off and complete as required and return to the CCF office.
- Basic Training Syllabus – for your information only.
- Frequently asked questions – designed to clear up a few points.
- CCF brochure – for your information only.