The Combined Cadet Force (CCF) is an organisation sponsored by the British Armed Forces. It aims to promote teamwork, leadership, service and self-reliance through military and adventure training. Culford offers the CCF as an afternoon activity each week and pupils from Fourth Form up may choose it as an option; no previous experience is necessary and it is not compulsory.
The activity includes military training in drill, fieldcraft, navigation, first aid and shooting and is conducted by members of the British Army’s Cadet Training Team and specially trained Cadet NCOs (Non-Commissioned Officers) drawn from within the school. NCOs have to successfully complete a challenging training course where their leadership skills are developed.
Training Camps and Trips
Recruits take part in several training days and recruit exercises throughout the year. For example, adventure training comprises everything from sailing and canoeing to climbing and abseiling. The CCF takes full advantage of the grounds and facilities available at Culford as well as visiting more rugged areas of the country.
Every summer there is a week-long annual camp at a military establishment or training area somewhere in the UK. There are also numerous residential courses available such as the Cadet Leadership Course and the Senior Cadet Instructors’ Course. These courses are a chance to develop your potential as a communicator, instructor and leader whilst mixing with cadets from all over the country. There are also courses available in everything from rock climbing and skiing to seamanship and powerboat maintenance.
Selected pupils can choose to join the RAF section of the CCF, which involves experiencing flying at local RAF stations. All RAF section cadets use flight simulators and fly with pilots at RAF Wittering in Cambridgeshire. Some pupils gain RAF Flying Scholarships, which means that they can take part in an intensive training course at a RAF base over the summer.
CCF Inspection and Dinner
Each year Culford's CCF undergoes a formal inspection; in 2015 this was taken by Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty. The inspection is followed by competitions in the afternoon and a formal mess dinner in Culford Hall in the evening, hosted by Culford's NCOs.
In short, CCF offers a great opportunity to develop a wide range of skills that will set pupils apart from the crowd, give vital experience in teamwork and leadership and even create a pathway for a future career in the Forces.