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Combined Cadet Force

We have the largest Combined Cadet Force in the country. Pupils join from the Third Year onwards and can choose between the Army, Royal Navy and RAF sections. The Combined Cadet Force (CCF) is a part of Brentwood life. It mobilises hundreds of our pupils to be adventurous and team-spirited.

The CCF is sponsored by the Ministry of Defence with the aim of providing "a disciplined organisation in a school so that pupils may develop powers of leadership by means of training to promote the qualities of responsibility, self reliance, resourcefulness, endurance and perseverance." It is not a recruiting organisation but a significant proportion of officers in the armed forces have served in the CCF. Brentwood School CCF was originally founded in 1861 and as such it is one of the earliest CCFs in the country.

Time is allocated for CCF activities each Friday afternoon at the end of lessons. There is a considerable emphasis on senior cadets developing their skills through instructing younger ones and almost all activities, with the exception of weapon training and activities in the range and the swimming pool are pupil-led with adults being present only to supervise.

What cadets do

The MoD lays down the syllabus to be followed by the three services.

Royal Navy cadets receive instruction in boat-work but also cover drill, shooting and scuba diving.

RAF cadets are taught drill, the history and structure of the RAF, shooting and safety, navigation and map reading, fire lighting and cooking. After passing an exam, RAF cadets are then eligible to go flying.

Army cadets start by learning the basics in their First Year including drill, first aid, camp craft, navigation, shooting using the 0.22 rifle on the indoor range and weapon training on the L98A2 Cadet General Purpose rifle, which is similar to the regular army SA80 but modified so the weapon can only fire semi automatically. When they reach the Fifth Form the emphasis changes with half the time being spent enhancing their military knowledge and the other half developing their skills as instructors. In the Sixth Form they either become instructors or join the REME section and learn the basics of car maintenance.

Camps and Courses

These are an important part of the activities of the CCF. Every cadet can apply to attend adventure training which is held in Snowdonia at Easter and teaches cadets the essentials skills of hill walking, while introducing them to other outdoor pursuits such as canoeing, climbing and gorge walking. In addition there is a Cadet Centre for Adventure Training which runs courses for CCF cadets and adults on a wide range of adventure training activities.

The RN runs a large number of courses during the School holidays often held at Portsmouth, ranging from sailing to general "leadership" courses. It also now runs a regular diving trip to the Red Sea, giving cadets the opportunity to build on the skills learnt in the School pool.

The RAF cadet organisation arranges week long camps for cadets at Easter and in the summer and we, along with all other CCFs bid for places. These are held on active RAF bases and cadets have the opportunity to undertake visits to the various branches on station as well as participating in less specialised activities such as shooting and orienteering. In the past year the cadets have attended RAF camps at RAF Kinloss, RAF Shawbury and RAF Akrotiri (Cyprus).

At the army summer camp cadets will have one or two days of adventure training activities, two or three military skills days, a day on the range and one day where we run our own activities. There are almost always competitions between the schools on camp and for the last two years we have won a "Best Contingent on Camp" award.

Recent CCF school trip photos can be viewed in the Photo Gallery section of this website.

“Exhausted but euphoric, the glory of our achievements supported us through the journey home…”
Isabel, Army cadet

Combined Cadet Force Booklet