Combined Cadet Force
What is the CCF?
The Combined Cadet Force (CCF) is a national youth organisation sponsored by the Ministry of Defence. It aims to “provide 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.” The CCF is not a recruitment organisation for the Armed Forces and there is zero obligation for Cadets to join the military.
Established in 1860 as the Rifle Corps, Rossall School CCF is the oldest CCF in the country with a vibrant and meaningful history. The Contingent has been an important part of Rossall life for generations and remains one of the School’s most popular co-curricular activities. The school has a rich history of providing the military with former cadets who have gone on to be senior ranking officers in the military such as Brigadier’s and Generals.
The priority of the Contingent is to provide pupils with the opportunity to experience and enjoy a variety of military and civilian training with an emphasis on leadership and character development. We offer a vast amount to pupils in terms of enjoyment, personal development and as an excellent addition to any CV or Personal Statement. Rossall Cadets are expected to be among the most professional, confident and well-rounded pupils in the School, but the primary aim of the CCF is to be fun and enjoyable for all.
How does it work?
Cadets join compulsory in Year 9 and that commitment will continue onto the end of year 10, they may remain in the CCF until Year 13 and the longer they commit the more opportunities become available to them.
The five-year programme follows the national syllabus provided by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) but retains aspects that are unique to Rossall. The full and varied programme includes weapons training, drill and turnout, shooting and marksmanship, military knowledge and military history, field-craft and tactics, first aid, navigation, leadership, instructional techniques, command tasks, and adventurous training (including expeditions, climbing, caving, kayaking, canoeing, camping, survival/bush-craft and more).
Training takes place on Thursdays, known as ‘Parade Day’. The Contingent also has up to four field days a year (October, April and two days in June), Summer Camp is between 3 and 7 days and Easter Adventurous Training often happens in the Yorkshire Dales or the English Lake District. Cadets have the opportunity to attend additional military and outdoor courses, residential and weekend camps as well as national competitions.
Through the CCF cadets can achieve DofE criteria for the three sections, residential and expeditions are available to cadets through CCF/MoD sources.
The Army Proficiency Certificate (APC) Syllabus
The programme is progressive: in Year 9, Cadets learn the Army Proficiency Certificate (APC) Basic Syllabus. This includes drill, military knowledge, weapons training, basic shooting, navigation, first aid, field-craft and command tasks, it is not solely military-focused, and there are many alternative activities such as sport, adventure training and having fun which is key!
In Year 10 – Year 12, Cadets learn the Army Proficiency Certificate (APC) Advanced Syllabus. This includes more advanced drill, military knowledge and history, advanced shooting and marksmanship, advanced navigation and first aid, infantry tactics and command, leadership, instructional techniques and more. The opportunity for 15-year-olds to attend multi-activity residential courses in N Wales and Bavaria, Germany is available. At 16 years of age, cadets are encouraged to bid for and attend residential foundation and leadership courses in many outdoor disciplines.
Please see Army Cadet Opportunities for Outdoor Adventure at: https://www.armycadetadventure.co.uk/
In Year 13, Cadets complete the APC Advanced Syllabus and begin the ‘Special to Arms’ syllabus, becoming skilled at all the above subjects and receiving advanced leadership training. Year 13 Cadets are expected to assist in the delivery of training for Year 9 and 10 Cadets, to be role models, leaders and commanders. If cadets are keen to explore joining the forces the CCF is a great platform to inform and assist cadets on their potential careers as a service person in HM Armed Forces.
After completion of the APC Basic Syllabus, Cadets are eligible for promotion. With a rank comes a number of responsibilities, and all NCOs are trained in preparation of this. Promotion is dependent on passing the APC Syllabus, it is largely personal maturity, attitude, responsibility, initiative and leadership capabilities and qualities that are looked for to assure the promotion of cadets, once promoted cadets are on a journey of self-development and will become the future cadet leaders of the CCF and potentially of the military as many have gone before them.
We recently promoted our first RSM from the RAF section.
Additional Subjects and Competitions
Cadets also have the opportunity to participate in the following additional subjects at School:
- Rock Climbing
- Military Beach Fitness
- Bushcraft / Survival
- Hill/Mountain Walking
- Air Rifle Shooting
- Zombie Elimination patrols
- Sailing (affiliation to Blackpool and Fleetwood Yacht Club)
These are optional subjects but the CCF programme sets aside time for all Cadets to get involved.
The Contingent also runs competitions throughout the year in Shooting, Foot Drill and leadership tasks.
The Duke of Edinburgh's Award is a fantastic scheme which allows young people to challenge themselves and learn new skills through planning and training for a series of walking expeditions.
The World Challenge Expedition is offered to students in the Sixth Form and for those who take part, it can be a life-changing experience.
Throughout the year, we support a wide range of charities as a School.