|Denstone College Combined Cadet Force (CCF) is part of the national cadet organisation sponsored by the Ministry of Defence, and is very much a part of the wider military family.|
The CCF aims are to assist personal development through a wide range of activities that are not readily available outside the military context. It also aims to give cadets some insight into, and sympathy with, military matters. There is no specific recruiting objective.
At Denstone the CCF is a Thursday afternoon activity option which pupils may choose from a wide range of alternatives. On entry as Fourth Formers, cadets choose either the Army or RAF Sections, however, this choice precludes very little other than organised flying. Weekly training in the first year aims to give cadets a firm military foundation based mainly on weapon training, shooting, field-craft, shelter construction, navigation skills, first aid and drill. Fifth Form cadets specialise in more advanced specialist training, and may choose to participate in the Non Commissioned Officer Training Cadre. On successful completion of the Cadre, cadets are qualified to become NCOs. As much training as possible is conducted by cadet NCOs, under the supervision of Denstone staff, several of whom have previous military experience and hold the Queen’s Commission as CCF Officers. The Contingent Commander is Major Kevin McCammon who previously served with the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters.We are fortunate in having a wide range of training facilities including both indoor and outdoor ranges.
Training is as comprehensive, testing and fun as possible, but it is necessarily limited by time and space. Training away from school provides the opportunity for more demanding and realistic activity. During the Michaelmas term the entire contingent takes part in a 24 hour exercise at Swynnerton, which new recruits find especially demanding. In the Lent term there is a night exercise for more senior cadets at Leek, with a more challenging NCO leadership weekend held alternately in Wales or East Anglia. During the Summer Term first year cadets have their first opportunity to employ their weapon handling skills at Swynnerton, ably led by the junior NCOs. At the close of the year both RAF and Army camps are held at varying locations, details of which are published six months in advance.
There are also numerous opportunities for cadets to participate in competitions, flying and gliding (RAF cadets only), and a myriad of courses. These range from leadership and military courses, through adventurous training to overseas trips. Many CCF cadets also participate in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, being able to use some aspects of their CCF service to satisfy certain award requirements.
In conclusion, the CCF offers as much or as little as most cadets wish. Many activities take them to the edge of their comfort zone. Very few find that their time in the CCF has not given them positive memorable experiences.