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.