Our CCF began its history as early as 1897 and a Cadet Corps was established in 1906. After several changes in status it became the CCF in 1948 and celebrated its centenary in 2006.

The Combined Cadet Force (CCF) is a voluntary youth organisation based in schools and colleges, sponsored and administered by the Ministry of Defence (MOD). CCF units are known as contingents and may comprise of up to 4 sections: Royal Navy (RN), Royal Marines (RM), Army and Royal Air Force (RAF). The CCF is not part of the Armed Forces.

Today the CCF is a vibrant, inclusive youth organisation for students aged between 13 and 18, offering significant developmental opportunities through the use of military-orientated and adventurous training with a 60/40% weighting respectively.

There are some 240 CCF contingents with 40,000 cadets. The role of the CCF is to help young people to develop powers of leadership through training, which promotes qualities of responsibility, self-reliance, resourcefulness, confidence, endurance, perseverance and a sense of service to the community. Military training is also designed to demonstrate why defence forces are needed, how they function, and to stimulate an interest in a career as an officer in the Services. Additionally, the CCF contributes yet another challenging dimension to what is already an intensive educational programme at Maidstone Grammar School, developing many skills and personal attributes that will remain of value throughout the cadets’ lives and which will be relevant in whatever career they pursue.

Year 9 cadets are eligible to enrol into the CCF in the first week of the new academic year. They enter into a basic training package giving them a taste of each of our 3 sections, introducing them to the ranks; uniforms and customs; safe weapon handling; marching and basic leadership skills. Generally, they join the section of their choice but this can be changed after completing Recruit Camp which is normally held in December.

Once fully enrolled into the CCF, cadets have the opportunity to attend camps and a wide range of courses, most of which are free or heavily subsidised ranging from sailing to adventure training; from leadership to gliding. The lists of activities on offer runs to over 30 different types. Flying scholarships are also available to the more senior RAF cadets.

The Royal Navy Section provides training in leadership and seamanship. Training includes nautical elements such as sailing, navigation, canoeing and yachting with the opportunities to obtain nationally recognised sailing and power-boating qualifications right up to instructor level. The section has an affiliated ship, HMS Kent, and a number of land based establishments offering varied and exciting activities.

The Army Section provides cadets with a challenging range of activities including infantry work, first aid, map reading, orienteering, weapon training, camp craft, battle craft and self reliance. Skills as instructors and leaders are also developed. Infantry exercise weekends and a week at Summer Camp provide many activities for both military and adventurous training. Army scholarships at Sixth Form and University level may be awarded to suitable applicants.

The Royal Air Force Section has as its primary aim, the provision of opportunities for cadets to fly. The pilot instructors are keen that cadets should fly the aircraft and, apart from take-off and landing, much of the time in the air is spent with the cadet in control. Instructors also give the cadets the opportunity to experience some exciting aerobatics. Week long RAF camps at Easter and in summer provide opportunities to see how an RAF station works and to take part in some of the activities.

The CCF is however not primarily intended as a recruiting wing for the Armed Forces and carries no liability for military service. Having said that, a high percentage of commissioned officers within the Armed Forces have previously been members of a CCF Contingent somewhere in the UK.

It should be noted that much of the activity carried out by the CCF can count as part of the service activity within the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. In return for all that is offered we insist that cadets attend training after school every Thursday. A dispersal parade is held at 1700. If a student cannot commit to this minimal requirement then the CCF is not for them.

The CCF Army Section wears the Royal Engineers cap badge.  We follow a basic syllabus of infantry training and go on to employ the skills acquired by firing the latest Cadet General Purpose rifle on military ranges and with blank ammunition on our challenging overnight exercises.

The training syllabus, prepares cadets for exercises and promotion, whilst instilling the six core values and standards of the British Army:

  • Loyalty
  • Integrity
  • Courage
  • Discipline
  • Respect for others
  • Selfless commitment

It is not surprising that our cadets experience astonishing personal development; the skills and leadership opportunities afforded them give them the confidence to take on school leadership responsibilities. Previous Heads of Section have won Army Scholarships to University, HM Lord-Lieutenant Cadet of the Year Award and some have gone on to RMAS (Sandhurst) to be commissioned as an Officer in the regular army.

The cadets particularly enjoy the opportunity to participate in overnight exercises on local military training areas, where they can develop the fieldcraft skills that they have received instruction on in our Thursday evening training programme.  The more senior cadets have the opportunity to participate in a range of challenging military competitions from CADSAM (Cadet Skill at Arms Shooting Competition), 11 Brigade Military Skills Competition (testing the ability of a section to execute the advanced infantry training syllabus) and the Cambrian Patrol (a 48 hr patrol and fieldcraft exercise on the Sennybridge Training Area of the Brecon Beacons).

We attend an Annual Central Camp every July; competing in activities such as march and shoot, drill, obstacle course, orienteering and a variety of infantry training packages including section and platoon attacks, fighting in built-up areas, escape and evasion, climbing and canoeing.  We always strive to be the best and often end up occupying the top places.

On Adventurous Training we are always complimented for our overall effort and demeanour, having participated in canoeing, rock climbing, abseiling, gorge and hill walking, high/low ropes, coasteering and climbing mountains in Snowdonia. All participants are introduced to the new challenges by qualified regular Army staff and Civilian Instructors; cadets are given the opportunity to experience a spirit of adventure. By the end of the week, all have gained a real sense of achievement after successfully tackling a range of new experiences.  There are numerous MOD sponsored courses for cadets, which give the opportunity to further develop skills and receive recognised qualifications, e.g. Basic Rock Climbing in Spain.

If you require further information about the Army Section, please do not hesitate to ask one of the cadets or officers.

Major P Highway

Officer Commanding


Basic Training

The cadets receive instruction on military subjects which the cadet in the CCF is required to master in order to qualify for the Army Proficiency Certificate (APC)

  • Turnout
  • Drill
  • Military Knowledge
  • Skill at Arms
  • Use of map and compass
  • Field craft
  • First Aid


Advanced Training

After successful completion of the APC, cadets may complete the Method of Instruction cadre, which will allow for the award of the Advanced APC and eligibility for promotion to a Junior Non-commissioned Officer (JNCO).



JNCOs may attend a Cadet Leadership Course to prepare them for promotion to a Senior Non-commissioned Officer (SNCO).  The Cadet Leadership Course is designed to develop cadets’ initiative and self-reliance by using the challenging and physically demanding problems of practical leadership.  The aim of the course is to focus attention on the personal characteristics needed to lead cadets. The leadership qualities that you learn will serve you well wherever you go and whatever you do.

It is no surprise that CCF cadets often go on to become a Senior Prefect, School Vice-Captain and School Captain.

Training Courses are offered on activities as diverse as catering to rock climbing in Spain.

We train every Thursday from 15:30-17:10, working on various seamanship and general military skills,such as rope work, chart work, knowledge of the Royal Navy, leadership tasks, drill and weapons handling. 

In general, the winter months will be spent in classrooms going over the RN knowledge syllabus, navigation lessons and practical leadership tasks. The summer and autumn months will mostly be spent undertaking afloat training lessons in a RYA sailing/BCU canoeing school, where cadets can gain nationally recognized sailing and canoeing proficiency certificates.

In general, the winter months will be spent in classrooms going over the RN knowledge syllabus, navigation lessons and practical leadership tasks. The summer and autumn months will mostly be spent undertaking afloat training lessons in a RYA sailing/BCU canoeing school, where cadets can gain nationally recognized sailing and canoeing proficiency certificates.

The CCF offers a huge range of camps and courses at a very minimal cost for RN Section cadets. These courses cover afloat training in sailing boats and yachts, power boats and canoes. In addition, courses are offered for adventurous training, weapons handling, Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Fleet Air Arm acquaintance, electronics, first aid, and many other areas.

Ordinary Cadet syllabus.
Recruits receive basic training for the first three terms of their time in the CCF RN Section. Training consists of: Knowledge of the aims and organisation of the CCF; Security; Squad drill; Naval Cadet Force swimming test; Introduction to RN camps and courses; Correct wearing of uniform; Afloat training equipment and clothing; RN ethos; Rope work; RN ranks and rates.

Upon completion they will be promoted to the rank of Ordinary Cadet.


Able Cadet (1 Star – 3 Star) syllabus.
This is the main training syllabus for the cadets of the RN Section. Training consists of: Afloat training (dinghy sailing, canoeing, power boating, etc.); Knowledge of the role of the Royal Navy; RN flag ceremonial; RN piping; Recognition of ships and submarines; Recognition of aircraft; Recognition of weapons; Branches of the Royal Navy; Buoyage; IRPCS; Weather information; Communications; Sea terms; Advanced rope work; Map and compass; Leadership styles; Power of command; Practical leadership tasks; Qualities of an instructor; Training aids; Confirmation and instruction technique; Practical lesson planning and delivery; VHF voice procedures; Basic chart work; Equivalent ranks and rates in the Army and the RAF; Alliances of the RN; Branches of the Royal Marines.

After cadets have completed the first stage of the syllabus they are promoted to Able Cadets. They completion of further stages in the syllabus earns them additional stars on their rank slides.


NCO syllabus.
In their senior years cadets of outstanding quality will be promoted to cadet non-commissioned officer ranks. They will then receive training in conducting lessons for junior cadets, acting as team leaders and taking command of a formed squad.

Depending on performance and open positions, cadets can be promoted along the line of Leading Hand, Petty Officer, Chief Petty Officer and Warrant Officer.

Welcome to the RAF Section, we hope you enjoy seeing our activities and that it inspires our students to join the premier section in year 9. Please check out our galleries and the training syllabus to see what else we get up to in the RAF section.

We have recently started to put some of our classroom skills into practice with the introduction of a selection of Radio Controlled Aircraft. at present we have two fixed win trainers, four helicopters and five quadcopters (one of which is a full blown UAV with GPS and autonomous flight modes.

As the OC RAF Section at MGS I hope to be able to provide a wealth of activities and opportunities for the cadets in our section. I have served in both the ATC and the RAF and have a selection of skills that I would like to use to develop the section and the cadets that form the backbone of the contingent.

Flt Lt SJ Moores RAFAC


First Class – Basic Training.

The training received at this stage of a cadet’s CCF (RAF) career is very important. It will help cadets fit into the Section quickly and prepare them for all future CCF activities. Training consists of drill, military knowledge, map and compass, shooting and safety, fieldcraft, airmanship and basic first aid. Successful completion of this stage of training leads to the award of the First Class Cadet badge.


Leading Cadet Intermediate Training.

Cadets complete training in Principles of Flight, Basic Navigation and Airmanship. A combination of classroom basic activities and outdoor practical training prepares our cadets to meet the standards set down by HQ Air Cadets.
Successful completion of this stage of training leads to the award of the leading cadet badge.


Senior Cadet – Advanced Training.

Advanced training allows cadets to focus on an aviation subject in greater detail. Cadets at MGS take a course in Advanced Air Navigation as well as training that will enable them to take on responsibility for organising and running various section activities. Successful completion of this stage leads to the award of the senior cadet badge.


Staff/Instructor Cadet

On completion of an NCO Cadre cadets are also eligible for the award of the instructor cadet lanyard.


Flying & Gliding

Whilst we are a large section, we still aim to ensure that every cadet will go flying and/or gliding at least once a year.

Flying takes place in the Grob tutor at 5 AEF (Air Experience Flight) RAF Wyton in Cambridgeshire, whilst cadets attend 615 VGS (Venture Gliding School) at RAF Kenley (South london) to fly Viking gliders via winch launch.

Opportunities are also available for week long gliding scholarships, where cadets may be able to go solo in either the Viking or Vigilant Glider. Upon successful completion of a gliding scholarship, cadets are also able to apply for the Air Cadet Pilot Scheme or Pilot Navigation Scheme. This will give them around 22 hours of free flying training.


Rank Structure, Promotion and NCO Cadre

As cadets move through the section they are able to take responsibility for various aspects of training. In preparation for this cadets are able to attend both internal and external NCO cadres. At recent cadres at DFTS Manston, our cadets have excelled with many best cadet of course places awarded to MGS.