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Merchants’ Academy is one of the few state schools in the country to offer a Combined Cadet Force (CCF). The Academy's Cadet Force, part of the national CCF, is one of the UK’s oldest, largest and most successful youth organizations, with almost 50,000 cadets nationally. It seeks to provide good citizenship through military-style training, providing role models, structure and excitement. Through the CCF our students develop leadership, teamwork, discipline, self-reliance and a wealth of new activities and experiences.
Cadets attend weekly training sessions and parade nights and have the opportunity to take part in regular training weekends throughout the year and an annual summer camp. It is free to join and almost all the necessary kit and equipment is provided. The CCF allows students between the ages of 12 to 18 to take part in a wide range of Military Skills and Adventure Training. Activities include drill, weapon handling and shooting, map reading, first aid, exciting adventure training opportunities, as well as participation in Ten Tors expeditions and the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme.
There is also the opportunity to take on more responsibility and cadets who demonstrate skill, commitment and enthusiasm are eligible for promotion, and can soon escalate through the NCO ranks; this can be used towards the service or skills part of the D of E qualifications as well as personal development.
The purpose-built CCF building is located on-site and has excellent facilities including an indoor firing range, classrooms and an NCO Mess. The CCF is led by the Officer Commanding and is supported by other commissioned and non-commissioned members of Academy staff. Further assistance is provided from instructors and specially trained regular military personnel.