Never short on ideas or reformist zeal, in 1889 Octavia Hill formed the first independent Cadet Battalion in London, a concept which rapidly spread, becoming the Army Cadets. She felt strongly that the military context would socialise urban youths struggling for direction.
Today, the Army Cadet Force (ACF) has over 40,000 members and offers progressive training to boys and girls aged 12 to 18 in various areas including drill and turnout, fieldcraft, sport, first aid, orienteering and even musicianship for military bands. The idea was later broadened to both navy and air cadets. Achievement, discipline and good citizenship are promoted at all times.
The ACF is sponsored by the Ministry of Defence. Although cadets are not subject to military ‘call up’ many do go on to find a career in the armed forces.
Click here for more information about the Army Cadet Force