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Army Cadet Force

Volume 974: debated on Tuesday 27 November 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will give the figures of the current establishment and strength of Army Cadet Force officers; what proposals he has for encouraging recruitment of officers; and if he will make a statement on the Army Cadet Force.

The current establishment and strength of Army Cadet officers is around 4,700 and 2,800 respectively. This degree of undermanning, plus the current level of wastage, is serious and two recruiting campaigns have been held this year in an attempt to improve the position. The number of inquiries has increased as a result of these campaigns, but it is too soon to forecast whether these will lead to a real improvement in strengths. It is planned to repeat the campaign next year.The Army Cadet Force is a youth service sponsored by the Ministry of Defence. In addition to the important role it plays in this field, there is an invaluable by-product in the number of cadets who elect to join the Regular and Reserve Forces.