Cadet Force organisations

Stephen A Bunyan

The Army Cadet Force (ACF), the Air Training Corps (ATC), the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) and the Sea Cadet Corps are not part of the Services, but are voluntary youth organisations sponsored and funded by the Ministry of Defence to the tune of c. £58 million (February 2002) across the UK. The targeted group is people between 13 and 18 years old (pilot schemes with 12 year-olds, which matches school intake ages, were in hand). Girls have been recruited since 1984, originally to a maximum of 25%. Not all battalions took up this option. In the Lothian & Borders Battalion they are recruited in 26 out of 32 detachments (2002).

The aim of the cadet forces is to help the personal and social development of young people (see this archived page from the Ministry of Defence Web Site).

All four Cadet Forces are based in local communities, and are one way in which the Ministry contributes to those local communities; in the Strategic Defence Review of November 1998, the money available for the Cadet Forces was increased. They do provide excellent recruits for the services.

The Army Cadet Force

The East Lothian Company of the ACF is cap-badged Royal Scots; it has detachments in Dunbar, North Berwick, Prestonpans, Tranent and Haddington, although for a time this detachment met in East Linton. At one point, the Company included the Dalkeith detachment.

The Detachment in Musselburgh is cap-badged Royal Logistics Corps, and is in Midlothian Company. They were originally cap-badged Royal Scots, and were presumably based in the Drill Hall until it was sold in 1950. It is likely that they were located at Newhailes Camp and re-badged Royal Army Service Corps (RASC) after 529 Company RASC TA went to Newhailes.

In January 1992, the Lothians Battalion amalgamated with A&B Companies of the KOSB Battalion to form the Lothian & Borders Battalion of the Army Cadet Force. The HQ is at Drumshoreland, Broxburn. Of the six Companies, one (B) is in the Borders, and is strongly linked to the Kings Own Scottish Borderers; the other five are in Edinburgh and the Lothians: A (East Lothian) is cap-badged Royal Scots; C (North Edinburgh) has detachments cap-badged Royal Artillery and Royal Scots; D (West Lothian) has detachments cap-badged Royal Artillery and Royal Scots; and E ( Midlothian) cap-badged Royal Scots except the Musselburgh Detachment which is cap-badged Royal Logistics Corps.

In 1996, C (North Edinburgh) was divided and a second company – F (South Edinburgh) with detachments cap-badged Scots Guards, Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (SDG), Royal Engineers and Royal Logistics Corps – was formed.

The Air Training Corps

There is a detachment of the Air Training Corps in Musselburgh, which goes back to wartime; Musselburgh was famous for the quality of its pilots, which was credited to the ATC training.

The Combined Cadet Force

There is a CCF Detachment in Knox Academy, Haddington. The detachment wears army uniform and The Royal Scots badge.

The Sea Cadets

There is a detachment of the Sea Cadets in Musselburgh.

Mr C Jamieson formed a detachment in Dunbar in 1959. It continued to the end of the Millennium.