South East Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (SERFCA) is one of 13 RFCAs UK-wide, SERFCA is a Ministry of Defence (MOD) Arms’ Length Body, responsible to the Defence Council, but separate from military chains-of-command. SERFCA supports the Reserve Forces and Cadets from the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force in the Counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey, and East and West Sussex. SERFCA also helps connect Defence with Society.
The majority of the Association comprises volunteers, presided over by the Lord-Lieutenant of each County, ranging from high-ranking serving and retired military Officers, through local Councillors to enthusiastic locals, with no military experience, but with a will to support the Armed Forces and Cadets; so it can be seen that the Association has close links with the Community because it is part of that Community. In short, the main roles of SERFCA are:
‘Providing the best place to work and train.’
Managing the volunteer estate, Reserve and Cadet buildings. This includes maintaining sites to the required legal standards and ensuring that all locations are kept in good order, fit for purpose and secure; where resources allow, enhancements and even new builds occur. SERFCA aims to provide an attractive environment in which to recruit and train. SERFCA is responsible for the upkeep of 30 Army Reserve Centre’s, 3 Careers Offices and University Officer Training Units (which are tri-service), 297 Cadet Centres including 58 Joint Cadet Centres, 7 Cadet Training Centres all on behalf of the MOD. SERFCA also has its own training camp; Jersey Camp on the Isle of Wight.
‘Encouraging support from employers and the community for the Reserves and Cadets.’
Encouraging support for the Reserves and Cadets through engagement events, briefings, awards evenings, social media and other publicity, influencing key stakeholders across the region. This includes encouraging organisations to sign the Armed Forces’ Covenant and to join the Employer Recognition Scheme.
‘Promoting the Cadet experience.’
Supporting the Combined Cadet Force, Volunteer Cadet Corps, Sea Cadet Corps, Army Cadet Force and Royal Air Force Air Cadets, facilitating thousands of Cadets and Cadet Force Adult Volunteers to develop their qualifications, soft skills, a good work ethic and a positive outlook on both life and work. SERFCA provides the Army Cadet Force’s Professional Support Staff and promotes the Cadet Experience for both the Combined cadet Force and the Community Cadets. SERFCA also helps encourage and sustain the Cadet Expansion Programme in state schools.
‘A supportive and independent perspective’
SERFCA contributes to the Council of RFCAs requirement to produce an annual External Scrutiny Team report on the Reserves and an annual Cadet Health Check. These comments on the state of the Reserves and Cadets are independent of the chains of command.
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