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Royal Marines Volunteer Cadet Corps
Cap badge of the Royal Marines
Service history
Active 14 February 1901 - Present
Role Volunteer Youth Organisation
Motto Be Worthy

The Royal Marines Volunteer Cadet Corps (RMVCC) is a cadet organisation in the United Kingdom which is linked to the Royal Marines.


The RMVCC was first formed on 14 February 1901 at the now closed Royal Marines barracks in Eastney, Portsmouth. It was formed, so the story goes, to "gainfully occupy the spare time of sons of senior Non-Commissioned Officers (SNCOs)" after an occasion when the colonel's office window was broken by a ball kicked by an SNCO's son playing outside.

The RMVCC was formed with the title of Royal Marines Artillery Cadet Corps with the motto 'Manners Maketh Man'. It was known as the Royal Marines Volunteer Boys Corps for a while mid-20th century and Girl Ambulance Corps units existed alongside for some time. These were merged with the RMVBC after the Second World War and the current title adopted in the 1970s. However, RMVCC Portsmouth only accepted girls from the mid-1990s.

Soon, units were also formed at the Royal Marines barracks in Chatham, Deal, Kent and Plymouth, Devon. Later on, another unit was formed at Lympstone, Devon (Commando Training Centre Royal Marines). RMVCC Deal closed when the Royal Marines School of Music left the town and moved to HMNB Portsmouth. RMVCC Chatham transferred to the Sea Cadet Corps when Pay & Records, Royal Marines left Chatham in the 1960s.

The current Motto of the RMVCC is 'Be Worthy'.


There are currently three existing RMVCC units (known as 'Divisions'), at Portsmouth, Plymouth and Lympstone. Each Division is autonomous, and is staffed by adult civilian instructors, some of who have previous military experience. The Commanding Officer of each Division is usually a serving Royal Marines or Royal Navy officer from the parent establishment.

The RMVCC is sponsored by the MOD which provides some funding to each unit. The organisation is overseen by the Corps Colonel Royal Marines. The ceremonial head of the RMVCC is the Colonel Royal Marines Cadets (CRMC), currently Colonel Paul Cautley CMG DL RMR. Additional funding is usually self-raised through events and display groups, plus donations and subscriptions/joining fees paid by the cadets.

Whilst there may be variations between each Division, in general the RMVCC will accept boys and girls between the ages of 10 and 17 who can serve until their 18th birthday.

Boys and girls enter as a Recruit, and having 'passed out' at the end of their basic training become a cadet. Command Courses allow the cadets to progress up through the ranks:

In each Division, where a suitable candidate exists, one cadet will be appointed the Cadet Regimental Sergeant Major in the rank of Warrant Officer First Class (WO1). All ranks are preceded by the word 'Cadet' to ensure no confusion with serving personnel in HM Armed Forces. All cadets receive Good Conduct Badges if their behaviour and discipinary record is sufficiently 'worthy' and after four years service are awarded a Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. A Rosette is awarded for a further two years' good service. These are only cadet awards and do not entitle the recipient to wear them if joining the armed or uniformed civilian services in later life.

Activities and trainingEdit

Cadets can take part in a variety of activities including:

Each Division usually meets on two training nights per week, except leave periods in Summer and at Christmas. Also, there is usually a week-long Annual Summer Camp and many weekend activities.

RMVCC Portsmouth Division also provides Display Groups that appear at public events in the South East of England and sometimes further afield. In recent times, the RMVCC has appeared at the Cumbria Steam Rally, Attleborough Tattoo and the Battle of the Flowers in Jersey. The Display Groups generally provide a 20 to 25 minute display and are ideal for fetes, fayres, tattoos, carnivals and other such public events. A modest charge is made, which is put towards the cost of attending and any profit is ploughed back into the RMVCC to fund its other activities. The 2010 RMVCC Portsmouth Division Display Groups are:

  • Band and Drums - 20 minute marching display including a variety of military music played by a drum and flute band.
  • Field gun competition - 20 to 25 minute display involving a slow run followed by a timed or competitive run involving a wheel change and an 'action front'. Can be booked along with other Field Gun crews from the PAVCC.
  • Gymnastics Display Team - a 20 minute display showing off some of the cadets gymnastic skills.
  • Drill Squad - a 15 to 20 minute display of squad and rifle drill; the cadets' version of the RAF's Queen's Colour Squadron.

The RMVCC is not a pre-service organisation, although any cadets who shows an interest in joining any branch of HM Armed Forces will be given support and guidance. Many cadets go on to equally rewarding civilian careers.

The RMVCC in Portsmouth is closely aligned with the Royal Navy VCC units from HMS Collingwood, HMS Sultan and Fort Blockhouse (formerly HMS Dolphin). Together, they form the Portsmouth Area Volunteer Cadet Corps (PAVCC). These units often meet in sports and field gun competitions.

Other Royal Marines cadet organisationsEdit

There are two other Royal Marines cadet organisations: the Marine Cadet Detachments (MCD) of the Sea Cadet Corps (SCC) and the Royal Marines Sections of the Combined Cadet Force (CCF), which operate in a few independent schools.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

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