With growth of numbers comes growth of structure, and so the Cadet Force has now been restructured to better execute on its duties.
The Cadet Force has seen significant growth in 2022 as units nationwide are currently enjoying burgeoning numbers of recruits and new cadets. After the pandemic, numbers across units decreased as cadets graduated from Secondary Schools, and stunted the Force’s ability to engage in the regular activities.
On The Path to Resurgence
For two years, there were no regular in-person unit training or camps, whether unit weekend camps, Easter/Christmas Camps or the ever-popular Annual Training Camps. Various arms of the TTCF adjusted its operations to continue to achieve, by hosting online training and pursuing online examinations and other developmental seminars.
The Training Department also hosted robust developmental programs namely, a Junior Officers’ Course; an Adult Sergeants’ Course and a Online Training Course for all adults. This is in addition to several webinars on topics such as Financial Management, Service Writing and Microsoft Excel among others.
In executing on the continual development of adults for working with children and youth, the Virtus Program was also hosted via the Training Department.
The programme, developed by the Archdiocesan Family Life Commission of the Catholic Church, focuses on “…making young children and teens feel safe as well as children and teens who have or may have been abused.”
“It guides adults on how to take precautions and foretell the warning signs; how to know what they are; when they are happening; and how to deal with these cases with sensitivity when they do occur and are brought to their attention.”
With the emergence from the strict provisions of the worst part of the pandemic, the TTCF reoriented itself for growth.
In 2022, “Operation Recovery” was hosted in two camps at the Defence Force Joint Training Academy (now Defence Force Military Academy), at which cadets began their preparation to become Non Commissioned Officers (NCOs) and to train the upcoming cohorts of recruits.
Two nationwide recruitments were held in 2022, with many units each seeing almost 100 recruits joining during two significant recruitments. Later in 2022, we saw several larger-than-usual numbers of recruits become cadets. In one such investment, 86 new cadets joined the TTCF Band.
The restructuring of the Cadet Force sees the Cadet Force split into Force Headquarters and eight (8) Battalions which are aligned to educational districts according to the Ministry of Education as follows:
First Infantry Battalion (1TTCF)
Educational District: Port of Spain
Second Infantry Battalion (2TTCF)
Educational District: Caroni
Third Infantry Battalion (3TTCF)
Educational District: Tobago
Fourth Infantry Battalion (4TTCF)
Educational District: North-Eastern
Fifth Infantry Battalion (5TTCF)
Educational District: St George East
Sixth Infantry Battalion (6TTCF)
Educational Districts: St Patrick, South-Eastern, Victoria
TTCF Combined Cadet Battalion (CCB)
TTCF Air Cadets
TTCF Naval Cadets
Service Support Battalion (SSB)