The Barbados Cadet Corps is the oldest Cadet Corps in the region.
In 1904, the first cadet company was formed at The Lodge School and subsequently was followed by companies at Harrison College and Combermere School in that same year.
In 1909, the Barbados Cadet Corps made up of the three existing companies was legislated into the Laws of Barbados – The 1909 Volunteer Act. These three units became affiliated to the Barbados Volunteer Service. The Barbados Cadet Corps is a national youth organisation and is part of the Youth Development Programme of the Barbados Defence Force. The Corps was legislated into the Laws of Barbados in 1904. The Corps is established by the Laws of Barbados Cap 159 Part X1 under the Ministry of Defence and Security and administered by a Cadet Advisory Committee through the Cadet Headquarters. The organisation structure is as follows:
· Headquarters Barbados Cadet Corps
· Infantry Detachments
· Sea Cadet Detachment
· Duke of Edinburgh International Award Programme
· Medical Programme
The principal aim of the Barbados Cadet Corps is to complement the country’s academic curriculum through the use of discipline, challenging activities and national duty in the building of self-respect, self-confidence and the formation of character in as many of our youth as possible. The Barbados Cadet Corps is a formal, well-regulated and highly disciplined organisation operating within all sectors of the school and youth communities, colleges and polytechnics in the island.
Alertness, punctuality, a sense of duty, patriotism, respect for authority, physical and mental endurance and camaraderie are virtues crafted into each cadet.
Provision is made for the establishment of detachments at all Government Secondary Schools, and there is an independent detachment which caters to students at Government approved Private Secondary Schools. Units are organized into a number of Companies – typically with each Company comprising three (3) detachments. Companies finally form the three Battalions. Membership is open to all school children between the ages of 11 and 20 in Barbados.
In August 1978, cadets from the then Ellerslie Secondary were taken on strength as No 4 Company and by 1982 the Corps was expanded to 18 companies. By 2010, companies were established at Deighton Griffith Secondary School, Lester Vaughan, Queen’s College and Alexandra School. Today the Corps comprises 24 detachments, of which one detachment caters to private schools.