Greater London Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (GL RFCA)
GL RFCA plays a leading role in strengthening the environment for Reservists and Cadets across London.
GL RFCA is the focal point for Reserves and Cadets of all three Services in London. We came into existence in 1908 at the same time as the Territorial Army, as did 12 other autonomous Reserve Forces and Cadets Associations (RFCAs) spread throughout the United Kingdom.
This helps the combat-readiness of the Reserves, enhancing the operational capability of the Armed Forces as a whole. For the Cadets, we ensure safe buildings for their use and assist with the recruitment, administration and establishment of new Cadet units.
We do this by managing 170 sites across the capital. We engage with local authorities, organisations and companies of all sizes, in every business sector, to advocate on behalf of the wider Armed Forces family and support London’s youth organisations, helping opportunity and education.
Is GL RFCA part of the government? Who pays for us?
We were established by statute and are not part of the military chain of command. We are required to give advice and assistance to the Defence Council and the three services on reserve and cadet issues.
We are funded by MoD and our employees are Crown servants. Crown service means employment in the service of the Crown under His Majesty’s Government. It includes the British military, the Overseas Civil Service, the Colonial Service and the Diplomatic Corp.
Who and what do you look after?
We are responsible for the upkeep of 170 sites housing Reserves and Cadets, the administration of the Army Cadet Force (ACF), conducting Employer Engagement with London businesses and helping with recruiting support for the Reserves of all three services, civic and community engagement.
We strive to build awareness and positive attitudes towards the Armed Forces across a wide range of stakeholders. We hire out spare capacity on the volunteer estate in order to generate additional funds to help maintain our estate. We also work with the police, local authorities, educational establishments and the ACF, to help crime-vulnerable and socially disengaged young people.
How many people work at GL RFCA?
We have 62 full-time staff across London, including some 33 Professional Support Staff (PSS) supporting the Army Cadet Force, and two Cadet Training Team (CTTs).
Why does the UK need reservists?
Volunteer reservists are called out to supplement the regular Armed Forces whenever operational demands require it. When mobilised, they carry out the same roles to the same high standards as their regular counterparts. They also receive the same world-class training and develop the same skills. There are about 30,000 reservists in the UK, making them an essential part of our defence strategy. They are called upon as individuals for their specific skills or as ready-formed units to serve alongside the regular forces whenever required.
Reservists come from all backgrounds, regions and jobs, these are ordinary men and women who give up their time to train and serve alongside the Regular Forces. The Reserve Forces consists of the Royal Naval Reserve, the Royal Marines Reserve, The Army Reserve (formerly the Territorial Army) and the Royal Air Force Reserve.
Being a reservist provides the opportunity to gain new skills which can often be beneficial in a civilian career.