The origins of the Reserve & Cadet Force Associations (RFCA) date back to 1908. Today, there are a total of 13 Associations, covering England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. West Midland RFCA supports the counties of Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and the West Midlands. RFCAs are individual autonomous bodies established by Act of Parliament. Each has it own Scheme of Constitution, drawn up and funded by the Defence Council under the Reserve Forces Act 1996.
The Association has an influential and wide ranging role. It is a regional civilian body comprising voluntary members and a full-time secretariat. Along with the other RFCAs it has been established by statute to offer advice and support to the Defence Council on behalf of the Reserve Forces and Cadet movement. We also help to promote the image of all three services, both regular and reserves, within the community through liaison with local authorities, employers, trade unions and other influential groups and individuals.
In addition the RFCA's have particular responsibility for all Reserve and Territorial Army Centres of which there are 34 throughout the West Midlands. The Association is empowered to hold, acquire and dispose of property and is responsible for the maintenance and facilities management of these centres. The Association also supports and maintains over 250 cadet locations across the region and provides the full time staff for the Army Cadet Force. Finally, we are mandated to support the Army's recruiting effort and act as a bridge between the Reservists and their employers.
Reservists and Cadets are part of the local community in a way that Regular forces are not. They therefore need the support of an organisation whose people are familiar with and prominent within the community. Our voluntary members provide this local Defence footprint throughout the West Midlands. Our members are also experienced professional people who provide a wide cross-section of expertise and advice in financial and legal affairs, estate management, recruit marketing, employer support, youth matters and local governance.
Col T F L Weeks OBE, West Midlands RFCA Association