History Of National Cadet Corps

National Cadet Corps has today spread to all parts of Sri Lanka with 29 boys battalion and 9 girls battalions involving over 3000 school and same 85,000 cadets and over 3000 officers in the senior and junior divisions of the corps. In the process of development through the years its objectives too have changed, not only its name. At the inception it was only to produce discipline and do drill later to provide personnel for the volunteer force of the country. Today we believe we produce good, loyal and parotic citizen and the leaders of tomorrow, a disciplined lot of young persons.


1881 Cadetting began at Royal College by then principal Mr. John B Cull for the purpose of promoting discipline by doing drill. It was developed later to be an auxiliary to then Ceylon light infantry an organization established in 1881 April just 2 months before establishments of cadetting in then Ceylon.


1902 Companies were formed at Royal, St-Thomas, Wesley, Kingswood, Trinity and Richmand College. There were commanded by honorary officers from among teachers and senior students. The uniform was the same as the CLI expect for the shoulder badges. Lieutenant Burrows of the CLI was granted the honorary rank of Major and appointed commanding officer on 31st January 1902.


1910 The CB – CLI (Cadet Battalion – Ceylon Light Infantry) was reorganized with effect from September 1910. School cadets between 12 and 16 formed companies commanded by teachers. Cadets on reaching 16 years were eligible for transfer to passed cadet companies called Cadet Companies CLI. They were commanded by officers seconded from the CLI.


1913 Mr. TTR De Soysa Presented De Soysa cup for junior cadet winners and it was recorded to be won in 1913 and 1916 by St. Benedict’s College, Kotahena. Junior cadet age limit was 12 – 16 years and their curriculum comprised of subjects such as Drill, Physical Training, Athletics, Billet Inspections and .22 Riffle firing. Annual Assessment camps wereconducted various places like Gampola, Gampaha, Race Course Grounds, Boossa and subsequently shifted to Volunteer Force Training School, Diyathalawa in 1957. Seniors were between 16 – 20 years and they were given a training and uniform similar to Army soldiers senior platoons were commanded by officers of CLI.


1914-1918 World War I began, 330 cadets voluntarily joined British Forces and 30% scarified life or got wounded.


1917 A district Judge Mr. Hermann Loos presented a Challenge Trophy to be presented to the best senior of the year at All Island Level Competitions, which was first won by Kingswood College, Kandy. It is still being presented and Centenary Hermann Loos Competition Camp was conducted in year 2017.


1918 Brigadier General RB Fell, Commandant CVF recommended the disbanding of the cadet companies and the formation of the cadet battalion with two divisions as Senior and Junior.


1920 – Diyathalawa Camp was set up in 1904, after the Boer war cadet attended camp together with the CLI, CMC, British and Indian Regulars. Due to objections from the principals of schools a separate camp was organized for cadets.


1905 – 1923 Cadet sports was the only athletic event where schools were brought together. Later this event developed into what is today known as the Public Schools’ Athletic Championship.


1890- 1902 Senior cadet attended Annual Assessment Camp at Uragasmanhandiya Army Camp and in 1903 they got opportunity attended camp at Volunteer Force Training School, Diyathalawa.


1950 After Ceylon Army began in 1949 Cadet Battalion became Ceylon Cadet Corps (CCC) and became a Regiment under Ceylon Army Volunteer force. The first Battalion was raised in Kalutara as its Headquarters and the second Battalion was raised in Kandy as its Headquarters.


1953 The first Battalion Headquarters was shifted to Galle. The 3rd Battalion was raised Colombo.


1956 “The Stag Hill” of Diyathalawa was made.


1959 Officers of CCC Contributed to establish Pioneer Corps.


1962 Officers of CCC were called on to serve with regular and volunteer officers. CCC officers contributed to suppress harbor strike.


1963 4 Cadet Bands were formed.


1964 The 04th Battalion was raised in kurunegala.


1968 The 05th Battalion was raised in Anuradhapura.


1971 100 CCC officers were called for duties with regular officers to suppress insurgency in the country.


1972 After declaration of a Republic, CCC became Sri Lanka Cadet Corps (SLCC)


1972 4th July the Police Cadet Corps began with 05 boys’ School and 01 Girls’ School.


1979 The 06th Battalion was raised in Diyathalawa.


1981 The Century Celebrations was held in Colombo. Junior cadetting ceased. Proposal to from a new National Organization was brought forward to the parliament by then Minister of Education, Youth affairs, Employment and deputy minister of mobilization, Hon. Ranil Wickramasinghe.


1985 Cadetting for girls began with 10 girls’ schools. The “De Soysa” Challenge Trophy was awarded to the best girls’ platoon. Mobilization and Supplementary Forces Act No 40 of 1985 was enacted.


1988 April 29 During HE the President JR Jayawardena’s time under then Minister of Education, Employment and Deputy Minister of Manpower Mobilization, the current Prime Minister Hon. Ranil Wickramasinghe amalgamated SLCC and The Police Cadeting and established National Cadet Corps (NCC). The Chairman Reserve Affairs Council at that time was Lt. General JED Perera VSV and the inaugural Director was Major General EG Thevanayagam VSV.


1989 After 48 years of administration by Sri Lanka Volunteer Force NCC came directly under Ministry of Defence. Since then NCC officers were mobilized for active service to counter insurgency and terrorism.


1989 Cadets by joining Defence Services and the NCC own officers about 500 of them were mobilized for combat duties. The 7th Battalion was established in Gampaha.


1990 Rantembe Training School began whilst Major General EG Thevanayagam was Director and declared open by Secretary Defence General Cyril Ranathunga and the 31 years of existence was celebrated in 2021.


2002 At the end of this year 2002 14 Battalions were formed in coinside with cadetting expansion in Sri Lanka and another 10 battalions were added to during the period of 2002 – 2013.


2014 Based on the Provinces of the country 09 Girls’ Battalions were established.


25th Bn – North Western Province

26th Bn – Western Province

27th Bn – Southern Province

28th Bn – Central Province

29th Bn – Sabaragamuwa Province

30th Bn – Northern Province

31st Bn – Eastern Province

32nd Bn – North Central Province

33rd Bn – Uva Province


2021 Today NCC has become the oldest uniformed Youth development organization in South Asia and training approximately 95,000 cadets annually under 38 battalions established across the country.


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