- Staff College, Camberley
Staff College, Camberley,
Surrey, is a training college for the British Army.
Colonel John Gaspard Le Marchant, 7th Hussars, submitted a proposal to the Commander-in-Chiefof the British Armyfor a Royal Military College in three departments. A private officer training school, based on the idea of a senior or staff department in the proposed college was opened in the same year by Colonel Le Marchant, at the Antelope Inn, High Wycombe, with himself as Commandant. This was officially recognised by royal warrantin 1801 as the senior department of the Royal Military Collegewhich was to open in 1802 at Great Marlow. Le Marchant now assumed the office of Lieutenant-Governorand Superintendent-General, and GeneralJarry became Director of Studies in 1803.
The course, for which students were to pay until 1858, lasted two years. The role was specifically stated in 1808 as being to train future commanding officers as well as staff officers. The senior department moved to the Royal Military College buildings at Sandhurst in 1820, having been housed at
Farnham, Surrey, since 1813. Officers had to have had at least two years experience, and the minimum age was 19 (raised to 21 in 1808).
Decline and independence (1815–1914)
The College underwent a decline after 1815, and in 1820 became almost exclusively scientific and technical, though surveying and fortification was to continue. Funding ceased after 1832.
Crimean Warthe name was changed to the Staff College (1857), and it was made independent of the Royal Military College in the following year. It now had its own Commandantand Adjutant, although continued to be administered by Sandhurst until 1911. However it now had properly conducted entry and final examinations, and primarily military subjects were taught. Purpose-built dedicated premises were approved in 1858, and built 1859-1863 to a design by James Pennethorne, adjacent to the Royal Military College(but over the county boundary in Camberley). It was built to accommodate 40 students, and the first staff course had 15 officers, and 30 was not reached until 1870, when 40 was set as the target.
Further military subjects were added in 1870, so that by 1921 they were purely military. In 1881 staff duties was added to administration, to replace
photographyand geology. Indian Staff Corpsofficers attended from 1877.
By 1884 there were 48 students, and in 1886 it was to be 60 (8 from the
Indian Army). In 1906 two Royal Navyofficers attended, and Camberley graduates were to attend the Royal Navy Staff Course. The first overseas students arrived in 1909, two Australians and a Canadian. The Staff College closed due to the Second Boer Warin 1900, and the First World War1914-1919. The first post-war course commenced in May 1919.
The College was completely restructured in 1938, with a junior wing at
Camberley, for officers of an average age of 29 years, and a senior wing at Minley Manor, Farnborough, for graduates of the former aged about 35 years. Some 120 students would do the new junior course annually. It would last one year, rather than two as formerly. Some 55 officers would attend the more senior course annually. A part-time course for officers of the Territorial Armywas introduced in 1938. The new courses were disrupted by the outbreak of World War II. Wartime courses lasted 4 months (later raised to 6), and one innovation was the introduction of Directing Stafffrom the Commonwealth in 1945.
Post-war to present
In 1969 the
Junior Command and Staff Coursecommenced at Warminster.
In 1965-1969 the
Technical Staff Course( ptsc) ended, and combined staff and technical staff streams continued.
In 1963 arrangements were for three
Royal Navyofficers to attend, preference given to those already staff qualified or who had staff experience already, of the rank of lieutenant, lieutenant-commanderor commander. Four Royal Marinesofficers aged 29 to 32 inclusive, were first to attend the General Staff Science Courseat Shrivenham. The aim of the course was to provide reserve of fully trained General Staff Officer 2( GSO2).
In 1988 there were over 500
captainsentering the age bracket (28-29 years) annually. Half were disqualified by examination failures (the Junior Command and Staff Course( JCSC), staff selection test, promotion examination), or failure to receive the necessary recommendation. The remainder were chosen by No 5 Selection Board. 122 army officers attended the course, three-quarters as majors, and the rest were promoted during the course. Three Royal Navy, four Royal Marines, and three Royal Air Forceofficers also attended, and 48 from overseas (one third Commonwealth, one third NATOcountries). In all nearly 30% of all British Armyofficers attended, between the ages of 30-34 years.
In 1994 it was announced that a new
Joint Service Command and Staff Collegewould replace the Staff College, the Royal Naval Staff College, RAF Staff College, and Joint Services Defence Collegein 1997.
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