If you want experience things you don’t do in everyday life, then the Australian Defence Force Cadets (ADF Cadets) is for you.
The ADF Cadets is a community-based youth development organisation focused on Defence customs, traditions and values.
As a cadet you’ll learn leadership, team building and survival skills that will set you up for life.
The ADF Cadets are made up of three forces –
- Australian Navy Cadets: www.navycadets.gov.au
- Australian Army Cadets: www.armycadets.gov.au
- Australian Air Force Cadets: www.airforcecadets.gov.au
There are approximately 25,000 cadets; and Officers and Instructors of Cadets in 440 units throughout Australia – so there’s bound to be one near you.
Click here to find your nearest unit.
- 450 cadet units in all States and Territories made up of:
- 89 Australian Navy Cadet Training Ships;
- 221 Australian Army Cadet Units; and
- 140 Australian Air Force Cadet Squadrons.
- 22,838 Australian Defence Force Cadets made up of:
- 2,260 Australian Navy Cadets;
- 13,973 Australian Army Cadets; and
- 6,605 Australian Air Force Cadets.
- Over 2,000 Officers of Cadets and Instructors of Cadets.
Other interesting facts:
- Cadets represent 0.76 percent (%) of their age cohort,
- Cadets represent over 12.4 percent (%) of enlistments into the Australian Defence Force,
- Cadets represent 20 percent (%) of Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) entrants in 2009/2010,
- Cadets serve longer in the Australian Defence Force and achieve more senior ranks.
Note: Based on 2010 data.
The Australian Defence Force Cadets (ADF Cadets) are a personal development program for young people, conducted by the Australian Defence Force in cooperation with the community, which benefits the Nation by developing an individual's capacity to contribute to society, fostering an interest in Defence Force careers, and developing ongoing support for Defence.
Conduct a creative personal development program in a military environment that:
Extends individuals beyond their self imposed limits,
Develops an understanding of the balance between personal freedoms and choice and the responsibilities that they bring,
Promotes self reliance, self esteem and self discipline, and
Develops and recognises a broad range of skills including leadership and teamwork.
Contribute to social development by:
Encouraging pride in self, community and the nation,
Equipping young people to be better citizens,
Encouraging a volunteer ethos,
Developing work and life skills, and
Providing a supportive and safe environment.
Contribute to the development of the ADF through:
Enhancing Defence's reputation in the community,
Maintaining Service customs traditions and values,
Understanding what Defence does, and
Demonstrating a return on the Defence Organisation's investment by promoting career opportunities within Defence.
Officers and Instructors of Cadets and Cadets are drawn from a diverse range of unique backgrounds and experiences. All are committed to providing and enjoying a positive and safe youth development experience, respecting the value and dignity of all people, and recognising the particular rights and needs of young people.
ADF Cadets aims to be inclusive of all young people and Officers and Instructors of Cadets, including those with disabilities, health conditions and allergies. All reasonable steps will be taken to include any person whose individual circumstances may necessitate special consideration in Cadet Unit activities, provided such steps do not jeopardize the safety or cadet experience of others.
Once certain age, citizenship, medical information and parental/guardian support requirements are met, all young people will have the opportunity to join one of the three Cadet forces: Australian Navy Cadets, Australian Army Cadets or Australian Air Force Cadets.
To join cadets you must:
- Be a resident of Australia.
- Be between 12 and a half for Navy Cadets and Army Cadets or 13 for Air Force Cadets and 18. You can stay as a cadet until one day before you turn 20.
- Provide a statement from your doctor confirming you are able to participate in cadet activities.
- Not be a member of any other Cadet force or the Australian Defence Force.
- Complete an application form signed by your parent or guardian.
Once we receive the application form, the Commander of the Unit will arrange an interview with you and your parent or guardian. It will be an opportunity for you to discuss the activities and commitment needed.
Cadets are expected to show commitment by attending activities for a reasonable period of time. However, you can leave Cadets at any time. Personal satisfaction is best achieved if you show a keen interest in progressing through the programs.
To join up as a Cadet, find the location of your nearest Unit and contact the commander during the hours the Unit meets.
Click here to find your nearest Unit.
Some Units accept recruits at any time, while others have specific recruiting periods.