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This section contains additional detailed information, further to that contained in the hardcopy of the Defence Annual Report 2005–06.

Group Contributions

Australian Defence Force Cadets

The Australian Defence Force Cadets is a community-based youth development organisation of 22,000 cadets and 2,100 cadet staff in 475 units throughout Australia.

As cadets, young Australians between 12-and-a-half and 20 years of age take part in unique, adventurous, fulfilling and educational activities in a military-like setting.

Through these activities, cadets develop:

  • a sense of purpose;
  • responsibility;
  • respect for themselves and others;
  • their leadership ability;
  • their self-confidence; and
  • a commitment to voluntary service.

Contributors to Defence

Cadets are a significant and important part of the Defence community.

Cadets make up 25.4 per cent of the uniformed Defence community, when considered as part of the permanent and reserve forces.

The 2003 ADF census indicated there were 14.6 per cent former cadets in the permanent forces and 17.6 per cent in the reserves.

Cadets comprise just over one per cent of all 12-and-a-half to 18 year olds in Australia. Since 2000, cadets have made up 10.4 per cent of Australian Defence Force applications.

While Army cadets have provided the greatest number of cadets recruited into the ADF, Air Force cadets have contributed a significantly higher quantity since 2000 relative to the size of the respective organisations. From 2000 onwards, recruitment figures show that for every 7.7 enquiries made by cadets about a career in the ADF, 3.4 applications subsequently resulted in an enlistment. By comparison, for every 18.6 enquiries from non-cadets, 3.6 applications resulted in an enlistment.

From 2002-03, around 35 to 40 per cent of all Australian Defence Force Academy students were former cadets.

Almost half of the cadets that responded to the 2004 cadet study survey indicated that they would definitely consider a career in the ADF and 87.3 per cent felt that being a cadet had improved their understanding of the Services and the Defence organisation as a whole.

Contributors to the community

Cadets also make a significant contribution to their local communities and regions, particularly in remote areas.

While not members of the ADF, local communities associate cadets with Defence. In fact, in some communities they represent the sole visible ADF presence, providing the only uniformed contribution to events such as ANZAC and Remembrance Day ceremonies.


In 2004-05, the Navy, Army, Air Force, the Defence Materiel Organisation, Defence Support Group and the Defence Personnel invested almost $36m in cadets for programs, boots and equipment, accommodation and a range of other resources. This included a $6m annual allocation to the Cadet Policy Branch under the Cadet Enhancement Program.

For more information about the Australian Defence Force Cadets visit www.cadetnet.gov.au

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