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Australian Defence Force Academy

Cadet Life

The First Weeks

In their first year at the Australian Defence Force Academy, officer cadets and midshipmen participate in five weeks initial military training, which assists in the transition from civilian life to military life. During these first weeks, cadets and midshipmen learn to march, use military weapons, undergo physical training; partake in adventure training including rock climbing, high ropes course and high speed water insertions. In addition, they will practice cleaning, ironing and washing. This teaches them to work together in a team and start to take responsibility for themselves and each other.

Additionally, cadets and midshipmen will undertake training in equity and diversity, introduction to military law. They will also have lessons in communal living, the range of support services available, healthy lifestyle, work health and safety as well as drug and alcohol awareness.

They will live in Divisions of approximately 35-40 personnel within a first year cohort of around 320. This is where cadets and midshipmen meet and develop the friendships with their peers, they will also get to know the staff that will be responsible for their training. During this period and prior to the commencement of the academic year, cadets will enrol in university subjects and plan their academic and military timetables.

The completion of this initial military training period is followed by the Chief of the Defence Force Week concluding that is concluded by the Chief of the Defence Force parade. Family and friends of first year cadets and midshipmen are encouraged to attend this Parade and celebrate the conclusion of this initial period of training.

Life as a Trainee Officer

Most people don’t realise that being a member of the Defence Force is, in many ways, just like a regular job.

There are plenty of opportunities to participate in extra-curricular activities, sports and social events at the Australian Defence Force Academy. Regular social events are held, including formal mess dinners, sporting social functions and other social gatherings.

When it comes time to relax, the accommodation at the Academy provides everything you need to feel right at home. The rooms are comfortable and private, and there are common areas, lounges and the Cadets Mess complex where you can unwind. The Australian Defence Force Academy offers a huge range of opportunities that simply cannot be found at any other university.

Daily Routine

As a general guide, the daily routine at the Academy may be as follows:

  • 0600 hrs - During the week Officer Cadets and Midshipmen wake at reveille at 0600 hrs for roll call at 0605 hrs.
  • 0605 – 0800 hrs – Attend breakfast, take part in scheduled activities such as parades, cleaning duties, flag raising duties and other military related activities.
  • 0800 – 1700 hrs – Academic and military lessons are divided into nine 50-minute periods throughout the day. Similar to civilian universities, class times will depend on the degree studied. During non-class periods, time is spent studying, completing assignments, working out at the indoor sports centre, or meeting up at the Academy Cadets’ Mess, the coffee shop, or having time to yourself.
  • 1700 – 2200 hrs – Attend dinner, or on weekends pursue own activities. Military or Division activities may be scheduled during this time. Generally, Cadets and Midshipmen undertake study, participate in sporting activities or socialise on Base. Sporting Teams and Voluntary Extra Curricular Club groups train or meet during this time. Participation in sport or voluntary activities are strongly encouraged.

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