Australian Defence Force cadet programs

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) cadet programs incorporate the 3 individual cadet organisations:

  • Australian Navy Cadets
  • Australian Army Cadets
  • Australian Air Force Cadets.

There are more than 30,000 cadets currently enrolled in the ADF cadet programs across Australia, with units in all states and territories.

The community-based youth development programs provide people aged 13 to 18 years with development activities focused on Defence customs, traditions and values that help them to:

  • thrive in a team environment
  • improve communication skills
  • become responsible members of the local community.

Participation in the cadet programs gives young people inclusive and fulfilling development opportunities that create inter-generational connections with the ADF, and promote an interest in Defence careers.

Strategic intent

The Australian Defence Force Cadets Strategic Intent document describes the contribution of the ADF cadet programs to the community, inter-generational connection with Defence and facilitation of interest in Defence careers. It complements the 3 individual cadet organisations' own strategies and reinforces Defence's vision for the programs and their common objectives, including inclusivity and diversity.

Australian Defence Force Cadets Strategic Intent (PDF, 3.24 MB)

Cadet stories

Cadets regularly participate in rewarding and challenging activities that enable their development and contribute to the community.

Find out more

Each cadet organisation is resourced and administered by their supporting Service, and can be contacted directly.