Will my child have to join the forces if they join a cadet organisation?
No. The Sea Cadets, Army Cadet Force and Air Cadets are supported by the Navy, Army and RAF respectively, but there is absolutely no requirement on cadets to join any of the armed services at any time.
Will being in a cadet organisation help my child if they want to join the military in the future?
Yes. Joining a cadet organisation provides a good insight into aspects of military life and helps young people decide whether it is the right path for them. Cadets get some military training and spend time on military training areas during annual camp. This gives them a great advantage if they ever decide to apply to join up.
How do the cadet organisations ensure my child will be safe?
Each of the cadet organisations have processes in place to keep cadets safe. Every adult volunteer undergoes an enhanced disclosure check (previously known as a criminal records check) when they join and at regular intervals while they remain with the cadets. We also have strict rules about how cadets are supervised, and every adult volunteer receives training in how to deal with safeguarding incidents when they happen.
None of the cadet forces tolerate any form of bullying or discrimination and they all have simple methods in place for cadets to report these to our volunteers who are trained on how to deal with incidents.
The safety of cadets on events and activities is supported by a team of national and regional training teams, as well as a full-time Training Safety Adviser who, together, make sure that training is conducted as safely as possible while still being exciting and challenging.
How much does the uniform cost?
All cadets are provided with uniform which is returned when they leave. There is no charge for this, although you may be asked for a returnable deposit. We do not provide boots and you will need to buy a pair for your child when they join.
What does it cost to be a cadet?
All the cadet organisations keep the costs of being members very low. There will be costs for attending weekend training camps, annual camps and other activities, but they are kept as low as possible. Parade nights are free, but some units may request a small weekly subscription to go towards events and visits.
What is annual camp?
Each year, cadets are invited to join an annual camp and go away with other cadets in their region for up to two weeks during the school holidays. For most cadets, annual camp is the highlight of their year. Each camp is different, but all cadets will get to learn new skills as well as put into practice some of the lessons they have learnt in their units.
Do cadets get any qualifications?
We are able to offer senior cadets a range of vocational qualifications through our relationship with the Cadet Vocational Qualification Organisation (CVQO), including BTEC Level 2 qualifications in Teamwork and Personal Development and Music and the Institute of Leadership and Management Level 2 Certificate in Team Leading.
What is a BTEC qualification?
BTEC is an internationally-recognised vocational qualification open to young people aged 16 or above. As a cadet you can work towards a BTEC Level 2 in Teamwork and Personal Development or Music.
Do you need to be a British citizen to join the cadets?
Are there opportunities for foreign travel within the cadets?
Yes. There are expeditions and cadet exchange trips to destinations as diverse as Canada, South Africa, France and the Himalayas.