New Zealand Cadet Forces

banner image

Dare to Take the Challenge...

The New Zealand Cadet Forces (NZCF or Cadet Forces) is a voluntary, uniformed organisation which provides military-style leadership, personal development opportunities and adventure based training to youth aged between 13 and 19 years old. Through its three branches- Sea Cadets, Army Cadets and Air Cadets- the Cadet Forces provides youth with a hands on nationally coordinated training program which provides challenges and opportunities that no other organisation can; while a number of local, regional and national courses provide further experience and qualifications in specific training areas.

Learn more about our mission Join us
Three Corps

The oldest youth organisation in NZ

The Cadet Forces is a non-profit organisation for the youth of New Zealand which has existed continually since 1864, and in its present form in a partnership with the New Zealand Defence Force and locally appointed community organisations since 1971, making it New Zealand’s oldest youth organisation.

How to join How to join

What do you need to do to find a unit? See how to set off on your next big adventure.

What we do What we do

Find out about the awesome opportunities we offer, training for your future and having fun on the way.


Life Skills

Our aim is to instil leadership and honourable values in our youth so as to develop and enable self-disciplined, confident and responsible young New Zealanders, who come out feeling stronger than ever, and are armed with skill sets that will last them a lifetime.

Confidence Sailing Glider

Building young leaders

Cadets have the opportunity to take part in unique adventurous, fulfilling and educational activities in a military-like environment. Through these activities, cadets get the chance to develop a sense of purpose, responsibility, self confidence, self respect, self discipline, self reliance, leadership ability, and commitment to voluntary service.

SNCO course
Coxswains course

Personal development

Many former cadets comment that the cadet experience helped to develop them as an individual, achieve personal growth, leadership qualities and provide them with a sense of community service.

Find out more

For those adults interested in volunteering, or former cadets who wish to return and instruct, find out all you need to know on how to Join as an Officer or Adult Supervisor. Click to learn more about what we do, and the training we can offer you and have a look through the common Training Offered to every Cadet, or see How to Join the NZCF. You can also explore our Navy, Army and Air Cadets and see what makes this a unique youth experience, and Dare to Take the Challenge!

Which corps is more your style?

Cadet Forces is made up of three distinct corps, each with its own flavour and unique activities.
Which one suits you best?

Navy Cadets
Navy Cadets
Army Cadets
Army Cadets
Air Cadets
Air Cadets