How to Join - Cadet
So….. you’re looking for a challenge.
If you’ve made it to this page then you’re probably looking for something out of the ordinary; something to bring out what you’re really capable of; something where you will get opportunities and benefits that no other youth organisation can provide. If you take the next step and join us, you may even surprise yourself with what you can achieve.
Check out this section to answer your questions and help you get started, because joining is only the beginning…
Are you eligible?
Any person between the ages of 13 and 15 years may join the New Zealand Cadet Forces (NZCF). A person may also join if they are 12 years old and presently attending Year 9 in High School. The full consent of your parents or guardians is required to apply, and while under the age of 18, parental consent is required for all training and exercises undertaken.
If you are above that age and still want to enjoy all of our activities and more, you could join as a volunteer. Find out more in our Officers & Adult Supervisors section.
What’s in it for you?
Aside from all the great experiences you’ll have as a cadet, you will also take away training, friendships, leadership and discipline skills that will set you apart from the crowd.
Our nationally coordinated four year training programme provides challenges as well as opportunities that no other organisation can, and every Cadet is given the opportunity to gain knowledge and develop their skills in a variety of different areas including, but not limited to:
- First Aid
- Drill and Ceremonial Training
- Firearms Safety and Marksmanship Training
- Physical Training and Fitness (sports)
- Teamwork Skills
- Radio Usage and Drones
- Community Involvement, including at Commemorative Events such as Anzac Day.
We have high standards and expect Cadets to be accountable for themselves and their actions as a larger part of becoming valued and responsible members of society. As we are a military flavoured youth organisation, you’ll take pride in your uniform and appearance and we will teach you how to achieve that.
Show me more!
All of our units welcome personal visits by potential cadets (ideally accompanied by a parent or guardian), during one of their Parade Nights. Some units recruit throughout the year, others have specific entry dates.
It is best to contact your local unit in advance to find out about their entry dates and arrange a time to be shown around. You have nothing to lose by coming along to see if you like what we have to offer, and you don’t have to join on the spot- but at least see what you could be missing out on.
Joining as a Cadet is very easy, and we recommend the following steps to visit your local unit and see what we do first hand!
- Check you are the right age - You must be 13 - 15 years old or 12 years old and in Year 9 at High School.
- Find your Local Unit - Find your closest New Zealand Cadet Forces unit via our map
- Make Contact - Choose the unit you would like to have a closer look at and make contact to arrange a time to visit.
- Come say hello - With your parents/guardians, visit the unit on one of their Parade Nights and meet the Unit staff.
- Learn a bit more - The Unit staff will show you around the unit, talk to you about Cadets and invite you to attend a couple of their Parade Nights to get a feel for what we do.
- Make the decision - When you have made the decision that Cadet Forces is for you, the Unit staff will give you an enrolment form to fill in and ask your parent/guardian to sign.
- Enjoy the experience!
Now that you have joined, it is up to you how much you want to experience. We will do our best to provide you with as many opportunities as possible.