Can both girls and boys join?
How old do you have to be to join Cadets and where do you join?
You can join if you are 13 (thirteen) years of age or in Year 9 at Secondary School. You join the New Zealand Cadet Forces by enrolling with your local Unit.
What if I move town, can I join another Unit?
Yes, there are over 100 Units across New Zealand that you could transfer to.
How much does it cost?
Basic Flight/first year is $195 (incl t-shirt and cap), Proficiency $130, Advanced $120, NCOs (post Advanced) $100. Camps and Tramps may be free or have a small cost of $10 - 30 per activity. Any difficulties in paying this fee may be discussed with the Cadet Unit Commander or Unit Adjutant, in the strictest confidence.
How safe is my child?
Your child's safety has top priority accepting that no activity can be entirely risk free. Read about the risk management training that NZCF Officers undergo to minimise risk for your child while involved in NZCF activities.
Do I have to stay if I find Cadets is not for me?
No, you volunteer to enter Cadet Forces and you can leave at any time.
How long can you serve for?
The majority of cadets serve for up to four years. After that, if you are a senior cadet, you can serve as a cadet until the day before your 19th birthday. However you can then become a commissioned officer and serve as long as you like after.
Do I have to join the Armed Forces when I leave?
No, Cadet Forces is a youth development organisation and is not part of NZ Defence Forces.
Will being a cadet help me get into the Defense Forces when I leave school?
Cadet Forces is not a recruiting arm of the New Zealand Defence Force. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that young people who serve with Cadet Forces seem to adapt more readily to life in the Armed Forces. The Defense Force also recognizes Cadet Forces as an advantage in the application process.
Can I get NZQA credits for my learning while in Cadets?
Yes. The New Zealand Cadet Forces has been instrumental in establishing an NZQA National Certificate in Cadet Forces - Foundation studies (Level 2).
Many cadet units are incorporating NZQA unit standards from this qualification into their training programme. You can have the units you achieve placed on your NZQA record of learning after you have paid the credit recording fee.
Because it is a National Certificate you can also use the credits earned to help meet the credit requirements of your NCEA levels 1-3.
What if I'm not too fit?
There is no requirement to meet a specific level of fitness to join Cadets. However, like many activities, if you are fit you will get greater enjoyment from your experiences.
What does the New Zealand Defence Force provide cadets with?The NZDF provides you with a uniform, except for footwear. They also supply Regular Force advisors and organise and pay for all the promotion courses you may be selected to attend. They also provide the subjects you will study.
Will I be sent overseas to fight?
Definitely not. However, there are a few opportunities to travel abroad throughout your cadet journey.