How old do you have to be to join a Unit and where do you join?
You can join if you are aged between 13 and 15. You join the New Zealand Cadet Forces by enrolling with your local Unit.
Can both girls and boys join?
How much does it cost?
Unit fees are $30 per term, but a discount is available if the year is paid in full during term 1. Discounts for multiple family members may apply.
How long can you serve for?
The majority of Cadets serve for up to three years. After that, you can serve up to the age of 18 years as a non-ranked Cadet and 20 years as a senior ranked Cadet. The highest Cadet rank of Under Officer is up to the age of 21 and every year after that with approval of the Area Coordinator NZCF.
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.
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.
Do I have to join the Armed Forces when I leave?
No, Cadet Forces is a youth leadership training scheme and is not part of NZ Defence Force.There is no requirement for you to join the Armed Forces, although some of our Cadets choose to do so.
Will I be sent overseas to fight?
Definitely not. You are not part of the New Zealand Defence Force.
Will being a cadet help me get into the Armed Forces when I leave school?
Cadet Forces is not a recruiting arm of the NZ 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 and appear to "have an edge" when applications are considered.
What if I move town, can I join another Unit?
Yes, there are over 100 Units across New Zealand that you could transfer to, with an ATC Sqn being in most areas.
What does the NZ Defence Force provide Cadets with?
The NZDF provides you with a uniform, less footwear. They also supply Regular Force advisors and organise and pay for the area promotion courses you may be selected to attend. They also provide the subjects you will study.
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