Parents and carers

Do you know a young person who would benefit from action and adventure, fun and friendship in a structured, disciplined environment? Then read on.

We realise that parents and carers might have particular questions about the aims and objectives of the Army Cadet Force, and the kind of activities we teach, so we have created this section just for you.

The Army Cadets gives young people - from all walks of life - access to fun, friendship, action and adventure. We challenge young people to learn more, do more and try more. We inspire them to aim high and give them the skills, values and attitudes to go further in life, no matter what they aim to do.

The ACF is a national, voluntary, uniformed youth organisation. We offer a broad range of challenging adventurous and educational activities, some of them on a military theme, but all of them designed to help your child develop and thrive. The ACF is sponsored by the Army but we're not part of it, which means there is absolutely no requirement on cadets to join any of the Armed Forces.

The uniform is provided free of charge for the whole time your child is in the cadets, though you may be asked for a small deposit. All you need to buy is a good pair of boots. Detachments usually meet on one or two evenings a week and there are also some weekend activities, such as sports competitions, short hiking expeditions or camps in the local area. Once a year during the school summer holiday, everyone in the Army Cadet Force has the opportunity to go away on ‘annual camp’ - an action-packed trip of one or two weeks at a military training area somewhere in the UK with the rest of the ACF from your local area. For most cadets, this is the undoubted highlight of the year.

Costs are kept as low as possible. Joining the ACF is free but some detachments ask for a small weekly subscription. Annual camp usually costs under £100 with all food, accommodation, transport and activities included – exceptional value for money and far cheaper than similar activities offered by commercial organisations.

The safety and security of your child is of paramount importance to us. Every adult volunteer is required to undergo formal safeguarding checks (DBS or PVG in Scotland) and is not left unsupervised with cadets until this is complete. We also have a full-time Training Safety Advisor in every ACF county to ensure all our training is conducted as safely as possible, while still being exciting and challenging.

Use our simple online form to register your child’s interest. We will email you details of the regional headquarters for your area. Contact them and they will normally arrange for you to take your child along to your nearest detachment to meet the team and find out more.