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Cadet FAQs

Frequently asked questions about becoming a cadet with the ACF. Click a question to see the answer.

We are able to offer senior cadets a range of vocational qualifications through our relationship with the Cadet Vocational Qualification Organisation (CVQO), including BTEC Level 2 qualifications in Public Services and Music and the ILM Level 2 Certificate in Team Leading.

BTEC is an internationally-recognised vocational qualification open to young people aged 16 or above. As an Army Cadet you can work towards a BTEC Level 2 in Public Services or Music as part of your normal ACF activities.

No, you do not have to be a UK citizen to join as a cadet.

Yes. There are expeditions and cadet exchange trips to destinations as diverse as Canada, South Africa, France and the Himalayas.

No, although you will need to keep your hair neat and tidy when on cadet activities, and back from your face and ears. You must also be able to wear your uniform head dress properly, with no hair showing below the brow band.

If you have a shorter hairstyle, this must not reach the collar and if needed can be kept in place with pins, clips, nets or ties. Female cadets with longer hair may wear this a as a bun, single ponytail, single braid, twists, locks or in corn braids/rows but must not reach below the top of the belt. Male cadets with longer hair should secure the hair above the collar in a way that is neat and tidy.

Yes. On joining the Army Cadet Force as a cadet you will be issued with a uniform free of charge, on loan to you from the Ministry of Defence which will need to be returned when you leave the organisation . All you need to buy is a good pair of boots.

Ask your Detachment Commander for local suppliers and recommendations when you join. Some members of the ACF use for various bits of kit.

Yes, while there is no requirement to join the Army, being in the ACF does provide a good insight into what the Army does and helps young people decide whether it is the right path for them.

Thanks to the support of the Army we can keep the costs of being in the ACF very low. There will be costs for attending weekend training camps, annual camps and other activities, but we try to keep these as low as possible. Parade nights in detachments are free, but some detachments may request a small weekly subscription to go towards detachment events and visits.

Each year, ACF cadets are invited to join an Annual Camp and go away with other cadets in their ACF County for up to two weeks during the school holidays. For most cadets, Annual Camp is the highlight of their year with the ACF.
Each Annual Camp is different, but all cadets will get to learn new skills as well as put into practice some of the lessons they have learnt in detachments.

No. The Army Cadet Force is sponsored by the Army, but there is absolutely no requirement to join any of the armed services at any time.

All of our detachment meet for two hours on one or two evenings a week throughout the year. These are called parade nights. The days and times vary, but most detachment evenings start between 7pm and 7.30pm.
Cadets will also meet for weekend camps, competitions and other training. Your local detachment volunteer team will be able to give you more information on what activities your child can get involved with.

Every ACF county has a full-time Training Safety Advisor who is responsible for ensuring that all our training is conducted as safely as possible, while still being exciting and challenging.

In addition, you'll find that the ACF does not tolerate any form of abuse or bullying and we have clear policies and practices to defend you against them.

If you are already a cadet and you have a concern about the behaviour of a fellow cadet or adult you (or your parent or guardian) should talk to your Detachment Commander (or, if that isn't appropriate, your County Commandant). You can find out more about our complaints process on this website.