Information for Parents

What will my son or daughter do at cadet training activities?:

Your child will be offered inspiring and challenging military-like experiences. They will learn valuable life and work skills that will open up new possibilities, opportunities and career options. They will be part of a Team, develop leadership and survival skills, make new friends, experience challenges and learn to take responsibility.

Cadet Training: 

As a cadet, their training program will include citizenship, safe weapons handling, bush survival and field craft, first aid, drill and ceremonial, communications, navigational and map reading skills, music/band, basic aeroskills studies, aeromodelling and aviation activities including powered flying and gliding. Cadets can even have the opportunity to travel overseas on International Air Cadet Exchanges and experience different cultures.

How is Cadet Training undertaken?

Cadet training and experiences are modelled along military lines. Activities are organised by Squadrons as part of their yearly approved training programs. All activities are reviewed to ensure they will be safe and that they meet all the policies and procedures. They are then approved by qualified and trained AAFC Commanders or Air Force Officers prior to cadets undertaking these activities. 

Part of cadet training is to attend a weekly 3 hour parade at their home Squadron after school hours and on some weekends. Throughout the cadet year, the Squadrons conduct at least 2 weekend field exercises, an air experience day, and support Anzac Day and Air Force events and ceremonies. 

State run Wing bivouacs, camps and courses are usually conducted on weekends and during school holidays.

Some courses offered to cadets include: leadership, safe weapons handling, music, aviation, basic aerospace, aeromodelling, gliding and powered flying.

Who instructs cadets? 

Officers and Instructors participating in the Australian Air Force Cadets include:

  • Former and current members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF)
  • Specialist personnel
  • Teachers
  • Police officers
  • Managers and executives from a wide range of Government departments and private companies
  • Parents and community organisation members
  • Former AAFC Cadets

How are AAFC staff selected?

To become staff within the AAFC, adult members must satisfy the following requisites: completion of a formal application, obtain an unencumbered clearance from the Australian Federal Police, obtain a working with children check (where applicable), undergo psychological screening, hold a current first aid qualification and then pass a Selection Board interview before being approved by a senior Air Force officer.

Officers and Instructors are required to attend training courses in occupational health and safety, first aid, equity and diversity, adolescent behaviour, acceptable behavior  mandatory reporting, duty of care, basic counselling, managerial decision making, youth development philosophies, legal and societal practices and procedures, military etiquette, and Air Force principles and practices. Cadet Staff members have to sign a Code of Conduct each year.

How is the Cadets safety managed?

Cadet safety is paramount. AAFC activities are underpinned by an occupational health and safety policy supported by comprehensive training programs to enhance safety awareness for Cadets, Officers and Instructors.

How is bullying and harassment managed?

The AAFC does not tolerate unacceptable behaviour of any kind. All cadets and staff have basic rights and obligations to participate in activities free of harassment and discrimination, and operate in a non-discriminatory, fair and safe environment.The AAFC behaviour policy defines appropriate codes of ethical behaviour and provides guidelines for preventing, managing and reporting on breaches to theses codes. All Cadets and Staff sign up to a Code of Conduct.

How much does it cost to be a cadet?

Cadets are partly funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Defence. Squadrons usually request a yearly fee to cover administrative costs and training aids.

Do you have to wear a uniform?

Yes. Uniforms are issued at no cost. A service dress uniform of Air Force Blue and the disruptive pattern combat uniform (DPCUs) are supplied on joining and must be returned at the completion of your son or daughter’s cadet career.

What are the requirements to join the Australian Air Force Cadets?

Your son or daughter must:

  • Be a resident of Australia
  • Be aged between 13 and 18 years
  • Not be a member of any other cadet organisation
  • Complete and sign a formal application form, endorsed by a parent or guardian

Is Cadets a pathway to Defence?

Cadets gives your son or daughter access to serving men and women, the military-like culture, and the way of life, so it provides an invaluable insight into the Australian Defence Force. Find out more: 

Does Cadets provide help with career options?

Yes. Cadets gives your son or daughter life and decision making skills, so they can meet almost any challenge. The career opportunities open to Cadets are endless. 

Where can I get more information?

If you want more information on Cadets or becoming a Staff Member, arrange an appointment with your local Squadron Commander, or check out the website to find the local Wing Headquarters.