The Australian Army sponsors a national youth development program through the Australian Army Cadets (AAC). The program has the character and values of the Australian Army, is founded on a strong community partnership, and fosters and supports an on-going interest in the Australian Army.

The program is enabled and supported by Army and is supervised by adult volunteers from the community. Cadets not only participate, but also have opportunities to develop their abilities and lead their peers.

There are 217 Army Cadet Units across Australia with around 15,000 cadets ranging in age from 12½ to 19 years.

Australian Army Cadets seeks to build key attributes within youth by instilling a sense of:

  • Identity - cadets wear the uniform of the Australian Army, with cadet insignia
  • Purpose – cadets participate in community activities and assist and help develop junior cadets
  • Belonging – cadets organise and lead activities and, through their leadership group, have a strong voice in the development of the Program

Cadets are not members of the Australian Defence Force and it is not used as a recruiting process for the Australian Army.  Australian Army Cadets is a diverse organisation open to young people of all abilities provided a safe environment can be maintained.  Part of youth development is providing challenging opportunities in a safe manner that also encourages fun and friendship.