Australian Army Cadets - a National Youth Program

Happy young Army cadet drawing on map
The Australian Army Cadets is a national youth development program with the character and values of the Australian Army.

The Australian Army Cadets (AAC) is founded on a strong community partnership, fostering and supporting an ongoing interest in the Australian Army. The AAC runs a personal development program for young Australians who enrol between the ages of 13 to 17 years. The program is designed to benefit the nation by developing the individual, their community and the Australian Army.

The AAC is one of the ways in which Army meets its obligations to the Nation as a good corporate citizen, allowing the Army to contribute beyond its core role of defending the Nation and its interests. The conduct of the AAC program is one way in which Army contributes to the betterment of Australian society by helping to create responsible, mature and self-confident young people and future leaders in Defence, Government and Business.

The AAC promotes better community understanding of, and support for, the role of the Army and its contribution to the nation. In many communities, the AAC is the only presence of an Army-style uniform, making the AAC a large component of the Army's public relations and community engagement strategy.

While the primary purpose of the AAC is as a youth development organisation, there is a flow-on effect to the Australian Defence Force (ADF) recruiting that comes from the AAC with ex-cadets making a significant proportion of recruits to the ADF, staying in the ADF for longer, and being more likely to rise to higher ranks.

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Last updated
19 December 2016