About NZCF

Who we are

The New Zealand Cadet Forces (NZCF) is a disciplined, uniformed organisation which provides military-based leadership, personal development and operational training to persons aged between 13 and 18 years old. Through its three branches, the Cadet Forces provides personnel with a three-year training curriculum, while a number of unit, area and national courses provide further experience and qualifications in specific training areas. It is jointly funded by the Chief of Defence Force and four national recognised Civilian Support Organisations. The NZCF is a non-profit organisation for the youth of New Zealand and their youth leaders, and adheres to a strict Code of Conduct.

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Helping out
History More history


The first unit raised was at Otago Boys High School in 1864, making it one of the oldest youth service organisations in New Zealand. By 1870 there were several secondary school units in existence.

The NZCF celebrated its 150th anniversary in January 2014, with an exercise held at Waiouru Military Camp.


NZCF Activities

The NZDF funds and co-ordinates several national and regional courses for the Cadet Forces, which are staffed with a mix of Regular Force (RF) and Cadet Force (CF) personnel. Tri Corps promotional courses normally are held in each area twice per year depending on requirements, and essentially hold the same format as their RF equivalents.

Units also hold recognised activities throughout the year, including outdoor and adventure training such as

All our courses and activities are designed to teach our core values of loyalty, discipline, respect and integrity in a safe and fun envoronment.

River crossing

Our Mission

To develop and enable self-disciplined, confident and responsible young New Zealanders.

ATC on parade

Legal Status

The New Zealand Cadet Forces is currently covered by the Defence Act 1990. The Minister of Defence holds ultimate control, with the Chief of Defence Force (CDF) in a compulsory directorial role. Any unit of the Cadet Forces must be attached to the Air Training Corps, New Zealand Cadet Corps or Sea Cadet Corps.


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Click the button below to find a New Zealand Cadet Forces unit in your area.

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Three crests

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