Welcome to the Cadet Force Adult Volunteer website. On this site you will find essential information about what it means to become a volunteer with the Sea, Army or Air Cadets, plus details of how you can apply to join.
Fill out the form to receive an information pack via email. This will give you more details about the Cadet Forces, what it means to be an Adult Volunteer, and guide you through the application and training process, if you decide it’s for you.
Scroll down to find out how becoming an Adult Volunteer can make a big difference to the lives of young people... and to you.
Simply put, a Cadet Force Adult Volunteer (CFAV) is someone who helps instruct and advise Sea, Army or Air Cadets at their weekly training sessions. There will also be some weekend activities and an Annual Camp in the summer. Don’t worry about finding time for all of this at this stage, as there is some flexibility in the time commitment required.
You will work with other Adult Volunteers to deliver a programme of activities for young people aged 10 to 20 (depending on the Cadet Force). These could include fieldcraft, all kinds of sports, shooting, canoeing, helping out in the community, first aid, music, organising a charity bike ride...and much, much more.
At the heart of all the Cadet groups is adventure, challenge and most of all, fun!
There are different roles you can take – it’s not all about physical activities. Wherever you want to get involved, whatever your strengths are, there is a place for you as an Adult Volunteer. Full training is provided – you will probably discover talents you didn’t know you had.
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about becoming a Cadet Force Adult Volunteer. We know this may not answer all of your questions, so there is a more comprehensive list in the information pack – simply fill in the form and the pack will be emailed to you.
No, you do not need any previous military experience to join. We will provide you with all the training you need to become an Adult Volunteer. Whatever skills you have, you can become a vital part of the Cadet Forces. People with a military background are of course very welcome and encouraged to apply.
No, the Cadet Forces are youth organisations. They use a military rank and structure and are sponsored by the Armed Forces, but are not part of the military. Cadets and Adult Volunteers are not subject to military call up. Whilst some cadets choose a career in the Armed Forces once they are old enough, it is certainly not expected of them and the majority do not join. Some cadets stay on as Adult Volunteers once they are 18 years old, as they don’t want the cadet experience to end!
There is no formal upper age limit for Adult Volunteers in non-uniformed roles. Uniformed roles do have an age limit, but this varies depending on the Cadet Force and is often looked at on a person-by-person basis. So, whatever your age, if you are interested do please apply as your skills and experience would be welcomed.
We like our volunteers to be reasonably healthy so they can supervise the physical activities, but other qualities are equally important. We need people who can deal with paperwork and the pastoral care of cadets just as much as someone who can hike across the hills with them. The Cadet Forces are inclusive organisations that support equal opportunities; therefore people with disabilities are very welcome to apply to join.
No, but you do need to be understanding of what it’s like to be a teenager! Our Cadets are aged from 10 to 20, from all kinds of social, economic, ethnic and religious backgrounds. Whilst previous experience of working with young people will help you it is by no means a prerequisite – patience, tolerance and enthusiasm are more valuable to us.
The Sea, Army and Air Cadets all have slightly different application processes. Full details of each can be found in the information pack – simply fill out the form and we will email it to you.
Typically, one or two evenings a week at your local unit and occasional weekends, although the exact time commitment can vary between the Cadet Forces. Beyond that it is up to you how much time you want to give. Help is always needed on the summer annual camps and many consider this the highlight of the cadet year. We fully understand that all kinds of other commitments, such as family and work, can affect people's availability, so even if you can't commit to two evenings a week, we would still like to hear from you.
As a volunteer you do not get paid, however depending on the time given, you may be eligible for a Volunteer’s Allowance. You may be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses, such as travelling to a cadet force competition or camp. Further details are available in the information pack.
There are four Cadet Forces – Sea, Army, Air and Combined.
Each has its own distinct flavour and programme of activities, but there are aspects common to all: Fun, Adventure, Citizenship, Challenge.
Go on, get out on the water with us! You’ll experience the most exhilarating, and unique, challenges. Whether it’s hoisting the sail of a yacht, navigating waves in a powered craft, or racing down a river in a kayak – nothing compares to the feeling of being out on the water, right there in the elements. We have our own Fleet of: 2 yachts, 2 power vessels; Training Ship (TS) Jack Petchey, TS John Jerwood, and our flagship TS Royalist, a 29 metre brig built in 2014. As an instructor, you could be helping cadets kayaking, power boating, canoeing, rowing, windsurfing or diving – plus most of our courses are accredited by the leading UK bodies like RYA, British Canoe Union and the British Sub Aqua Club.
Established in 1856 the Sea Cadets was created by communities wanting to give young people instruction on a naval theme. Today, 14,000 young people based in 400 units in towns, cities and ports across the UK are challenging themselves and developing new skills, like sailing, boating and rock climbing – supported by 9,000 volunteers. The Sea Cadets also incorporate the Royal Marines Cadets. The focus of the Sea Cadets is the theme of nautical adventure, based on the customs and traditions of the Royal Navy.
To find out more about the Sea Cadets, visit sea-cadets.org
If you want to aim higher, feel more confident and help young people get a head start, join the Army Cadets as an Adult Volunteer. For action and adventure, fun and friendship, the Army Cadet Force is hard to beat. With 41,000 cadets and 9,500 adults in over 1,600 locations in every corner of the United Kingdom, the ACF is one of the country’s largest voluntary youth organisations. It is also one of the oldest tracing its history back to 1859.
Some of our activities have a military theme, some have more of a community focus and some are all about adventure. They all inspire young people to challenge their limits, become more independent, confident and able to step up to any challenge. These activities include fieldcraft, shooting, expeditions, music, sport and much more. Our adult volunteers help young people achieve things they never thought possible, whilst developing their own potential. If you’re up for a challenge, you’ll go further with the Army Cadet Force.
To find out more about the Army Cadets, visit armycadets.com
If you’re a fan of aviation, action and adventure, love sports and getting to know people then you’re in the right place. Every year nearly 60,000 air cadets and volunteer staff from over 1,000 Cadet Squadrons take part in exciting events all over the country.
As well as activities like camping, climbing, first aid, canoeing and more, the core of what we do is of course based on aviation. Gliding, air experience fights and learning navigation skills are what most Air Cadets join for and we make sure they can experience the thrill of flying in a controlled and instructed environment. Learning about the history of the RAF and aviation are also key part of our cadet experience. This is what it’s all about – activities that offer challenge, excitement and adventure.
To find out more about the Air Cadets, visit raf.mod.uk/aircadets
There are also cadet units based in schools, called the Combined Cadet Forces or CCF.
If you are interested in becoming an Adult Volunteer at a school unit, please go direct to the CCF website for further information: combinedcadetforce.org.uk
There are over 600 units in the South East and Greater London area.
Use this map to discover what’s near you. You may want to look for a unit near your home, or perhaps a unit on your commute from work. Please zoom in to see all units near you.
Please note, map pin locations are approximate.
Find out more
Simply fill out your name and email address to receive an information pack via email