The Army Cadet Force (ACF) is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2010.  Over 150 events are taking place all over the UK throughout the year to celebrate this remarkable milestone.

The year of celebration launched on 17 February when 26 specially selected cadets are attending an audience at Buckingham Palace with HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.

As one of the UK's oldest, largest and most successful youth organisations, we have a long and proud history of preparing youngsters for all walks of life and encouraging an active involvement in local communities. We have 47,000 cadets and 8500 adult instructors in over 1700 Cadet Centres spread across the UK.

The ACF is not a recruiting ground for the Armed Forces but seeks to promote a sense of understanding of what the Armed Forces' roles and responsibilities are. Cadets are aged 12-18 years and follow a military and non-military based progressive training syllabus in subjects such as:

  • skill-at-arms
  • map and compass skills
  • fieldcraft
  • community projects
  • first aid
  • adventurous training
  • shooting

To help its cadets be good citizens the cadet force aims to develop skills such as:

  • leadership
  • teamwork
  • confidence
  • self-reliance
  • respect

What we do

Cadets of all abilities and backgrounds that are able to access the majority of our activities are welcomed.  We develop young people physically and mentally, improving self-confidence, teamwork, friendship and leadership through a wide diversity of fun, exciting and adventurous opportunities.. We also aim to develop a sense of community in our cadets.

We are also a gateway to recognised vocational qualifications from the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme to BTEC First Diplomas which can help in working and school life.  

Adult Volunteers

Being over 18 doesn't mean you miss out on all the fun.  Without our adult volunteers, there would be no cadet force. They come from all walks of life and varied backgrounds. Previous military experience is not a pre-requisite as full training is provided.  

There is no reserve commitment for either cadets or adult volunteers, so there is no chance of being sent on operations. Adult volunteers, like Cadets, are free to leave the organisation at any time.