If you have been asked to look at this website by your son or daughter it probably means that they have a serious interest in finding out more about what the Army Cadet Force does and that they are considering joining.
Hopefully, this information and our website will answer some of the questions that you no doubt have regarding our organisation. You will see that not only is the ACF an exciting and rewarding hobby for the youngsters themselves, but is also one that will enable them to develop their skills of leadership, teamwork and communication, all aspects that will stand them in good stead in later life. Your son/daughter will have the opportunity to undertake the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme, First Aid training and sport training and BTEC, all of which may be useful to an employer at a later date.
The emphasis on training is to have fun safely. You may ask "Are the Instructors qualified?" Quite simply the answer is "Yes". Whatever the activity, the organising instructors are fully qualified to meet the stringent standards of safety set by the Regular Army or other national bodies. Your youngster will be in very safe hands indeed. If you have any questions that this web site does not fully answer then please contact the Detachment nearest to you where you will be sure of a warm welcome and your queries will be answered in full.
The uniform is loaned free of charge, but must be returned when your child leaves the Army Cadet Force. You may be requested to pay for a uniform or items NOT returned. The cadet will have to buy a pair of boots, as these are NOT provided, the Detachment Commander will be able to provide details on how or where is best to purchase a pair of boots. There is no joining fee but most units operate a weekly or annual subscription scheme, but the contributions are usually very small.
The lower age limit to join the ACF is 12, providing that he or she has entered secondary education. The maximum age that a cadet can stay to is 18 years and 9 months.
Joining the Army Cadet Force could not be easier. Initially, your child can attend the local detachment on their own to determine if it is what they want to do. The nearest detachment can be found in our Detachments page. When your child wants to join it would be ideal if a parent or guardian attended with the child. On arrival make yourself known to the Detachment Commander, fill in a couple of forms and that's it. If your child attends on their own they will bring you the forms for parental signature. These forms must be signed and returned before they can officially join.
Nearly everything that is needed for ACF training is provided on loan free of charge. Obviously as the cadet progresses through their training they may wish to purchase their own items of kit and equipment. Advice can be sought from the Detachment Commander on what are the best buys. If your child takes part in any adventurous training activities, then the correct equipment for the activity is provided, thus ensuring their safety at all times. All safety equipment provided is to the required international standards.