New Zealand Cadet Corps

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New Zealand Cadet Corps
New Zealand Cadet Corps Crest.png
New Zealand Cadet Corps Crest
Active 1864 - present
Country  New Zealand
Allegiance HM The Queen
Branch New Zealand Cadet Forces
Type Volunteer Youth Organisation
Size ~1,900
Headquarters Trentham Military Camp
Nickname(s) Army Cadets
Green team
Ground Freeders
Med Eaters
Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Tim Keating
NZCF Commandant Lieutenant Colonel Grant Morris, RNZALR, JP
NZCF Excutive Officer Squadron Leader Bruce Sinclair, RNZAF
NZCF Assistant Commandant Wing Commander Andrew Horst, NZCF
NZCF Tri-Service logo NZCF Crest.png

The New Zealand Cadet Corps (NZCC), is one of the three corps in the New Zealand Cadet Forces, the other two being the Air Training Corps, and Sea Cadet Corps. There is no reference to the Army within the official title of the NZCC, but an army theme is used for the NZCC. All of its members, from the cadets themselves to the officers and the support committees are civilian volunteers. Members have no obligation to head into the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF); however, some do choose to join the NZDF.



The NZCC is managed at a national level by the commandant (usually a Regular Force Lieutenant colonel / Wing commander / Commander), and his/her staff at Defence Force Headquarters in Wellington. (The current commandant is Lieutenant Colonel Grant Morris).


The country is broken into 3 areas, Northern (Northern half of the North Island), Central (Southern half of the North Island) and Southern (entire South Island). Each area has a NZCF training and support unit, commanded by an area co-ordinator, with advisors for New Zealand Cadet Corps units.


Each unit is led and managed by the cadet unit commander, and his/her officers and staff.

There are currently 38 New Zealand Cadet Corps units in New Zealand. They are:

Northern Area[edit]

  • Opotiki College Cadet Unit (OCCU)
  • Papakura Cadet Unit (PapCU)
  • Rotorua District Cadet Unit (RDCU)
  • City of Auckland Cadet Unit (CACU)
  • Kerikeri Cadet Unit (KCU)
  • Hamilton City Cadet Unit (HCCU)
  • North Shore Cadet Unit (NSCU)
  • Maungarei Cadet Unit (MCU)
  • Waitakare Cadet Unit (WaitCU)
  • Te Awamutu Community Cadet Unit (TACCU)
  • Kaipara Community Cadet Unit (KCCU)
  • Western Bay of Plenty Cadet Unit (WBoPCU)
  • Whangarei District Cadet Unit (WhanDCU)
  • Southern Cross Cadet Unit (SCCU)
  • Mangawhai Cadet Unit (MwiCU)

Central Area[edit]

  • Wellington City Cadet Unit (WelCCU)
  • Gisborne Cadet Unit (GCU)
  • City of Porirua Cadet Unit (CPorCU)
  • City of Upper Hutt Cadet Unit (CUHCU)
  • City of New Plymouth Cadet Unit (CNPCU)
  • Taumaranui Cadet Unit (TCU)
  • City of Lower Hutt Cadet Unit (CLHCU)
  • Ruahine Cadet Unit (RCU)
  • Wairoa District Cadet Unit (WDCU)
  • Rangitikei Ruapehu Cadet Unit (RRCU)
  • City of Napier Cadet Unit (CNapCU)
  • Taupo Cadet Unit (TaupoCU)
  • Palmerston North Cadet Unit (PNCU)
  • Feilding Cadet Unit (FCU)
  • Wanganui Cadet Unit (WCU)

Southern Area[edit]

  • Ashburton Cadet Unit (ACU)
  • Nelson Cadet Unit (NCU)
  • City of Christchurch Cadet Unit (CCCU)
  • City of Dunedin Cadet Unit (CDCU)
  • Invercargill Cadet Unit (InverCU)
  • Motueka Cadet Unit (MotCU)
  • Timaru Cadet Unit (TimCU)

Uniform and Insignia[edit]

An example of the NZCC SDAR uniform
An example of the NZCC DPM uniform

The uniform worn by NZCC members is the same as that of the New Zealand Army, except that for all ranks, the lettering on the bottom of the rank insignia shoulder boards reads CADET FORCES rather than NEW ZEALAND to differentiate NZCC personnel from New Zealand Army personnel. Furthermore, NZCC rank insignia are red, a colour no longer used by the New Zealand Army for rank insignia. Officer service dress uniforms have a shoulder flash reading NEW ZEALAND CADET FORCES, rather than NEW ZEALAND for the same reason. The cadets wear a NZCF cap badge (same as NZCC logo) on their beret, Cadets wear their achievements on a shoulder brassard. Officers who were formerly cadets do not wear their cadet awards on the officer uniform..

Uniforms worn by the New Zealand Cadet Forces:

  • Service dress all ranks (SDAR)
  • Disruptive pattern material (DPM)

Officer Ranks and Insignia in the NZCC
New Zealand Cadet Corps Crest.png


Lieutenant Colonel Major Captain Lieutenant Second Lieutenant Officer Cadet
Lieutenant Colonel Major Captain Lieutenant Second Lieutenant Officer Cadet
Lieutenant Colonel Major Captain Lieutenant Second Lieutenant No Insignia
Major Captain Lieutenant Second
Officer cadet

Cadet Ranks and Insignia in the NZCC
New Zealand Cadet Corps Crest.png


Under Officer Cadet Warrant Officer Class 1 Cadet Warrant Officer Class 2 Cadet Staff Sergeant Cadet Sergeant Cadet Corpral Cadet Lance Corpral Cadet
Under Officer Cadet
Warrant Officer
Class 1
Warrant Officer
Class 2
Cadet Staff
Cadet Lance
No equivalent Cadet


Cadet members[edit]

Cadets can join from the age of 13, and may serve as a cadet or cadet NCO until their 19th birthday. Under officers may serve up until their 22nd birthday. The exception is the sole school-based unit, as opposed to city or regional based units. Hamiltons Fraser High School Cadet Unit permits all students enrolled at Hamiltons Fraser High School to enroll in the unit.

Units provide uniform, but may hold bonds to ensure that they are returned. Unit fees are set by each unit Parent Support Committee annually. Due to fluctuating operating costs, these vary from unit to unit. Cadets may in time be promoted to NCO ranks. Cadet NCO ranks are based on the New Zealand Army Infantry ranks, and are

Cadets who have received the necessary training, and have the desire and commitment to become an NZCF officer can also serve as under officers. Under officers are officers-in-training and are normally treated as officers, but are, however, not entitled to salutes.

The exception is that under officer is not a rank in the NZ Army. The U/O rank slide is based upon the Air Force officer cadet rank, and a similar rank is used in the New Zealand Army Officer Cadet School. In the NZCC, NCO ranks are often abbreviated by omitting the "cadet" prefix. However, not all cadets become NCOs, but all get the chance to train and progress though the different levels of training, Basic, Corps (junior), and Advanced (senior) levels, by demonstrating knowledge of subjects in their training year.

Adult members[edit]

Adult members can serve in two capacities: commissioned officers or civilian instructors. Officers are commissioned into the New Zealand Cadet Forces, with the post-nominal letters NZCF, at the rank of second lieutenant, and can be promoted to lieutenant, captain or major after completing the necessary training and service. To reach captain the officer must have served as the commanding officer of a cadet unit, while officers must be an area support officer to be promoted to major. At the end of 2014, the NZCF introduced a new position of national support officer (NSO). If he or she is an NZCC officer, as opposed to an ATC or SCC officer, they will hold the rank of lieutenant colonel. Officers are unpaid volunteers, therefore they receive no pay for routine parades and unit activities. They are paid when attending training courses run by the New Zealand Defence Force. Civilian instructors are civilians who help train cadets. They do not wear uniform, but they are generally treated similarly to officers by cadets. Members of the NZDF are occasionally attached to cadet units to assist in conducting training. This is normally because they know a cadet/officer in that unit, or if they have a particular interest in cadet forces.


Parade nights[edit]

Every unit holds parade nights around 2–3 hours long weekly during school terms. Each parade night usually begins and ends with a parade. The starting parade is used to inspect uniforms, and to inform the cadets on the parade night's activities. The final parade to inform the cadets on upcoming events in the unit. Between the parades, the cadets undergo classroom, or practical instruction.


A New Zealand Cadet Corps unit on exercise

Most units conduct classroom training in bushcraft and survival skills, and hold regular basic and advanced bushcraft camps in the local area during weekends. There is a national bushcraft course held either at Dip Flat near RNZAF Base Woodbourne or at the Waiouru Army Camp.


An NZCC Cadet Firing the JW-15A 0.22 Rifle

Units conduct regular range training with smallbore rifles. Some units have their own armouries and ranges at their parade hall. Cadets must pass a TOET (test of elementary training) before being allowed on the range. The rifle used at present is the Marlin XT.

Other activities[edit]

  • Adventure training
  • Assault courses
  • Drill[1]
  • Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme
  • First-aid/search & rescue/casualty evacuation (CASEVAC)
  • General service knowledge/Cadet force knowledge
  • Initiative
  • Leadership
  • Fieldcraft
  • Navigation
  • Observation
  • Radio procedures
  • Survival
  • Team Work
  • Watermanship
  • Weather reading skills


Tri-Corps courses[edit]

  • Junior NCO course
  • Senior NCO course
  • Under officers' course
  • Cadet bushcraft course
  • Cadet shooting coaches course

Also, senior cadets and officers may be selected to staff these courses (except for the shooting coaches course)

Officer courses[edit]

  • Officers' Commissioning course
  • Instructional technique & management course
  • Officers' outdoor leaders course
  • Range safety officer course
  • NZCF Command course

Also, officers may be selected to staff these courses, except for the range safety officer course.

NZCC competitions[edit]

  • Area Cadet Skills Competition (2015 winners: Northern, Mangawhai Cadet Unit; Central, City of Upper Hutt Cadet Unit; Southern, Ashburton Cadet Unit)
  • Fennell Cup Shooting Trophy (Commonwealth Award)
  • Gunson Cup Shooting Trophy
  • National Cadet Skills Competition (2017 winners: Nelson Cadet Unit)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Cadets on parade". YouTube. 

External links[edit]