There is a lot of information online about the cadets in the UK but not much detail on what kit you must bring to the cadets in the UK. This article explores the items that you need and the UK Cadet Kit Cost.

The Ministry of Defence sponsors and supports five cadet forces which greatly reduces the cost of becoming a Cadet in the UK.

The cadets offer challenging and enjoyable activities, and the cadet forces are based on the traditions, values, and standards of the Armed Forces.

Cadets can learn new skills and engage in adventurous activities in disciplined and well-structured organisations and gain nationally recognised qualifications based on their achievements which can equate to GCSEs and may help cadets in their future education and career.

Cadets typically range in age from 12 to 18 years old and in 2020, there were around 130,000 cadets in the UK, broken down as:

  • 45,000 Combined Cadet Force
  • 14,000 Sea Cadet Corps
  • 37,000 Army Cadet Force
  • 32,000 Air Training Corps
  • 460 Volunteer Cadet Corps

which are supported by 29,000 adult volunteers.

In the cadets you can participate in adventurous training (AT) such as kayaking, mountain biking and abseiling to military-themed activities including shooting, fieldcraft and skill at arms, as well as training in first aid.

A child does do not have to be a UK citizen to join as a cadet but needs to be at least aged 12 and in year 8 at school in England and Wales or year 9 in Northern Ireland and Scotland to join the Cadets. So, a child aged 12 on 1 September at the start of year 8 at school can apply to join.

What Cadet Kit Will Be Needed?

During your time in the cadets, you will need certain supplies and, as an experienced supplier to the members of the UK Armed Forces, Supply Drop sells cadet kit including cadet boots, rucksacks, survival aids and accessories for children joining the UK cadets. We are available to advise you what you will need to join the UK cadet force.

One of the most important pieces of clothing the cadet can wear is the correct boots and socks. Please check out our articles on what to look for when purchasing boots and socks for the cadets.

UK Cadet Kit Cost

You do not have to buy the uniform, although there may be a returnable deposit. All cadets are provided with uniform while they are in the cadets which is returned when they leave.

When Do the Cadets Meet?

Generally, UK Cadets meet for two hours on one or two evenings a week throughout the year. These are called parade nights.

Cadets will also meet for weekend camps, competitions, and other training.

Each year, cadets are invited to join an Annual Camp and go away with other cadets for up to two weeks during the school holidays.

Each Annual Camp is different, but all cadets will get to learn new skills as well as put into practice some of the lessons they have learnt in detachments.

Thanks to the support of the Ministry of Defence the costs of being a cadet, depending on the unit are subsidised and extremely low. There will be costs for attending weekend training camps, annual camps, and other activities. Parade nights in detachments are free, but some detachments may request a small weekly subscription to go towards detachment events and visits.

The Cadets are determined that nobody should miss out because they cannot afford it, and help is always available. Sometimes you can get a bursary or grant for activities.