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Australian Navy Cadets

Australian Navy Cadets
Australian Navy Cadet Crest
Active1907 – present
CountryAustralia Australia
AllegianceKing Charles III
TypeVolunteer youth organisation
Size92 units, 2,200 cadets
Part ofAustralian Defence Force Cadets
HeadquartersDirectorate ANC, Brindabella Business Park, Canberra
Motto(s)Integrity and Endeavour
MarchRoyal Australian Navy
Anniversaries1 July
Vessels operatedCorsair, Envy, Various powerboats, Aquila RHIB, Scruffy, Bosun's mate, Hobi Catamaran, RS Quest
Director General ANCCommodore David Greaves, RAN
National Commander ANCCaptain Peter Alderson, ANC
Chief of StaffVacant
Sir David Martin
Australian Navy Cadets Ensign (2001–present)
Naval Reserve Cadets Ensign (1972–2001)
Australian Sea Cadet Corps Ensign (1956–1972)
Naval Ensign (1907–1956)

The Australian Navy Cadets (ANC) is a leading national youth development organisation, with the character and values of the Australian Navy, founded on a strong community partnership, fostering and supporting an ongoing interest in the Australian Navy.

Together with the Australian Air Force Cadets and Australian Army Cadets, it forms the Australian Defence Force Cadets. It hosts over 87 units.


The organisation was founded in the early 1900s and officially recognised under the Naval Defence Act in 1910. Prior to 1973, the organisation was known as the Australian Sea Cadet Corps, and was jointly administered by the Royal Australian Navy and the Navy League of Australia. After 1973, the Navy assumed full responsibility for the Corps, which was renamed the Naval Reserve Cadets. The Australian Government review, 'Cadets The Future' recommended a final name change to Australian Navy Cadets in 2000.[1]

Admiral of the Corps
Appointee From To
King George VI 1942 1952
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh 1952 1992
Prince Andrew, Duke of York 1992 2019
Princess Anne, Princess Royal 2021 Present

Below is a list of names held by both the Naval League and Defence run/sponsored programs including the original 'Church of England – Boys Naval Brigade' from 1901 to 1911:[2]

  • Boys Naval Brigades (Victoria) 1901–1911 (Run in conjunction with the Church of England)
  • Australian Naval Cadet Corps ANCC 1907–1950 (Defence)
  • Navy League Sea Cadet Corps NLSCC (1920–1950) (Navy League)
  • RANR Cadets 1950–1973 (Defence)
  • Australian Sea Cadet Corps ASCC (1950–1972) (Navy League)
  • (1973– Navy League and Defence cadets merged into one unit, the NRC)
  • Naval Reserve Cadets NRC (1972-31 March 2000) (Defence)
  • Australian Navy Cadets ANC (1 April 2000 – present) (Defence)


The ANC provides a well-planned and organised youth development program based on maritime skills in an inclusive and adventurous environment. The program, which encompasses Navy Values and Signature Behaviours, is designed to nurture and develop:

  • service, courage, respect, integrity and excellence
  • self-esteem, self-confidence, self-discipline, teamwork and leadership,
  • a sense of moral compass and respect for others regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or disability
  • an understanding of the importance to the Nation of Australia’s maritime domain.

The program is delivered by enthusiastic and dedicated ANC adult volunteers through a range of safe, enjoyable and rewarding experiences.


The 87 Training Ships (units) across Australia have a total membership around 500 staff and 2,400 cadets,[3] including several that have been formed in high schools. These Training Ships are split into 9 Flotillas throughout the country.

The ANC adheres to a rank structure similar to the Royal Australian Navy, with cadets having the opportunity to progress from the rank of Cadet Recruit (CDTRCT) to Cadet Warrant Officer (CDTWO). Each unit has a complement which lays out how many cadets the unit is allowed to carry and how many are allowed at each rank. Promotions to Junior Sailor ranks are at the digression of the Commanding Officer (CO) of the respective unit. The ANC requires the cadet to experience a list of different activities and roles as well as complete a task book. This book can be completed during a promotion course or over the course of many routine parades. A 'Learning Check' is also required to be completed at the end of a course, which the cadet must pass to be eligible to be promoted. The structure and organisation of the ANC is based on that of the Royal Australian Navy, but additionally features a large community-involvement component.


There are currently 9 Flotillas in the Australian Navy Cadets. Each Flotilla has a Flotilla Commander (FLOTCOM) in charge who is the rank of Lieutenant Commander, ANC.

Flotillas in the ANC
Flotilla Name Flotilla Commander Motto
Attack Flotilla LCDR Lara Rice, ANC "Force in the North"
Daring Flotilla LCDR Chris Moyle, ANC "We Stand As One"
Kellatie Flotilla LCDR Bill Mckay, ANC "To Serve"
Lonsdale Flotilla LCDR Loretta Coste, ANC "Wisdom Is Strength"
Moreton Flotilla LCDR Jon Klaebe, ANC "Strong And Steady"
Taipan Flotilla LCDR Nicole Mackay, ANC "Swift And Sure"
Torrens Flotilla LCDR Pieter Scott, ANC "Faith And Fortitude"
Waratah Flotilla LCDR Connor Boesel, ANC "Advance Together"
Westralia Flotilla LCDR Bob Hughes, ANC "Faithful And Bold"

ANC ranks

Ranks of the Australian Navy Cadets are divided into staff ranks and cadets ranks. Volunteers do not become staff until appointed by the ANC.

Staff ranks

From December 2021, all staff members hold Officer of Cadets (OOC) ranks, with Instructor of Cadets (IOC) ranks becoming inactive.

Officer of Cadets (OOC) Ranks
Rank Captain
Commander ANC
Sub Lieutenant
Abbreviation CAPT,

Example of Use (officer); LCDR Joe Blogg, ANC

Cadet Ranks

CDT 9 (Special Grade) CDT 8 CDT 7 CDT 6 CDT 5 CDT 4 CDT 3 CDT 2 CDT 1 CDT (R)

No equivalent
No equivalent No Insignia
Cadet Warrant Officer Cadet Chief Petty Officer Cadet Petty Officer Cadet Leading Seaman Cadet Able Seaman Cadet Seaman Cadet Recruit


Example of Use; CDTPO Joe Bloggs


  • Defence Approved Helper – DAH

Example of Use; Mr Joe Bloggs – DAH

National commanders and directors general

The basic naval reserve cadet (NRC) command structure prior to 2001 was:

Director of Naval Reserves and Cadets (DNRC) was a RANR Officer in Canberra who had overall authority of the Naval Reserve Cadets. Each state had a Senior Officer Naval Reserve Cadets (SONRC) who answered to the LNA or Local Naval Authority usually the Commanding Officer (CO) of the establishment on which the NRCHQ of that state resided. A Cadet Liaison Officer (CLO), usually a RANR Officer, was situated in HMAS Cairns, HMAS Moreton, HMAS Watson, HMAS Lonsdale, HMAS Encounter, HMAS Huon and HMAS Leeuwin (all shore bases at the time). The CLO had responsibility for the liaising between the NRC and RAN in their state. There was no national HQ or national staff until the ANC was established in 2001.

Rank Name Post-nominals Branch Tenure
Director NRC
Captain David Martin RAN 1973–1974
Commander Allan Vidler NRC
Commander Christine Reinks NRC
National Commander ANC
Captain Gavin Reeves ANC November 1999 – 25 February 2007
Commander John Goss AM RANR 25 February 2007 – 13 August 2008 (Acting)
Captain Eliot Fisher ESM ANC 13 August 2008 – 13 August 2011
Captain John Gill ANC 13 August 2011 – 30 June 2014
Captain Eliot Fisher ESM, OAM ANC 13 August 2014 – 1 January 2017
Captain Kerry Rayner OAM ANC 1 January 2017 – 1 January 2020
Captain Martin Blume ANC 1 January 2020 – December 2022
Captain Peter Alderson ANC 1 January 2023 - Present

Prior to 2001 the ANC did not have the title or position 'Director General ANC', instead the overall Commander's position was called 'Director of Reserves Navy' which was a RANRANR position.

Rank Name Post-Nominals Branch Tenure
Director General ANC
Commodore Nigel Coates AM RAN 2005–2007
Commodore Karel de Laat CSC, RFD RANR 2007-2007
Commodore Michael Smith AM RANR 2007–?
Commodore Geoff Geraghty AM RANR ? – 1 February 2014
Director General Australian Navy Cadets and Reserves
Commodore Geoff Geraghty AM RANR 2 February 2014 – 30 November 2014
Commodore Bruce Kafer AM, CSC RANR 1 December 2014 – 9 March 2017
Commodore Mark Hill CSC RAN 10 March 2017 – May 2019
Commodore David Greaves RAN May 2019 – Present


The uniforms of the Australian Navy Cadets are based on that of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), with only a few differences such as the shoulder flashes of the ANC reading "AUSTRALIAN NAVY CADETS" as opposed to the RAN's "AUSTRALIA" flashes. Also cadets can be awarded "Cuff Rates", worn on the right cuff of the black/white surge jacket (depending on which time of year, as to which version of the uniform).

There are 3 tiers to each, and when wearing DPNU/MMPU each cadet (CDT SMN or above) is issued a black brassard to wear with Velcro to attach their unit patch as well as the Elective Patch of the highest rating for each Elective they participate in. The teers are Bronze, Sliver, and Gold. On ceremonial uniform, if you have reached any level of an elective, you wear a Cuff Rate by the same design standards as the old Cuff Rates (no change of embroidery with varying levels).

For various reasons, the uniforms of Senior Sailors (Cadet Petty Officer and Cadet Chief Petty Officer) are not similar to that of the RAN. Instead conforming to the Junior Sailor's uniform prescribed above. This needed the design of a new rank badge for CDT CPO, who would wear a pin on their collar on the RAN uniform.

CDTWO, however, are issued a version of Senior Sailor uniform, more similar to that of the RAN.

Award Staff Cadet Years Service Notes
Personal Efficiency Badge All Ranks All Ranks (except RCT) completion of set qualification criteria
personal readiness with 12 month renewal
Staff (Silver Badges with Gold Wheel)
Cadet (Silver Badge with Silver Wheel)
ACT Completion Certificate N/A All Ranks eligible Completion of an ACT specialisation Differs per flotilla
Long Service & Good Conduct Stripe N/A All Ranks (except WO & MIDN) Staff
(1 for every 4 years of Service)
(1 for 4 years service as a cadet)
(1 for every 4 years service in the RAN or RANR)
(maximum of 3 stripes)
(1 stripe for every year of service)
(maximum of 3 stripes)
5 Year Service Certificate All Ranks N/A completion of 5 years service
10 Year Service Certificate All Ranks N/A completion of 10 years service
Australian Cadet Forces Service Medal All Ranks N/A For 15 Years Long Service A bar is awarded for every five years thereafter.
National Commander ANC Commendation All Ranks N/A for meritorious service In Gold, Silver and Bronze.
Director General ANC Commendation All Ranks N/A for extraordinary meritorious service In Gold, Silver and Bronze.
Conspicuous Service Medal (CSM) All Ranks N/A The medal recognises commendable achievement or commitment to duty in a non-combative context. It is awarded to members of the Australian Defence Force and certain other people for example, Defence Force chaplains.
Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC) All Ranks N/A The cross recognises exceptional dedication to duty or outstanding achievement in skills or judgement in a non-combative context. It is awarded to members of the Australian Defence Force and certain other people such as members of philanthropic organisations.

Activities and Training

Australian Navy Cadets marching during Remembrance Day ceremony Kings Park, Western Australia, 11 November 2012.

Courses and Skills

Cadets learn teamwork and leadership skills, and put these into practice at regular weekly parades. Cadets also have the opportunity to attend training camps for the purpose of promotion in rank, standard training, or to gain additional qualifications.

TS Hobart, a dedicated band unit, also offers musical activities as well as the normal cadet curriculum.

ANC and RAN Twinning Program

All ANC units can participate in sea rides on Royal Australian Navy ships, an initiative to provide a link between ANC units and RAN ships.[6]

In January 2019, 30 cadets from NSW experienced a sea ride aboard the MV Sycamore for 6 days, in which they became familiar with life on board. They experienced the different sections of the ship, from getting hands-on doing scullery in the galley to coiling lines with the bosuns to visiting engineering and getting a tour of the engine room . They all experienced standing 1-2 two hour watches per day, with each cadet having the opportunity to do lookout duty and take the helm of the vessel, learning hands-on how to control a ship.

International Exchanges

As the ANC is part of the International Sea Cadet Association, the opportunity is present for members to go on exchange programs with overseas cadet groups.

ANC and Young Endeavour Youth Scheme

The ANC/Young Endeavour Voyage Scheme is a sailing program for Australian Navy Cadets aged 16 and over, focused on building leadership, teamwork and communication skills through sail training. This scheme is being sponsored by the RAN and extends to 24 Australian Navy Cadets and three ANC staff members the chance to participate in two dedicated voyages on STS Young Endeavour. Sponsorship covers all voyage fees, airfares and accommodation. Nominations are sought from cadets over the age of 16 years and placement is offered to the top 24 cadets who can demonstrate outstanding personal and leadership qualities and who have made a valuable contribution to their local community during the past 12 months.

Over the course of the voyage, 24 Navy Cadets and three ANC staff members learn aspects of sailing a 44-metre, square rigged tall ship on the open sea including climbing the two 30 metre masts, setting sails, navigating, keeping watch, taking the helm and helping in the galley. ANC crew are trained by a professional Royal Australian Navy crew who are there to ensure the highest standards of safety and care.

The YEYS staff lead and run the Ship's usual training, games/sport and activity programs, with all ANC staff and cadets coming under the direction and supervision of the Ship's crew. This is not a military program. ANC staff do not have a leadership role while embarked in STS Young Endeavour and fully participate in the ship's youth development program on an equal footing with the cadets whom they would usually lead. The focus of the voyage is on self-development, the atmosphere is informal and all ship's company and youth crew are addressed on a first name basis.


When Cadets complete their basic training, and reach the required rank, they have the opportunity to go and do a specialisation course. Having a specialisation is not necessary to get promoted, but some flotillas will require Able Seamen to do a Leadership And Management course before they can be promoted. Cadets are allowed to have more than one specialisation or category but each cadet will have a primary specialisation. Specialist courses are run on ACTs (as well as GT) which usually happens twice a year, once in the summer and once in the winter. The awarding of categories mirrors that of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) even though sailors in the RAN can only gain one rate at any one time. The specialisations are available to cadets from any rank.

In the new CYDC, the old system of Category Ratings has been abolished and a new one instated.[when?] This requires each cadet to have completed Category training in either Maritime Operations (MO) , Maritime Engineering (ME), or Maritime Support (MS). These abbreviations are added onto a title in the same way as the RAN. Therefore, a Seaman Bosun's Mate (RAN) would become a SMNBM, a Cadet Seaman doing the Maritime Operations Category would be a CDT SMNMO).[citation needed]

Category Category Badge (Right Arm Rate)
Maritime Operations (MO)
Maritime Operations Category Badge for the ANC.
Maritime Engineering (ME)
Maritime Engineering Category Badge for the ANC.
Maritime Support (MS)
Maritime Support Category Badge for the ANC.

Former category specialisations:

  • Seamanship Development Course (SMNS)
  • Marine Technician (MT)
  • Ceremonial and weapons safety (CWS)
  • Cook (CK)
  • Communications (COM)
  • Musician (MUSN)
  • Stores (STR)
  • Hydrographic Surveyor (HS)
  • Writer (WTR)
  • Physical Training Instructor (PTI)
  • Cadet Safety Representative (CSR)
  • Naval Airman (NA)

Cuff Rates: In the new CYDC (Cadet Youth Development Continuum) the old system of awarding Cuff Rates has been abolished for a new system consisting of Electives and Categories.[citation needed] The CYDC Electives are comparable to Cuff Rates, there are 10 possible electives:

Category Cuff Rate Badge
Maritime Operations Powerboating
Powerboating Cuff Rate for the ANC.
Sailing Cuff Rate for the ANC.
Skill at Arms
Skill at Arms Cuff Rate for the ANC.
Maritime Engineering STEM - Bridge Operations
STEM - Bridge Operations Cuff Rate
STEM - Drone Flying
STEM - Drone Flying
STEM - Robotics
STEM - Robotics Cuff Rate for the ANC.
Maritime Support Cooking
Cooking Cuff Rate for the ANC.
First Aid
First Aid Cuff Rate for the ANC.
Musician Cuff Rate for the ANC.
Physical Fitness and Wellbeing
Physical Fitness and Wellbeing Cuff Rate for the ANC.

Former Cuff rate include:

  • Sailing
  • Power boating
  • Canoeing
  • Pulling
  • Sailboarding
  • Drum Corp
  • Bugle Corp
  • Duke of Edinburgh Award
  • Adventurous Training
  • Diving
  • Weapons Safety
  • Marksmanship
  • Parachutist
  • First Aid
  • Solo Flight

the Adventurous Training Award is run by the Australian Army Cadets and is worn above the readiness badge.

Weekend Postings

Cadets also have the opportunity to attend Weekend Postings (WEP's), which occur over a period of Friday night to Sunday afternoon. WEP's are opportunities to get extra time to get activities done, and can be useful to run shortened versions of some ACT courses, some of which require to be conducted over two or more WEP's. However, they are most frequently used as opportunities to get on the water in the ANC's watercraft, and can take the form of sailing, powerboating, paddleboarding/canoeing/kayaking.

WEP's are normally conducted with multiple units, with one unit hosting and the others travelling to that unit. Usually, one senior cadet from the host unit is chosen to be the Whole Ships Coordinator (WSC) and they will coordinate the staff and cadets of other units, and are often involved in the planning and preparation stages of the WEP. However, a senior cadet from another unit may sometimes be the WSC, normally if the host unit is lacking senior cadets.

Naval Ship Visits

Cadets are sometimes given a chance to visit Australian or other friendly naval vessels depending on location of the unit and where the ship is stationed or moored.[1] Whilst on board, cadets will learn about the systems and operation of the vessel.[3]


Australian Navy Cadet Leading Seaman and a Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Petty Officer First Class during an international training activity

Navy Cadets are not members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) or the Navy. Therefore, there is no required to complete military service of any kind. The Australian Navy Cadets is administered, sponsored and supported by the Navy but it is not a part of the Navy.


The age period of membership as a cadet is 1 January in the year you turn 12, to 31 December in the year the cadet turns eighteen.[citation needed] There is no specific recruitment time, applicants are encouraged to join at any time.

At most Training Ships, a trial period of four weeks is employed. During this trial period, a cadet (not on the ADFC intranet - Cadetnet) is either not issued uniforms, or issued old working rig. They are free to leave at any point of the day but cannot participate in trans-unit activities such as WEP's or ACT's. At the end of this period they are officially appointed as cadets and are issued their correct uniforms.


Navy Cadet Instructors are volunteers and are drawn from our local communities. Unlike other youth development organisations, the ANC provides some compensation for Officers of Cadets (OOC) via a claimable (taxable) Cadet Volunteer Payment (CVP). Navy Cadet Instructors involved in the organisation come from a variety of backgrounds and professions including:

  • Teachers
  • Members of community organisations
  • Ex-cadets
  • Parents and community members
  • Ex-servicemen and women
  • Occupational health and safety consultants
  • Specialist personnel such as HR, change or occupational health and safety managers, administrators or finance officers
  • People who provide support on a continuing or as required basis[7]

The current National Command Authority are;

  • Commodore David Greaves, RAN – Director General ANC
  • Captain Peter Alderson, ANC – National Commander
  • Commander Raelene Stephensen, ANC – Director Flotillas
  • Commander Richard Morgan, ANC – Director Business
  • Commander Chris Bastian, ANC – Director Learning and Development
  • Commander Zara Ali, ANC – Director Professional Standards
  • Commander Lisa Foley, ANC – Director Safety, Environment & Wellbeing
  • Commander Christopher Holcroft, ANC – Director Communications & Media

See also


  1. ^ a b History – Australian Navy Cadets (ANC Official Website) [1].
  2. ^ Navy League of Australia – History of the ANC
  3. ^ a b Official ANC Website Australian Navy Cadets – ANC. Retrieved 8 March 2008. Archived 23 October 2004 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Australian Defence Force Cadet Ranks".
  5. ^ "Our Identity". Retrieved 7 November 2020.
  6. ^ "Navy and cadets to bond through twinning initiative" (PDF). Sea Talk. Royal Australian Navy. Summer 2006. p. 29. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 March 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2008.
  7. ^ Australian Navy Cadets – Staff FAQs [2]. Retrieved 8 March 2008.


  • ANP 3700 – Policy and Operating Instructions for the Australian Navy Cadets
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Australian Navy Cadets
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