Australian Navy Cadets

The Australian Navy Cadets (ANC) is a voluntary youth organisation owned and sponsored by the Royal Australian Navy. Together with the Australian Air Force Cadets and Australian Army Cadets, it forms the Australian Defence Force Cadets. It hosts over 91 units.

Australian Navy Cadets
Australian Navy Cadet Crest
Active1907 – present
Country Australia
AllegianceHM Queen Elizabeth II
TypeVolunteer Youth Organisation
Size92 Units, 2,200 Cadets
Part ofAustralian Defence Force Cadets
HeadquartersDirectorate ANC, Russell Offices, Canberra
Motto(s)Integrity and Endeavour
MarchRoyal Australian Navy
Anniversaries1 July
Vessels OperatedCorsair, Envy, Various Powerboats, RHIB, Scruffy, Bosun's mate, Hobi Catamaran
Director General ANCCommodore David Greaves
National Commander ANCCaptain Kerry Rayner
Director of Flotilla'sLong term vacant
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 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
King George VI19421952
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh19521992
Prince Andrew, Duke of York1992Present

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)


ANC training is nautical in nature and includes waterborne activities, which can include navigation, communications, first aid, drill, maritime history, firearms proficiency, and adventurous training.[3] The ANC also aims to achieve the following with its training program:

  • develop an interest in the Navy and its tradition;
  • encourage cadets to continue military or community service;
  • give cadets a foundation of military knowledge and discipline;
  • provide the foundations of life skills;
  • promote teamwork and critical-thinking;
  • develop the qualities of leadership, self-discipline, self-reliance, and initiative; and
  • provide training that may later assist in achieving competencies required during Navy induction training.


The 91 Training Ships (units) across Australia have a total membership around 400 staff and 2,200 cadets,[4] including several that have been formed in high schools. However, 2012 reporting suggested membership has fallen drastically to about 1,600. 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 to cadet midshipman. 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. Training camps and examinations are held for promotion in rank. The structure and organisation of the ANC is based on that of the Royal Australian Navy, but additionally features a large community-involvement component.

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

Officer of Cadets (OOC) Ranks
Rank Sub Lieutenant ANC Lieutenant ANC Lieutenant Commander ANC Commander ANC Captain ANC
Instructor of Cadets (IOC) Ranks
Rank Provisional Instructor ANC Able Seaman ANC
(Inactive rank)
Leading Seaman ANC
(Inactive rank)
Petty Officer ANC Chief Petty Officer ANC Warrant Officer ANC
(Inactive rank)

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

Cadet Ranks

Ranks and Insignia of the Australian Naval Cadets
CDT 9 (Special Grade) CDT 8 CDT 7 CDT 6 CDT 5 CDT 4 CDT 3 CDT 2 CDT 1 CDT (R)

No Insignia

No Equivalent
Midshipman ANC Cadet Warrant Officer Cadet Chief Petty Officer Cadet Petty Officer Cadet Leading Seaman
No Equivalent
Cadet Able Seaman Cadet Seaman Cadet Recruit

Example of Use; CDTPO Joe Bloggs


  • Unit Support Volunteer – USV

Example of Use; USV Joe Bloggs

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.

Director NRC
CaptainDavid MartinRAN1973–1974
CommanderAllan VidlerNRC
CommanderChristine ReinksNRC
National Commander ANC
CaptainGavin ReevesANC2000 – 25 February 2007
CommanderJohn GossAMRANR25 February 2007 – 13 August 2008 (Acting)
CaptainEliot FisherESMANC13 August 2008 – 13 August 2011
CaptainJohn GillANC13 August 2011 – 30 June 2014
CaptainEliot FisherESM, OAMANC13 August 2014 – 1 January 2017
CaptainKerry RaynerOAMANC1 January 2017

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.

Director General ANC
CommodoreNigel CoatesAMRAN2005–2007
CommodoreKarel de LaatCSC, RFDRANR2007-2007
CommodoreMichael SmithAMRANR2007–?
CommodoreGeoff GeraghtyAMRANR? – 1 February 2014
Director General Australian Navy Cadets and Reserves
CommodoreGeoff GeraghtyAMRANR2 February 2014 – 30 November 2014
CommodoreBruce KaferAM, CSCRANR1 December 2014 – 9 March 2017
CommodoreMark HillCSCRANR10 March 2017 – May 2019
CommodoreDavid GreavesRANRMay 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.

AwardStaffCadetYears ServiceNotes
Personal Efficiency BadgeAll RanksAll 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)
Long Service & Good Conduct StripePOANCAll 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 CertificateAll RanksN/Acompletion of 5 years service
10 Year Service CertificateAll RanksN/Acompletion of 10 years service
Australian Cadet Forces Service MedalAll RanksN/AFor 15 Years Long ServiceA bar is awarded for every five years thereafter.
National Commander ANC CommendationAll RanksN/Afor meritorious serviceIn Gold, Silver and Bronze.
Director General ANC CommendationAll RanksN/Afor extraordinary meritorious serviceIn Gold, Silver and Bronze.
Conspicuous Service Medal (CSM)All RanksN/AThe 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 RanksN/AThe 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

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.[5]

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 flotilla's 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 happen once a year. 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.

The specialisations available in the Australian Navy Cadets are:

  • Seamanship Development Course (SMNS)
  • Marine Technician (MT)
  • Ceremonial and weapons safety (CWS)
  • Cook (CK)
  • Communications (COM)
  • Musician (MUSN)
  • Stores (STR)
  • Hydrographic Surveyor (HS)

Promotional Specialisations:

  • Leadership and Management (L&M, required to become a Leading Seaman)
  • Seamanship Development Course (not required to become a Seaman)
  • General Training Instructor/Petty Officer Qualifications (PO Quals, required to become a Petty Officer)
  • Whole Ships Coordinator/Chief Petty Officer Qualifications (Chief Quals, required to become a Chief Petty Officer)

Former specialisations:

  • Physical Training Instructor (PTI)
  • Cadet Safety Representative (CSR)
  • Naval Airman (NA)
  • Writer (WTR)

Cadets can also attend an advanced course on most of the above specialisations.

Cuff Rates:

CSA (Cadet Special Award) are completed at cadets, camps and ACT (Annual Continuous Training). Cuff rates is a badge you get after completing the course and it is worn on ceremonial uniforms, with a maximum of three to be worn. 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, paddbleboarding/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.


All cadets and staff in the ANC are workers of the ADF (Australian Defence Force) in accordance to the workplace health and safety act classifying them as workers but are not required to undertake military service.[6]


The age period of membership as a cadet is twelve and a half, turning thirteen on the year of entry, to the day before turning eighteen. After turning eighteen years of age, it is no longer possible to be a member of the ANC as a cadet.[7] There is no specific recruitment time.

At many units, however, a trial period of four weeks is employed. During this trial period, a cadet 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.


All cadet units are staffed by paid officers and instructors (on a training allowance scheme), although some units may also have volunteer instructors. Adult staff 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[8]

Some Cadet Staff are appointed for their professional expertise in instruction or administration. Cadets may apply to become Staff after 1 year after aging out.

The current National Command Authority are;

  • Commodore David Greaves, RANR – Director General ANCR
  • Captain Kerry Rayner, OAM, ANC – National Commander
  • Commander -vacant, ANC – Director of Flotillas[9]
  • Commander Lisa Foley, ANC – Director Training
  • Commander Martin Blume, ANC -Deputy Director Information Systems[10]
  • Commander Jared O'Connor, ANC – Director People and Culture.[11]

See also


  1. History – Australian Navy Cadets (ANC Official Website) .
  2. Navy League of Australia – History of the ANC
  3. ABR5128 (AL2) Chapter 16
  4. Official ANC Website Australian Navy Cadets – ANC. Retrieved 8 March 2008. Archived 23 October 2004 at the Wayback Machine
  5. "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 2008-08-21.
  6. ABR5128 (AL2) – Chapter 7
  7. How to Join – Australian Navy Cadets How to Join – Australian Navy Cadets. Retrieved 27 October 2008. Archived 16 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  8. Australian Navy Cadets – Staff FAQs . Retrieved 8 March 2008.
  9. ANC today Mar.2019
  10. ANC Today Mar.2019
  11. ANC Today Mar.2019


  • ABR 5128 (AL2) — Policy and Operating Instructions Manual for the Australian Navy Cadets
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