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1986 recruitment poster.

This section covers the uniforms and equipment of the ACF during the 1980's.  Issued with Cadet sized clothing similar to the Regulars the Cadets were an important introduction for many to the Armed Forces.  The Cadets were trained to the same standards as the Regular Infantry and were also trained in the use of the .303 Rifle, and in some cases the .303 Bren Machine gun. Later the Cadets were allowed to use the 7.62mm L1A1 SLR and a Cadet version of the L85A1 was also introduced.


 Ellesmere Port Cadet detachment early 1980's. 
 By kind permission © C.Lee-Buechel 2013 

The Cadets were issued with the same basic clothing as the Regulars that consisted of Olive Lightweight trousers, KF shirt, Heavy woollen jersey and DMS boots with puttees.  Instead of a DPM jacket they were issued with an Olive Anorak.  Some Cadet units started being issued DPM clothing sometime in the late 1970's but it was common to see both sets of clothing worn side by side.

Clothing issued to the cadets were of the same quality and pattern as the Regulars were issued but were normally in smaller sizes and in some cases the label would state 'Cadet Forces'.  There was only three types of dress code for the cadets;  Shirt Sleeve Order,  Jersey Order and Anorak order.  The Anorak order was eventually replaced by the  Jacket order with the introduction of the DPM smock and Trousers which are labeled as Cadet. Along with new uniforms came the new high leg boots.

 Jersey Order 
 Anorak Order 
 Anorak Label 


 Remembrance day parade with Ellesmere port detachment.
 By kind permission © C.Lee-Buechel 2013 

Web Equipment

The basic web equipment used by the cadets in the early 1980's was the 1937 Pattern webbing as used during the Second World War.  Towards the end of the 1980's, as the 1958 pattern webbing was replaced in the Regular army by the PLCE webbing, the '58 pattern filtered down to the Cadet units. But long before the '58 webbing was issued, some cadets managed to acquire the new webbing for them self by private means and it was common to see cadets wearing '58 webbing along side the '37 pattern webbing.


Above: 1937 pattern WE, consisting of Belt, 2 Ammo pouches, water bottle, Shoulder straps and a small pack. The green item under the small pack straps is the Anorak.


The cadets were trained in the use of variety of weapons form the .22 Air rifle to the .303 Bren (LMG) Machine Gun.  Later by the end of the 1980's, the cadets would be trained in the use of the L1A1 SLR and a Cadet version of the L85A1 known as the L98 which was of a straight pull design, and eventually even the L86 LSW would also become available.

Weapons of the Cadet Force 1982


  • No.8 (.22 inch) Rifle


N0.4 (.303 inch) Rifle

Light Machine Gun (BREN)


 Cadets on the ranges using the L98 at Berwick in 1989. 
 By kind permission © P.Scally 2013. 


 Again late 1980's but this time Cadets firing the L1A1 on the ranges .
 By kind permission © G.Avery 2013. 

Canadian Army Cadets

Whilst looking around for info on the Army cadets of the 1980's I found this nice web site about Canadian Army Cadets, It's worth a look as the Canadians obviously gave their cadets better experience in the field.

Canadian Army Cadets Exchange

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