Confidence, business training and first aid are all part of the skills learnt by the 235 Australian Cadet Unit in Dubbo.
The unit is holding an open night on February 16 between 6pm and 8pm for potential new members.
Cadet Corporal Belle Lordan has been in the Australian Army Cadets for about two years.
“You get a lot of good experience for day-to-day life like public speaking,” she said.
“Everyone thinks it’s discipline, and in a way it is, but it’s also a lot of fun. The lessons include a lot of practical things, we don’t just sit in a classroom.”
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Cadet Rebecca Pengilley is full of praise for the army cadets. She joined three years ago after seeing how much her sister enjoyed the unit.
“It’s been a really good experience for me. I used to be really shy but it’s allowed me to be more confident,” she said.
“I really enjoy the types of things we do, like self-defence lessons.”
Cadet Noah Ferguson had a different reason for joining the cadets. Noah said the army was something that had fascinated him his whole life and after the cadets he wanted to join full-time.
For Cadet Under Officer Abby Martin, the cadets is helping her prepare for her career as a teacher.
As the program is run by cadets for cadets, Abby is responsible for planning the lessons for every Wednesday.
The lessons are all derived from a curriculum but cover a range of skills from first aid to using radios to one-on-one training with military weapons. Every week Abby said she tried to balance practical and theory, making the learning fun for the cadets.
The cadets also have camps as well as being involved with the proceedings on ANZAC and Remembrance Day.
Everyone thinks it’s discipline, and in a way it is, but it’s also a lot of fun.Belle Lordan
In the five years she has been involved, Abby has gone through the cadet ranks.
It was a great way to meet new people and make friends, she said.
The cadet program is based around four key values: courage, initiative, respect and teamwork.
To join the Australian army cadets you need to be in Year 8 or older and a permanent resident of Australia.
The open day will be held at the Dubbo barracks on Kokoda Place. It will include a tour of the facilities as well as practical fun like an obstacle course and lessons in camouflage.