The aim of the Australian Defence Force Cadets is to provide opportunities for all young Australians to obtain comprehensive personal challenges, growth, enhanced self-esteem, self-discipline and adventurous enjoyment in a military setting.
Churchie’s Army Cadet Unit has its basis in the 5th Battalion Australian Military Forces. In 1919 students from the School, as senior cadets, formed 16 Platoon, D Company of the Battalion. By 1921 the number of boys had increased to the extent that they comprised the whole company made up of both junior and senior cadets (a total of 109 cadets).
One hundred and nineteen names are displayed on the School’s Honour Roll, showing the young men of Churchie who laid down their lives in defence of their country. Anzac Day is very much a part of this School’s history and tradition. On 25 April each year, The Flat, terraces and surrounding areas are overflowing with Churchie families, friends, Old Boys and members of the Brisbane community to commemorate this day.
With the suspension of the compulsory cadet training clauses of the Defence Act in November 1929, Canon Morris, the Headmaster, announced, 'it may be taken for granted that the school will establish a Cadet Corps. The good resulting from the discipline and exercise of an efficient Cadet Corps is too obvious to require argument.' Thus the unit became the Church of England Grammar School Cadet Corps.
The unit has paraded continuously from that time, despite another disruption in 1975 when the government disbanded the Cadet Corps to have it re-established in October 1976 upon a change in government. Under this new scheme, the School elected to have the unit remain school-based rather than become part of a community-based unit, thus becoming a Limited Support Unit. In the latter part of 1998, the School became a fully supported unit.
Home training is conducted one afternoon a week during the school year. This involves practically orientated lessons, delivered by the older cadets, to equip each member of the unit with the skills required to perform as a member of the particular element of the unit to which he belongs.
Each year, cadets attend an annual camp (of one-week duration at the end of Term 3) and up to three weekend camps, better known as bivouacs. In addition to these activities, every effort is made to arrange visits to various regular and Army Reserve units as well as the opportunity to partake in other training facilities at Enoggera including the obstacle course, Weapons Training Simulation System (WTSS), night vision training facility and others.