Cadet Forces Medal

Instituted on February 1st, 1950 the Cadet Forces Medal was awarded to uniformed volunteers to recognise long and efficient service by Commissioned Officers and non-commissioned adult instructors of the UK Cadet Forces: The Army Cadet Force, the Air Training Corps, the Sea Cadet Corps and Combined Cadet Force, and Commissioned Officers of the New Zealand Cadet Forces.

To be awarded the Cadet Forces Medal service may reckon from 3rd September, 1926, with service between 3rd September, 1939 and 2nd September, 1945 counting two-fold. Until 30th June 1971, officers and non-commissioned officer only were awarded the medal, the qualification for which was twelve years’ continuous service. From the 1st July 1971, cadet service over the age of 18 years of age could reckon for the medal.


Materials:   The majority of the British medals and clasps are made of solid silver, though some were issue in bronze versions, mainly to Indian non-combatants.  The majority of the British campaign awards are circular, usually 36mm in diameter.

Ribbons:    Medals are worn suspended from their own specific ribbons. These were first made of silk but cotton was increasingly used as the nineteenth century developed.  Their own colours often have a symbolic significance: the equal stripes of the ‘1939 to 1945 Star,’ for example, are dark blue to represent the service of the Royal and Merchant Navies, red, to represent that of the Armies and light blue to represent that of Air Forces.

Ribbon width can vary slightly though it is generally 32mm wide.

Ribbon – A broad central green band flanked by thin red stripes, then by a dark blue stripe (left) and light blue stripe (right) with yellow edges. (The ribbon shall be worn with the dark blue stripe further from the left shoulder than the stripe of light blue)

Cadet Forces Medal ribbon
Cadet Forces Medal ribbon

Suspender - Straight

Type – Long Service Medal

Eligibility – Commissioned Officers and non-commissioned adult instructors of the UK Cadet Forces, and Commissioned Officers of the Australian (prior to 1974) and New Zealand Cadet Forces.

Awarded for – 12 years’ service

Established – 1950

Naming – Named to the recipient with impressed capitals on the medal rim

Bars / Clasps – Clasp awarded for 8 years additional service in New Zealand or 6 additional years in the United Kingdom. (Prior to 1991, 8 years additional service was required)

Description – Silver medal, 36mm diameter. The medal obverse shows the Crowned Effigy of the Sovereign and on the reverse can be seen a hand holding aloft the touch of learning and the inscription around the circumference ‘The Cadet Forces Medal’


This guide will help you through all the parts and descriptions of military medals



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