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A cadet may mean a future officer in the military, a junior branch of an important family, or simply a person who is in JROTC or trainee.

Etymology Edit

The word is recorded in English since 1610, originally for a young son, identical to the French, which is itself derived from Gascon (French Basque dialect of Gascony in southwest France) capdet "captain, chief," in turn from the Late Latin capitellum, the diminitutive of Latin caput "head" (hence also chief). Younger sons from Gascon families apparently were commonly sent to the French court to serve as officers; as a rule non-heirs from the European nobility sought careers in the military or the clergy.

Genealogical usage Edit

In the United States, cadet refers to an officer in training. Students at the United States Military Academy, the United States Air Force Academy, the United States Coast Guard Academy, the Maine Maritime Academy, the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, the State University of New York Maritime College, and members of the Air Force and Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps officially rank as "Cadet" while holding varying cadet ranks in their individual organizations.

The United States also has several youth cadet organizations. The Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps is a youth citizenship program with units administered by either the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard in American high schools. One of the primary functions of the Civil Air Patrol is to administer a similar cadet program training in elements of leadership, aerospace studies, and search and rescue. There are other programs including the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps and the Young Marines. The oldest cadet program in the United States is the American Cadet Alliance which was created in 1909. For those who choose to enter a formal program to become an officer, cadet is the rank bestowed on those in the United States Air Force Academy, West Point, the Coast Guard Academy, and ROTC JROTC. Members of these programs will be commissioned in the military, with a term of commitment afterwards.

Civilian context Edit

In the United States, cadet refers to an officer in training for the police, firefighter and EMT services. Some police and sheriff's departments employ cadets as non-sworn law enforcement officers, either before or after entering a training academy. An example is the NYC police cadet corps.


Other usage Edit

Some sports teams also refer to players that are in the process of being built up to play for the team at a later date as cadets. Such players often play for a lesser team in the same club. This is done quite commonly in the National Rugby League (NRL). The Serie B, the second most important football league in Italy, is nicknamed campionato cadetto, meaning championship of the cadets.

Cadet is also used in short track auto racing for the name of a category of cars. This division is usually a intermediate division that allows drivers to gain experience for faster classes in the future. This name has been used at race tracks in the Western PA/WV/Southwestern NY area and the GA/AL/SC area.

In Australia, the term is also used to describe a person pursuing a career as a Chartered Accountant under the "Cadetship" program, designed to accelerate career progression for motivated students. The programs are offered to students finishing high school or currently undertaking tertiary studies in relevant courses by several Accounting firms such as the Big 4 accountancy firms (Deloitte, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young), and mid-tier firms such as Binder, Dijker, Otte & Co and Grant Thornton.

To refer to someone as a space cadet is to imply that they are "on another planet," i.e. foolish or unaware of their surroundings, for example, "That guy is a total space cadet." The phrase was inspired by science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein's juvenile novel Space Cadet.

"Cadet" may also refer to a member of The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps, based in Allentown, Pennsylvania. In The Bahamas, it is not uncommon to refer to upper primary or high school students job shadowing various professionals as cadets. E.g. teacher cadet, library cadet, police cadet, nurse cadet and technical cadets.

In The Bahamas, it is not uncommon to refer to upper primary or high school students job shadowing various professionals as cadets. E.g. teacher cadet, library cadet, police cadet, nurse cadet and technical cadets.

See also Edit

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