Any person between the ages of 13 and 15 years may join the NZCF. The full consent of parents or guardians is required to apply, and while under the age of 18 parental consent is required for all training and exercises undertaken. A person younger than 13 may join if presently attending Year 9 at a New Zealand Secondary School.
Any person may join the Cadet Forces directly as a commissioned officer, provided they are above the age of 21. Personnel may serve as a cadet or NCO until the age of 18, at which time they must commit to serving as an Under Officer or Supplementary Instructor, or leave the unit. Cadet Force officers may serve to any age after receiving a commission.