Leslie's Guiding History Site


Cadet/Young Leader Uniform

Cadet/Young Leader Uniform

Cadets started in 1916, and other than for a short break between 1968 and 1973, have continued to this day.  However, they experienced a wandering status - sometimes considered to be a branch alongside Rangers, sometimes considered to be a branch alongside the Guiders.  As such, their uniform has varied between being a Ranger uniform with white details, and being a Guider uniform with white details.  I will try to pinpoint which applied when!

After Guiding started, it was realised that there was a gap to fill, the transition from being a Guide to being a Guider.  What was needed was a scheme to train 'Guide Officers' as they were known, and the answer was found by turning again to army practice - and the army's Officer Cadets.

So it was in 1916 that Guiding started the Cadet section.  They wore the same uniform as the Guides, except for having a white hatband and tie, to distinguish them, just as the army cadets wore white details on their uniform to distinguish them from qualified officers.  

In October 1927 it was decided to merge Cadets into the Ranger branch, and have them pass the Ranger Tenderfoot Test.  Ranger units who wished could opt to become Cadet Ranger Companies, or Sea Ranger Crews.  Cadet Ranger Test and Sea Ranger Test introduced, also Ranger Star, Cadet Star and Sea Service Star.
August 1942 - "Cadet Berets.  Cadets may wear berets of Headquarters blue, with the Cadet metal badge."
June 1959 - "In answer to a general demand an alternative to the battledress blouse and skirt for Guiders, Rangers and Cadets has been designed and will be on sale from 1st July . . . This uniform will also be an alternative to the coat and skirt for Commissioners."

In 1968, the Cadet section had been merged into the Ranger Guide Service Section, and so whether interested in leadership or not, all Guiding members in the age group had to join Rangers, and follow a general programme.  But it appears this didn't prove satisfactory, as in 1973 the Young Leader section was created, continuing the Cadet legacy.  They wore the same aqua blouses, navy skirts and aqua-piped navy air hostess hats as Rangers, but had a Promise Badge with white enamel rather than aqua, an echo of the Cadets' white distinguishing colour.  

This uniform continued in use until 1990.

July 1990 - "All the main items in the new uniform ranges for the girls' sections should be available on September 1st."  "There had been some difficulties in obtaining the waterproof jackets and some of the adult range but these should be ready by November 1."

A mix-and-match range was introduced for Senior Section, but as some of the garments were marked 'Rangers', the options available to Young Leaders were the shirt, polo shirt, t-shirt or sweatshirt, with the trousers, jogging trousers, t-shirt or culottes, with baseball cap and badge tab - which was aqua with two vertical stripes.

February 1998 - "Blue jeans are official Guide wear.  Members of the Executive Committee agreed at their meeting in October that, from January 1, Guides and members of the Senior Section can wear jeans as part of their official uniform."


2019 Young Leader Uniform

Navy hoodie with light grey trim

Navy polo shirt with grey trim

Navy badge tab with grey horizontal stripe.

With skirt or trousers of own choice.