The Australian Defence Force follows the same usage as the British military system, using the rank of officer cadet (for the Australian Army (OCDT) and the Royal Australian Air Force (OFFCDT)), for personnel undergoing initial officer training. Unlike midshipmen in the Royal Australian Navy and Officer Cadets in the Royal Australian Air Force Royal Australian Air Force who both hold a commission, officer cadets in the Australian Army do not yet hold a permanent commission, and are not saluted or referred to as "sir" or "ma'am". They do however hold probationary commissions. Officer cadets in the Australian Army are subordinate to warrant officers and officers and address them as "sir" or "ma'am". As officer cadets are appointed to their positions, they are technically superior to some other ranks, although they will typically not have direct subordinates.
Initial officer training can occur through either single-service institutions, such as the Royal Military College, Duntroon, Royal Australian Naval College, or the Officer Training School RAAF, or through the tri-service Australian Defence Force Academy. The ranks of officer cadet, staff cadet, and midshipman are primarily found at these establishments. However, RAAF officer trainees are often appointed to a higher rank while undergoing their initial training course at OTS if they have prior military experience, either as officer cadets prior to their initial officer course, or at airman rank. Officer cadets are also appointed to the Australian Army Reserve where training is conducted on a part-time basis at various University Regiments around the country.
Australian Army Reserve officer cadets must pass various training courses (conducted at different barracks around Australia) throughout their training with the final module completed at the Royal Military College, Duntroon before being commissioned.
At ADFA, upon completion of all academic training through the "UNSW@ADFA", military training and subsequent training at other military establishments, officer cadets from the RAAF are promoted to a higher junior officer rank, while those from the Australian Army spend another year at the Royal Military College, Duntroon before being commissioned.
Pilots, air traffic controllers and air combat officers joining the RAAF directly through the Officers' Training School (without going to ADFA) also start their career as an officer cadet. Once they have completed their employment training (2FTS, SATC and SAW respectively), they are promoted.
This will change however, as of May 2018, where all graduates from OTS will graduate with a minimum rank of PLTOFF. This will mean that the OFFCDT rank will be used only during initial military training.