Glen Innes cadets will form this year's Anzac day catafalque party.
The role is traditionally filled by the 12/16th Hunter river lancers, a reserve cavalry unit based in Armidale and Tamworth.
Sub-branch president Ken Michell said the unit is too stretched on the ground and faces manpower and equipment shortages. A spokesperson for the Department of Defence said a recent army restructure had shifted half the unit to Queensland, reducing their capacity locally.
The catafalque party is the group of usually half-a-dozen armed soldiers who stand-to at Anzac day ceremonies and at other official events. Mr Michell said the ceremony symbolises standing guard over a coffin or significant monument. They perform a formalised drill with specific prescribed movements that is quite tricky to do correctly.
Mr Michell said the change was more of a bonus than a hindrance, because it will give the local cadets an opportunity to perform the role.
"We've got the local army school cadets, they're going to do it, which I think is fantastic," he said.
"We won't have to call on the 12/16 Hunter river lancers unless the cadets are no more."
He hopes the cadet unit will be able to get access to disarmed Steyr assault rifles for use in ceremonies next year.
The RSL is preparing for the big day next week, with an expected crowd of 500 at the dawn service, and featuring a flyover by 76 squadron at the daytime service.
Mr Michell has visited several schools over the period, giving talks to explain the meaning of ANZAC day to kids as young as preschool age.
"These people died for their freedom and that means that in Australia here we have our freedom because of this. We are able to go to work, earn money, buy things, own possessions; homes cars, bikes toys. But in some countries they can't have that." he told them.
Mishka Dowling, centre manager at Aussie kindies said the kids were very interested in the subject.
Mr Michelle helped the students make ANZAC biscuits.
"They're really easy to make - you just mix it all up and roll it out!" said Ms Dowling,