Cadet Kelly

Last Updated on: June 26th, 2024

Cadet Kelly (Disney Channel Original Movie)

“Cadet Kelly” is a Disney Channel Original Movie (DCOM) that premiered in 2002. The film stars Hilary Duff as Kelly Collins, a fashionable and outgoing teenager who loves art and is used to living life on her own terms. However, her world is turned upside down when her mother, a single parent, decides to marry a retired Army officer named Joe Maxwell, portrayed by Gary Cole.

As part of the marriage, Kelly is forced to move to a military school called George Washington Military Academy, where her new stepfather is the commandant. Kelly struggles to adjust to the strict rules and discipline of the military academy, and she clashes with the school’s principal, Captain Stone, played by Christy Carlson Romano.

In an attempt to find her place and fit in, Kelly joins the school’s drill team, which is led by Captain Stone’s daughter, Jennifer, played by Aimee Garcia. Kelly’s free-spirited personality and artistic background clash with the rigid military culture of the academy, causing conflicts with her fellow cadets and the drill team members.

As the story progresses, Kelly learns the importance of teamwork, responsibility, and discipline. With the help of her new friends and her stepfather’s guidance, she starts to embrace the military lifestyle and becomes determined to prove herself. With her creativity and leadership skills, Kelly transforms the traditional drill team routine into an innovative and artistic performance, earning her respect and acceptance from her peers.

“Cadet Kelly” delivers a heartwarming message about embracing change, adapting to new environments, and the importance of family and friendships. Hilary Duff’s charismatic performance and the movie’s themes of self-discovery and personal growth resonated with viewers, making it a popular and well-received DCOM.

The film’s positive portrayal of strong female characters and its celebration of individuality while fostering teamwork contributed to its success. “Cadet Kelly” remains a beloved Disney Channel classic, and Hilary Duff’s portrayal of Kelly Collins has become an iconic character among Disney fans.

Fun Facts

  • One interesting fact is that “Cadet Kelly” was a commercial success, becoming one of the most-watched DCOMs at the time of its release.

Additional Details


  • Hilary Duff: Kelly Joselyn Collins
  • Christy Carlson Romano: Cadet Captain Jennifer Oriana “Jenny” Stone
  • Gary Cole: General Joe “Sir” Maxwell
  • Andrea Lewis: Carla
  • Shawn Ashmore: Cadet Major Brad Rigby
  • Aimee Garcia: Gloria Ramos
  • Sarah Gadon: Amanda
  • Linda Kash: Samantha
  • Nigel Hamer: Adam
  • Avery Saltzman: Kevin
  • Joe Matheson: General Archer
  • Beverlee Buzon: Grace
  • Dalene Irvine: Marla
  • Desmond Campbell: Lt. Col. Ross
  • Tim Post: Col. Mikkelson
  • Christopher Tai: Sr. Cadet officer
  • Josh Wittig: Cadet bugler
  • Edie Inksetter: Math teacher
  • Stewart Arnott: Captain Lawrence
  • Lt. William T. Bates Military Advisor
  • Martin Roach: Drill instructor


  • Director: Larry Shaw
  • Producer: Kevin Lafferty

Movie Trailer:

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About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other site isDMR.