Hailing from Eugene, OR, Cadet was led by vocalist and guitarist Ryan Smith, also responsible for most of the band's songwriting, along with Chad Basom (drums) and Jason Kennedy (bass). Shortly after their formation at the end of the '90s, Cadet started playing its first live shows, eventually enjoying an always-exhilarating response from its audiences. The trio then decided to record its first demo tape with the help of producer Chris Stevens. In November 2000, Cadet signed a recording contract with BEC Recordings, and shortly afterward traveled to Vancouver to record a debut album. During the following months, the band worked in the studio with producer Neill King, whose previous credits included artists like Elvis Costello and Green Day. Before their self-titled debut album was released, they went back to Eugene to record yet another full-length, again with producer Stevens. Months after, guitarist Matt Lenhart joined the band, therefore defining Cadet as a quartet. Any Given Day: Earth to Heaven and Cadet, the two full-length albums recorded by the group, hit record stores in 2001; meanwhile, Cadet completed its first extensive touring season.
Their subsequent studio album, The Observatory, was released in 2002. They disbanded as a group in 2004.