Q: What is the purpose of Cadets?
A: Cadets form a national organization whose purpose is to develop in youth the attributes of leadership, engaged and active citizenship and physical fitness, all within a safe environment that stimulates an interest in the Canadian Forces.
Q: What do Cadets do?
A: Lots of different things, many of which relate to flying!
- precision drill
- team sports
- public speaking and
- leadership training
- summer camps
You will participate in these activities during the weekly meetings and on the weekends. You will also support your community by taking part in citizenship events organized by your cadet squadron. It all happens in a fun, friendly, safe environment that will motivate you to give your best.
Q: Who joins Cadets?
A: With over 58,000 Air Cadets across Canada, we’re an organization with a proud history. Many former cadets say that the Cadet Program gave them a head start in their successful careers. For example, did you know that astronaut Chris Hadfield and world junior biathlon champion Jean-Philippe Le Guellec were once cadets? Maybe someday we’ll be using your name on our site!
Q: When do Cadets Meet?
A: Cadets usually meet once a week and some weekends throughout the school year. A cadet must participate regularly in the activities to remain in good standing at the squadron.
Q: Will Cadet training affect my schoolwork?
A: Education is very important to Cadets. Cadet training is a hands-on, activity-based program that should complement school studies. In fact, some provincial and territorial education boards accept Cadet subjects for school credits. As well, there are several scholarships available through Cadets. The skills you develop at Cadets will benefit you with your schoolwork. You’ll be more organized, you’ll be better able to focus and you’ll learn to work in a team.
Many cadet activities can also count towards the mandatory community involvement component (40 hours) required to graduate.
Q: How old do I have to be to join Cadets?
A: You can join as soon as you’ve reached your 12th birthday and you can remain until you turn 19.
Q: What do I need to join?
A: The documents required are:
- proof of provincial health insurance
- proof of age
- proof of Canadian citizenship or landed immigrant status
Q: What does it cost to join?
A: The Cadet Program is funded by the Department of National Defence in partnership with the civilian Navy League, Army Cadet League and Air Cadet League of Canada. The civilian sponsor requires local community support to meet its obligations that include accommodations, training aids and equipment and program enhancements not otherwise provided. Parents and Cadets are expected to participate in and contribute to fundraising as required by the League’s local sponsoring element.
The Department of National Defence/Canadian Armed Forces assumes costs (including uniform and travel) for Cadets. Consequently, membership in the Cadet Program provides thousands of Canadian youth with unique opportunities free of charge that they might not otherwise experience — making the Cadet Program a viable option.
Q: What about summer training (Camps)?
A: Cadets can go to camp for two to eight weeks on a variety of courses. Each camp offers a unique mixture of outdoor activities and valuable instruction. The Canadian Forces provide all transportation, meals, lodging and special equipment.
Q: What do I do at summer training (Camps)?
A: Courses offered at Air Cadet summer camps include training in leadership, instructional techniques, music, marksmanship, flying, navigation, meteorology, air traffic control, ceremonial drill, physical education, computer skills, survival training, aerospace studies and citizenship. Advanced Cadets can qualify for glider scholarships and powered flight scholarships. To obtain information on cadet summer camps and courses, please visit the National Cadet Web site.
Q: Are there travel opportunities?
A: Definitely! For summer training, Cadets may have the opportunity to travel to summer training centres located in different parts of Canada. In addition, selected Cadets go on exchange trips to countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore, France, Sweden, Turkey, Hong Kong, Belgium, Japan and the United States under an international exchange program. Exchange Cadets are selected on their standards in performance, fitness and involvement in squadron activities.
Q: Who instructs cadets?
A: Cadets learn from members of the Cadet Instructors Cadre, officers who are specially trained to instruct and supervise youth. In some cases, civilian volunteers who possess special skills are called in to assist Cadet Instructors. Both the Cadet Instructors and civilian volunteers have chosen to dedicate their valuable time to helping Cadets reach their potential.
Q: Will I be expected to join the Canadian Forces?
A: Absolutely not. Cadets is a great way to find out more about Canada, make friends and develop new skills that will be with you for life, no matter what career you choose.