Join Air Cadets

Welcome to one of the premier youth programs in Canada. With nearly 75 years of rich history, tradition and tens of thousands of Air Cadet graduates, you are truly in for the ‘flight of your life.’

Air Cadets is a program geared to youth between the ages of 12 and 18.  While the ‘Air’ in our program will give you the excitement of flying a glider or airplane, we have plenty of other fun, rewarding and challenging opportunities just waiting for your participation.



  • Between 12-18 years of age at time of joining
  • A Canadian Citizen or have Permanent Resident Status
  • Be in good physical health
  • Be of good moral character

Attend a Parade Night

If you meet the requirements above, you are invited to join us on any parade night throughout the training year (Wednesday’s 6:30 to 9:30). Please consult the Calendar for parade nights. You will be given a free tour, and attend classes and activities for the night.

If you are interested in joining, you are welcome to take home an Application Package to fill out.

Parents play a significant role in their cadets’ careers. For more information, please read the Parent Information Handbook from the Air Cadet League of Ontario.

Chris Hadfield and Marc Garneau were Air Cadets!

Date: 03-14-12Location: NBLSubject: Expedition 35 (Soyuz 33S) crew members Tom Marshburn and Chris Hadfield during EVA training at the NBL.Photographer: James BlairSuccessful Air Cadets have graduated and moved on to take leadership roles in many fields of business and across society.  Did you know that Chris Hadfield, heading up the space station, started as an Air Cadet? So did Marc Garneau, first Canadian in outer space, and Maryse Carmichael, current Commanding Officer of the Snowbirds and the first woman in this role.  The list of successful Canadians who began as Air Cadets is long and continues to fill up each year, from Canadian country singer George Canyon to former Prime Minister Joe Clark.  Nearly all of them attribute much of their personal values and skills to their involvement as a young person in the Air Cadet program.

So are more than 8,000 girls and boys!

Today, in Ontario, there are more than 8,000 girls and boys involved in all levels of Air Cadets.  Some are in year 1 and learning basics of flight, joining their first band or participating in a biathlon competition.  Others are in their final year and leading other Cadets as a Warrant Officer, can fly their own plane, and are being interviewed to participate in an International Exchange program in Australia.

Our Air Cadets appreciate many of the experiences and skills they have been able to gain during their career. Especially true is the broad exposure to new challenges that each Cadet gets to face and experience, both as a member of a Squadron and as an individual Cadet.  Learning new skills, becoming a leader of others, helping their community and gaining invaluable skills and discipline are some of the hallmark results that excite our Cadets and attract new youth every year.

We are not the military

be-an-air-cadet_image_02Air Cadets are not part of the Canadian Forces.  While a close and unique relationship exists with our veterans and the men and women who currently serve our country, Air Cadets is a civilian youth program that provides young people with many skills and experiences.  There is no expectation to join the military…that’s a personal, voluntary decision that each Canadian citizen makes, and some Air Cadets also make.

Finally, no better words were spoken about the Cadet movement than those from General Rick Hillier, former Chief of Defense for the Canadian Forces, who’s children also participated in the program.

We are the Cadets!

“In Canada, the Army, Navy and Air Cadet Leagues of Canada are probably our best Canadian programs for producing responsible Canadian citizens The cadet program emphasizes leadership.  It teaches and puts into practice the same principles that major corporate, military and international leaders learn at Harvard University, in graduate programs across our own country, in military schools or even from the school of hard knocks. If you are young, get involved.  Volunteer and get out front to organize, contribute and get things done.  If possible, join the Cadets.”

Local Training

Air Cadet Training is divided into five proficiency levels, including on-the-job
training for senior cadets. Some of the courses offered to Air Cadets at the local
level are:

  • aeronautical facilities
  • aircraft identification
  • aircrew survival
  • airframe structure
  • citizenship
  • drill
  • effective speaking
  • general cadet knowledge
  • physical fitness
  • sensible living
  • marksmanship
  • principles of flight
  • propulsion
  • radio communication
  • instructional techniques
  • leadership
  • navigation
  • meteorology

Summer Training

The thrill of gliding and flying provides the backbone of the Air Cadet program.
Each year nearly 600 deserving Air Cadets receive flying and gliding scholarships.
The remainder learn valuable life skills and important values like mutual respect,
integrity and professionalism through lessons in navigation, theories of flight
and aircrew survival.

Over 9000 Air Cadets take part in summer training. Some of the courses offered:

  • Basic Courses
  • General Training
  • Basic or Advanced Aviation
  • Basic Survival
  • Basic Fitness
  • Basic Leadership
  • Music Courses
  • Basic Music
  • Music Level 1-3
  • Music Level 4-5
  • Advanced Courses
  • Rifle Coach
  • Aerospace
  • Senior Leadership
  • Athletic Instructors
  • Survival Instructors
  • Aircraft Maintenance
  • Aircraft Operations
  • Glider – Learn to Fly
  • Power – Learn to Fly
  • International Exchange