Questions & Answers About Air Cadets

What is the purpose of Cadets?
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.

What do Cadets do?
Lots of different things, many of which relate to flying!

* gliding
* precision drill
* team sports
* public speaking and leadership training
* first-aid
* camping
* music
* summer camps
* marksmanship

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.

Who joins Cadets?
With over 25,000 Air Cadets across Canada, we’ve 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 some day we’ll be using your name in our brochure!

When do Cadets Meet?
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 corps or squadron.

Will Cadet training affect my schoolwork?
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.

How old do I have to be to join Cadets?
You can join as soon as you’ve reached your 12th birthday and you can remain until you turn 19.

What do I need to join?
The documents required are:

* proof of provincial health insurance
* proof of age
* proof of Canadian citizenship or landed immigrant status

What does it cost to join?
Thanks to the Squadron Sponsoring Committee, there are no registration fees, dues or costs for the uniforms or for the basic Cadet Program.  Cadets and parents are encouraged to participate in fundraising in order to maintain this.

If I don’t pay to join Cadets, then who does?
The major partners in the Cadet Program are the Department of National Defence and the Air Cadet League of Canada (civilian non-profit corporations.) These organizations work together to provide the facilities and material required to operate each cadet corps and squadron.  The Squadron Sponsoring Committee (SSC) is currently covering all fees that are currently being levied.

What will I do at weekly meetings?
Some of the activities you can expect at the cadet unit include ceremonial drill, first aid, sports, and citizenship events that support your community. Many corps and squadrons also have music programs. Occasional weekend activities include sports, , survival, camping and marksmanship. There will also be plenty of time to have fun and make new friends!

What about summer training?
For those interested, Cadets have 28 summer camps located across Canada. 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. Attendance at cadet summer camps is free. The Canadian Forces provide all transportation, meals, lodging and special equipment. Every cadet attending summer camp receives a training allowance; cadets in staff positions at camp receive a salary.

What do I do at summer training?
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.

Are there travel opportunities?
Definitely! For summer training, Cadets travel to one of 28 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.

Who instructs cadets?
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.

Will I be expected to join the Canadian Forces?
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.


From the Air Cadet League of Canada