Who Are the Royal Canadian Air Cadets?
The Royal Canadian Air Cadets is a youth program designed for young people aged 12 - 18. It
is administered by the Canadian Forces and funded by the Department of National Defense,
with additional support through the Civilian Air Cadet League and local sponsors such as the
Royal Canadian Legion.
It was first established in 1941 to train young men and women. The current aims of the
program are to develop in youth, attributes of good citizenship and leadership, to promote
physical fitness and stimulate an interest in the air element of the Canadian Forces.
The program costs nothing for participants, although cadets are expected to participate in
local support projects for their squadron.
There are approximately 26,000 cadets in 450 squadrons across Canada and it is the largest
federally funded youth program in the country.
Each squadron participates in a weekly "parade night", with activities prescribed by the
National Director of Cadets. Weekly topics and activities include citizenship, leadership,
survival training, effective speaking, dress and deportment, drill techniques, sensible living,
range instructional techniques and numerous aviation topics.
Over the summer cadets may take part in summer training delivered at training centers
across Canada. During the spring and fall air cadets take part in gliding at regional gliding
centers. During the summer air cadets may earn a Canadian Gliding Pilot Licence through the
Air Cadet Gliding Scholarship, and may go on to earn a pilot's licence as well.
Thanks to the gliding and flying scholarships offered to air cadets, 1 in 5 pilots in Canada is
an ex Air Cadet, and 67% of all commercial and airline pilots began as Air Cadets. To date
more than 15,000 cadets have received their private pilot's licence through this scholarship
Some notable former cadets include;
Chris Hatfield, Astronaut
Marc Garneau - Astronaut
Joe Clark - Former Prime Minister
Rick Mercer - Actor and Comedian
The Air Cadet Motto: TO LEARN, TO SERVE, TO ADVANCE
Submitted by Brenda Rennie-Koch