What are the requirements to join Air Cadets?
- You must have reached your 12th birthday, but be younger than 19 in order to become an Air Cadet.
- You must be a Canadian Citizen or landed immigrant. You must fill out some paperwork, that must be signed by your parents or guardian.
- You must show a valid proof of health insurance (for example, your OHIP card) and proof of birth date (for example, your birth certificate or passport).
How long must I stay in Air Cadets once I join?
You may leave the Air Cadet program at any time; however, new Cadets are encouraged to try the program for at least three months before making a decision to quit. The Air Cadet program is probably different than anything you have done before. Many Cadets feel comfortable with things right from the beginning, others take a few weeks or months. Once you have been involved for a few months, get used to the program, and make friends, we believe you’ll find you enjoy being an Air Cadet.
We’ll teach you everything you need to know to be an Air Cadet, but you’ll have responsibilities. You must learn to care for your uniform by washing it, pressing it, and polishing your boots. You must learn to act maturely and responsibly by attending weekly parades regularly and telling the squadron when you will not be able to attend. All Cadets must be willing to work and learn in a team environment, accept new challenges, and learn from mistakes. This may seem like a lot, but your Officers, Civilian Instructors and Senior Cadets are here to help and you will have plenty of time to learn these important skills and concepts.
Do I have to join the Canadian Armed Forces after I’m done Cadets?
No. There is absolutely no obligation to serve in the Canadian Armed Forces. Some Air Cadets do join the Canadian Armed Forces, and their Cadet training does help them, but it is strictly their choice.
Do I have to buy my uniform or any special equipment?
No. You are issued a uniform on loan from the Department of National Defence. You don’t have to pay for it, but it is your responsibility to care for it, and return it once you leave the squadron. You will need to purchase shoe polish for your boots, (1 set is issued with your uniform), and possibly some equipment and clothing for weekend exercises (camp outs) if you do not already have it. The equipment you need includes warm civilian clothing, boots, dishes and utensils.
Are there any other costs in being an Air Cadet?
If you are a male, you may need a haircut more often than before! The squadron also has a kit shop and a canteen at break each week that sells drinks and snacks. We may also order squadron jackets or yearbooks for Cadets who are interested. It is up to you if you want to purchase any of these items. Periodically, the squadron may hold dances, and you may have to pay your own admission (usually about $3-$5) if you want to attend. If the squadron goes on a tour out of the city or province, you would be expected to provide your own spending money — how much is up to you and your parents. Every few years, the squadron goes on a major trip (such as to Washington, DC). We make every effort to raise all the funds needed for these trips through fundraising. But, sometimes Cadets and their parents are asked to pay a share of the trip, if the Cadet chooses to go.
Do I have to do lots of marching?
Marching and drill are definitely a part of a Cadet’s training because they help develop teamwork and discipline, and many Cadets enjoy it a lot. But it is only one part. There are plenty of other courses that you will be taking.
How often can I go flying?
Generally, our squadron goes gliding two weekends a year at CFB North Bay. There may also be other opportunities throughout the year to fly in various aircraft.
How often do we go camping?
We try to organize two or three weekend bush survival courses per training year. These courses are open to all Cadets to attend, (dependant on medical approval). ‘Air Crew Survival’ is a great way to get outdoors and learn new things or demonstrate new skills. It is mandatory to attend at least one weekend per year as part of your mandatory training.
When can I start participating in the squadron’s activities?
Your paperwork, must be completed, submitted and approved. It is not complete until your parents or guardian(s) have signed the application forms, we have proof of your health insurance (OHIP card) and proof of your birth date (birth certificate, passport), and the Commanding Officer or their designate has approved your application. Once your paperwork is completed, you can participate in all the activities offered to your level of training.
How do I find out about the activities that are available to me?
At the end of every parade night, the announcements are read. It is very important that you listen to these as they provide you with information about coming events.
You can also bookmark this website and check our training calendar in the Training Schedule & Events page, which is always up-to-date. You can also find out about the activities on the bulletin board, our ‘closed’ Facebook group which is visible only to members who are current Cadets, their parents, staff and sponsoring committee members. Parents and guardians are encouraged to come for closing parade each night to hear the announcements, read the bulletin board, and keep up on what’s happening. Parents and guardians are strongly encouraged to attend Sponsoring Committee meetings to find out more about the activities in which their Cadet is involved.
How do I become involved in these activities?
For every activity, if you want to attend, you must put your name on the sign-up sheet. It is important that you sign up because we base our quotas for food, accommodation, and transportation on this sign-up. If you cannot make it to an activity, you must, as soon as possible, either take your name off of the sign-up list or call the squadron headquarters at 705-789-7858 to cancel, as there is probably a waiting list of other Cadets who would like to go if you cannot.
What if I cannot make it to a parade?
Phone the squadron headquarters and leave a message on the answering machine at 705-789-7858, well before the start of the parade night. Being absent with an excuse will not harm your attendance record, but unexcused absences will. Any absences, excused or not, will have an effect on your training as you will miss classes, so you should make every effort to make it to parade.
Who do I talk to if I have a question or a problem?
Every new Cadet is assigned a corporal or flight corporal who is responsible for that Cadet. Your corporal should be able to answer your questions or find the answers to your questions. This person will be a big help to you in becoming familiar with the squadron. Uniformed Officers and Civilian Instructors are also available at all times to help Cadets with any problems.
***The Canadian Cadet Movement does not tolerate abuse or bullying. A Unit Cadet Conflict Management Advisor is part of the staff. Any violations must be reported immediately to the UCCMA.***
There are websites with information about Cadets in general and Air Cadets in particular. Here are a few to get you started:
Canadian Cadet Organizations: www.cadets.ca
Air Cadet League of Canada: www.aircadetleague.com
844 Norseman Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/844huntsvilleaircadets