Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Short answers are displayed. Click on the shorter answer to expand into more detail.
Q: How much does it cost to join? Is this program really free? What’s the catch?
A: Mostly free. DND provides the basic funding for much of the essential mandatory training, but 918 Sqn does far, far more than the minimum. Additional training and opportunities do cost the squadron money, but not the cadet.
Q: Are cadets members of the military? Will I have to join after?
A: No, and no. The cadet program is provided through a partnership between the Department of National Defence, and the Air Cadet League of Canada.
Cadets are not, at any time, enrolled in the Canadian Forces. They are taught and supervised by Canadian Forces officers a curriculum designed and maintained by the Canadian Forces, but cadets are not members.
Similarly, cadets make absolutely no commitments regarding future military service and are free to leave at any time.
However, those who decide to join the Forces later on start out with the advantage of having learned valuable skills through Cadets. Many successful military members were former cadets – like Canadian astronauts (and former fighter pilots) Chris Hadfield, Jeremy Hansen, and Joshua Kutryk.
Q: I don’t want to join the military. Is it still worth joining cadets?
A: Absolutely! Cadets who successfully complete the program and “age out” or retire at the age of 19 have a wealth of experience that makes them better people and more valuable to future employers. By the time they age out, most cadets will have:
Been instructing youth for 1-2 years
Learned how to evaluate and provide feedback, informally and formally
Been leading groups of various sizes for 3 years
Able to prioritize tasks and time manage
Developed initiative and responsibility
Planned, organized, and executed events
Grown comfortable and confident communicating in front of groups
Q: Do cadets travel anywhere?
A: Definitely! For summer training, Cadets travel to one of 28 summer training centers located in different parts of Canada.
Q: What is Summer Training?
A: For those interested, cadets have the opportunity to apply for training at various summer training centres located across Canada. Courses range from two to eight weeks in duration. Each training session offers a unique mixture of outdoor activities and valuable instruction.
Attendance at Cadet Summer Training is free. The Canadian Forces provide all transportation, meals, lodging and special equipment.
Courses offered include training in leadership, instructional techniques, music, marksmanship, flying, navigation, meteorology, air traffic control, ceremonial drill, physical education, survival training, aerospace studies and citizenship. Cadets can qualify for glider scholarships and powered flight scholarships, and can earn their Transport Canada Glider Pilot or Private Pilot licenses for free.
More details on summer training courses available to air cadets can be viewed here.
Is being a cadet hard/challenging/demanding?
It can be. We do our best to make sure our expectations of you are as clear as possible, and we provide training and guidance to help you get there, but we can’t do the work for you. You will learn an amazing amount and experience lots, if you put in the effort. As you progress in rank and responsibility, the challenges and demands will grow, but so does the reward.
I am over 12 years old. Can I still join cadets?
Absolutely. We will accept interested youth between the ages of 12-18.