The Royal Canadian Air Cadets is an organization for Canadian youth from age 12 through 18 years. The air cadet organization is based on military structure, but all youth involved remain civilian.
As an air cadet, a youth is a member of an air cadet squadron near their home. There are squadrons across Canada. #810 Grant McConachie Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Cadets was formed in 1971. Air cadets can be rewarding, through regular training nights, additional activities and summer training camps. Air Cadets can offer travel and training opportunities in citizenship, gliding, power flying, leadership, music, physical fitness.
During the summer thousands of Air Cadets across Canada attend summer camps and training. These camps are often held on Canadian Forces Bases.
Cadet Training is about fostering opportunities for growth and leadership. Leadership means gaining the confidence of subordinates. Cadets are taught to respect personal character, professional knowledge, justice, common sense, energy, keenness of intellect and forethought. Good leaders are willing to share their subordinates, hardships. Cadet training is dynamic in a supportive and efficient environment where change is considered to be both positive and essential. The program addresses:
- Loyalty: the expression of collective dedication to the ideals of a cadet movement.
- Professionalism: the accomplishment of all tasks with pride and diligence
- Mutual Respect: the treatment of others with the dignity and equality and
- Integrity: the courage and commitment to exemplify trust sincerity and honesty.
The Royal Canadian Air Cadet Organization is possible because of a cooperative relationship between Canadian Forces (Department of National Defense), and the Air Cadet League of Canada (a civilian organization). Royal Canadian Air Cadets began officially in 1941.
Local squadrons are staffed by officers of the Cadet Instructor Cadre (C.I.C.). These C.I.C. officers are commissioned officers in the Canadian Forces Reserves. In addition to the C.I.C. Officers, each squadron may also have Civilian Instructors (C.I.), Regular or Reserve Force volunteers and other volunteers assisting in the operation of the unit.
Air cadet training is divided up into levels. New recruits under 14 years are called level one. Recruits and older are given the option of taking an accelerated program which combines level one and two. Each level has specific requirements for classes that must be taken in order to progress to the next level. Each level builds on the knowledge gained in the previous level. They may be asked to be an instructor for the junior levels.
Each level of training also qualifies cadets for certain promotions and /or summer courses, though there are more criteria for these rewards. Below is a breakdown of the classes for each training level.
PO 101 – Citizenship
PO 102 – Community Service
PO 103 – Leadership
PO 104 – Personal Fitness and Healthy Living
PO 105 – Recreational Sports
PO 106 – Air Rifle Marksmanship
PO 107 – General Cadet Knowledge
PO 108 – Drill
PO 120 – Canadian Forces Familiarization
PO 121 – Canadian Aviation Familiarization
PO 129 – Radio Communication
PO 130 – Aviation Activities
PO 140 – Aerospace Activities
PO 160 – Aerodrome Operations Activities
PO 190 – Aircrew Survival
PO 201 – Citizenship
PO 202 – Community Service
PO 203 – Leadership
PO 204 – Personal Fitness and Healthy Living
PO 205 – Recreational Sports
PO 206 – Air Rifle Marksmanship
PO 207 – General Cadet Knowledge
PO 208 – Drill
PO 230 – Aviation History
PO 231 – Principles of Flight
PO 232 – Propulsion
PO 240 – Aerospace
PO 260 – Aerodrome Operations
PO 270 – Aircraft Manufacturing and Maintenance
PO 290 – Aircrew Survival
PO 301 – Citizenship
PO 302 – Community Service
PO 303 – Leadership
PO 304 – Personal Fitness and Healthy Living
PO 305 – Recreational Sports
PO 306 – Air Rifle Marksmanship
PO 307 – General Cadet Knowledge
PO 308 – Drill
PO 309 – Instructional Techniques
PO 311 – Biathlon
PO 320 – Canadian Forces Familiarization
PO 331 – Principles of Flight
PO 336 – Meteorology
PO 337 – Air Navigation
PO 340 – Aerospace
PO 360 – Aerodrome Operations
PO 370 – Aircraft Manufacturing and Maintenance
PO 390 – Aircrew Survival
PO 401 – Citizenship
PO 402 – Community Service
PO 403 – Leadership
PO 404 – Personal Fitness and Healthy Living
PO 405 – Participate in Recreational Sports
PO 406 – Air Rifle Marksmanship
PO 407 – General Cadet Knowledge
PO 408 – Drill
PO 409 – Instructional Techniques
PO 420 – Canadian Forces Familiarization
PO 429 – Radio Communication
PO 431 – Principles of Flight
PO 432 – Propulsion
PO 436 – Meteorology
PO 437 – Air Navigation
PO 440 – Aerospace
PO 460 – Aerodrome Operations
PO 470 – Aircraft Manufacturing and Maintenance
PO 490 – Aircrew Survival
PO 501 – Citizenship
PO 502 – Community Service
PO 503 – Leadership
PO 504 – Personal Fitness and Healthy Living
PO 507 – General Cadet Knowledge
PO 509 – Instructional Techniques
PO 513 – Personal Development (Workshops)
PO 514 – Personal Development (Individual Learning)
PO 530 – Airmanship
PO 540 – Aerospace
PO 560 – Aerodrome Operations
PO 570 – Aircraft Manufacturing and Maintenance
PO 590 – Aircrew Survival
OJT – On-the-Job Training
Cadets are not permitted to smoke or consume alcohol. The performance of any illegal activity such as the use of certain drugs, vandalism or theft is grounds for immediate dismissal.
If your Cadet has questions or concerns about promotions and awards please direct him/her to raise these concerns with their level officer.
How does training work?
There are three different types of air cadet training: mandatory, complementary, and optional.
Mandatory training refers to the training that all cadets across Canada must complete to pass their level. These are the classes that are taught on Wednesday evenings. They are standardized across Canada, and teach you the essentials of being a cadet.
Air cadet training is divided into what we call Levels. New recruits under 14 years of age are in Level 1. Recruits 14 years or older may be given the option of taking an accelerated program.
Each level builds on the knowledge gained in previous levels. You must complete all the requirements for each level to advance to the next level and to qualify for promotions and summer camps. As you advance, you will begin taking more senior leadership roles in the squadron and eventually, you will begin instructing younger cadets.
Complementary training is designed to enhance and complement the standard training. It is important to understand that complementary training is not optional; it is also mandatory. Cadets must participate in the squadron’s complementary training activities. Examples include the Remembrance Day parade, the bottle drive, and the weekend camping trips/survival exercises.
Complementary activities are like the option courses in your junior high school. Everybody must take them, but the squadron is allowed to choose which training opportunities to provide.
For example, one training requirement for all cadets is community service. Each squadron is free to choose how this requirement is fulfilled. One squadron might volunteer at a city event, while another squadron might organize a litter pick-up day. Every cadet must participate in community service, but the actual activity can vary from squadron to squadron.
These are the fun activities that are supported by the parent sponsoring committee. Cadets can choose to participate in these activities. Examples include sports, drill team, flag party, band, aviation ground school, range team, flying and gliding.
Though you are not required to attend these activities, you are encouraged to be as involved as you can. Participation in all activities counts towards promotions and awards.
How is the squadron run?
The squadron is administered by officers from the Cadet Instructors Cadre, a branch of the Canadian Forces Reserve. Their role is to lead, instruct, and run cadet squadrons. Because they are employed by the Canadian Forces on a part-time basis, most of them have full-time jobs or go to school. Much of the work they do with cadets is voluntary. They are helped by Civilian Volunteers (CIV) such as parents, former cadets, and ex- military people.
We rely on the squadron sponsoring committee, the Guardians of 810 Society. The Guardians are comprised of a group of highly dedicated parents and guardians, who volunteer their time to fundraise and support cadet activities.
At its core, the program is led by cadets. Throughout their careers, cadets gain the experience and skills to lead the squadron and organize activities. They then pass down their knowledge to the junior cadets, who will one day take over the squadron.
What if I cannot attend?
Cadets must attend mandatory and complementary training. If they cannot attend because they are ill, have too much homework, or have other commitments, they must phone the squadron office to be considered ‘Excused’. Leave a voicemail clearly stating your rank and name, the date you will be absent, and the reason for your absence.
Attendance at both mandatory and optional activities is calculated when determining promotions, summer course selections, and awards.
What if I arrive late?
If you arrive late on a training night, you must check in with the Duty NCO. He/she will mark your name down on the attendance. Afterwards, you may enter the parade square and go to your flight. Before you fall in, ask permission from your Flight Commander. If the parade has already started, stand to the side of the parade square.
If there is no Duty NCO available, you should check in at the office.