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An Air Cadet in the Family

An Air Cadet in the FamilyThe Air Cadet organization prides itself on its ability to train young people to accept responsibility as they develop leadership skills and become engaged in their community. The opportunities are numerous… become a pilot, learn about air traffic control, train as a leader, develop as a musician, learn valuable flight crew survival skills, or travel to foreign countries – these are only a sampling of the opportunities.

It is up to the Cadet to choose many of the programs they wish to experience, with guidance from the training staff. A cadet’s career will develop around their individual interests and the Air Cadet program has a lot to offer to those who are ready to dedicate themselves.

For most Cadets, the program and activities they choose make their commitment more than once a week! It truly is a program where the more effort a Cadet gives, the more they will benefit in many ways.

The regular training year runs from September through to mid June. Your Cadet will have one mandatory meeting each week called a Parade night…but there is much more to the program than that!

The Mandatory aspects of the program are must do’s for all Cadets and form the basis for the program across Canada. These include activities such as local Remembrance Day Parades and the Squadron’s Annual Ceremonial Review.

An Air Cadet in the FamilyThen there are the Complementary programs, also required elements, which take place on weekends and other nights through the week. These support the mandatory training. For example, attending a Gliding Familiarization days at the local gliding centre or a weekend Field Training Exercise (FTX).  In order for Cadets to progress and be successful, they must participate fully in these Complementary activities.

Finally, there are Optional activities. These include such activities as music and band, drill team, effective speaking  and debating, biathlon, model aircraft, sports teams…to name a few!

But it doesn’t stop there!  Following the regular training year, Cadets have an opportunity to attend Summer Training Courses. Various types of courses are held at a number of Cadet Summer Training Centres across the province. With the assistance of the squadron Training Officer, Cadets can apply for a variety of courses based on their age, training level, and interests.

As they progress through the program the opportunities for summer training expands. For instance, a first year Cadet may attend a 2 week General Training Course and learn the basics of flying, drill, aviation careers and teamwork. A second year cadet may choose to apply for the Basic Leadership or Basic Musician course. By the time a cadet is in their fourth or fifth year they are eligible to apply for National Level Courses such as Glider Pilot or Power Pilot, advanced training for those who may be interested in achieving their aviation licence or pursuing a career as a Pilot.  Also by age 17, Cadets can apply for the International Exchange which could take them to various countries around the world to learn more about Air Cadets and aviation while also being Ambassador Cadets for Canada.

An Air Cadet in the FamilyTheir skill set, training level, rank and interest will all help to shape their summer course selections. It’s important to know that every Cadet goes through a selection process and also must achieve certain elements of the program – not every cadet is successful in their application to attend summer training. There are hundreds of cadets from across the province competing for the various opportunities.

It can be a busy year, filled with activity, fun and experiences for everyone.  The support and encouragement you provide your Cadet will determine if they enjoy their time and continue to strive towards their personal and, possibly, career goals.

Though it is aimed at Cadets, our mission statement could apply to the whole family when they have a member in the Air Cadet movement:

To Learn. To Serve. To Advance.

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