What if you were told that there was a dynamic, structured youth program that offered Canadian youth a variety of interesting and challenging activities?
What if you were told that this same program developed in youth an increased level of self-confidence, self-esteem and self-awareness?
Join Canada's Best Youth Program Today
The Royal Canadian Air Cadets offers a dynamic and engaging program for youth age 12-18. Activities include, aviation, flying, music, sports, leadership, citizenship, and many more rewarding once in a lifetime opportunities for youth.
Cadets are motivated to improve their physical fitness, to work harder at their academic studies and to give back to their communities through volunteerism and citizenship activities.
The Cadet Program also has a direct impact on Canadian society as a whole. Cadets have the opportunity to take part in various leadership roles throughout the program. There is definite value in having well-rounded, community-minded, experienced young people who are ready to assume their places as tomorrow’s leaders and decision makers.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I join?
Show up at HMCS York on most Thursday nights between September to June between 6:30pm and 9:30pm to receive more information about our exciting program. Check out our calendar to make sure that we're parading that night.
You will be given an application package and a tour of some of our squadron activities. Bring your health card and birth certificate when you arrive and you’ll be on your way to enrolling in Canada’s best youth organization. To ensure a prompt enrolment process, you are strongly encouraged to complete the application package and bring it with you on your visit to the squadron.
Who Can Join?
To join you must be a legal resident of Canada, at least 12 years of age, but not yet 19 years of age, and you must not belong to another corps or squadron. NOTE: A legal resident of Canada is a Canadian citizen, a landed immigrant, or, the dependant of a person who is lawfully residing in Canada on a temporary basis for the purpose of education or employment. provide proof of provincial health insurance coverage or equivalent;
How much does it cost?
Membership, uniforms, activities and all other costs are completely free, covered by the Department of National Defense and the local sponsor. Some larger events, like international trips, do come with a cost. Also cadets are expected to participate in fundraising events every year to help provide the enhanced program.
Are there Summer training opportunities?
Summer courses are a very big part of Air Cadets, and are run every year in July through August. There are many different courses ranging from 2 to 7 weeks. Cadets are not required to attend the courses, but it is highly recommended. Cadets can take everything from basic cadet courses to advanced technical training, and from leadership courses to aerospace studies, and make great friends from all over Canada in the process! Summer courses are free, and eventually an experienced cadet can apply for staff positions for summer courses, and get pay equivalent to a full-time summer job.
Can I get my pilot's license?
Yes! Air Cadets offers two Transport Canada Pilot licenses: the Glider Pilot License (GPL) and the Private Pilot License (PPL). Scholarships are offered to air cadets in order for them to get their pilot licenses at various flight schools around the province. The licenses are free through Air Cadets (the GPL normally costs $2000, while PPL normally costs around $10000), cadets just have to pay with their dedication and hard work in the squadron.
Do I have to join the military?
No. Cadets are not part of the military nor are they expected to join the military.
Cadets who do choose to join the military will have a great advantage over other applicants (many members of the Canadian Armed Forces started off in the cadet program—including Canadian astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield!).