Become a Cadet
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? 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.
How much does it cost?
The Cadet Program is funded by the Department of National Defence in partnership with the civilian Navy League, Army Cadet League and Air Cadet League of Canada. The civilian sponsor requires local community support to meet its obligations that include accommodations, training aids and equipment and program enhancements not otherwise provided. Parents and Cadets are expected to participate in and contribute to fundraising as required by the League’s local sponsoring element.
The Department of National Defence/Canadian Armed Forces assumes costs (including uniform and travel) for Cadets. Consequently, membership in the Cadet Program provides thousands of Canadian youth with unique opportunities free of charge that they might not otherwise experience — making the Cadet Program a viable option.
What about medical, physical, and mental conditions?
In that a minimum standard of medical fitness has not been established for membership of a cadet in a corps or squadron, a person with a medical condition or who is mentally or physically challenged may become a member at the Commanding Officer’s discretion.
The Commanding Officer of the Cadet Corps or Squadron shall ensure that:
- the parent or guardian describes the medical, physical or mental condition at with the online application form.
- the corps or squadron has the physical facilities and the staff required to provide cadet training in light of the medical condition or the mental or medical challenge;
- the ability of the corps or squadron to provide effective training to other members will not be reduced; and
- the parent or guardian and the prospective cadet are aware that minimum medical fitness standards do exist for attendance at Cadet Summer Training Centres (CSTC) and for the Exchange Programmes. The parents or guardians shall be informed that cadets with a medical condition may not be permitted to attend summer training. This fact must be clearly understood by all parties prior to accepting a person with a medical condition, or who is mentally or physically challenged as a member of a cadet corps or squadron.
Who can join?
To be eligible for membership as a Cadet one must:
- be a legal resident of Canada:
NOTE: A legal resident of Canada is a Canadian citizen, a landed immigrant, or, the dependant of a person who is lawfully resident in Canada on a temporary basis for the purpose of education or employment.
- provide proof of provincial health insurance coverage or equivalent;
- be at least 12 years of age;
- not have attained 19 years of age;
- normally be in good physical condition;
- not belong to another corps or squadron; and
- be acceptable to the Commanding Officer (CO) of the cadet corps or squadron.
The CO of the cadet corps or squadron shall review and approve all membership applications; however, he/she shall consult with the Regional Cadet Support Unit (RCSU) when there is uncertainty as to whether an application meets the basic membership standards or an application requires special consideration such as:
- application from a youth who is not yet a legal resident of Canada; and
- application from a youth who has a medical, physical or mental condition specified in Part 2 of the CF 1158 that cannot be accommodated as outlined in the What about medical, physical and mental conditions section below.
But I’m not 12 years of age yet!
You have to be at least 12 years old and under 19 to join the Cadet Program.
If you are under 12 years of age but wish to participate in a Cadet Program, “Navy League Cadets” aimed at youth aged 9-13 is a program run entirely by one of our civilian partners, the Navy League of Canada.