About Cadets

The Cadet Program is one of the largest federally sponsored youth programs in Canada that includes The Royal Canadian Sea Cadets, The Royal Canadian Army Cadets, and The Royal Canadian Air Cadets.

  • The Cadet Programme offers a safe and secure environment.
  • Cadets develop transferable, career-enhancing skills that last a lifetime.
  • The Cadet Programme succeeds through strong community support and involvement.
  • Cadets make valuable contributions to their communities & become active, responsible citizens.
  • Through the Cadet Program, the Government of Canada is investing in today’s youth and Canada’s future.
  • Cadets have fun and build lasting friendships.
  • The Cadet Programme is open to all youth from 12-18 years old.
  • Cadets are not members of the Canadian Armed Forces, nor are they expected to join the military.

It is a national program for young Canadians aged 12 to 18 who are interested in participating in a variety of fun, challenging and rewarding activities while learning about the Sea, Army and Air activities of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Cadets are encouraged to become active, responsible members of their communities. They make valuable contributions to Canadian society on a daily basis in terms of environmental, citizenship and community activities. Cadets also learn valuable life and work skills such as teamwork, leadership, and citizenship.

Cadets are not members of the Canadian Armed Forces, nor are they expected to join the military. While they are introduced to Sea, Army and/or Air activities of the Canadian Armed Forces and certain traditions, they are also introduced to many other respectable career choices that are available to them.


The mission of the Cadet Program is to contribute to the development and preparation of youth for the transition to adulthood, enabling them to meet the challenges of modern society, through a dynamic community-based program.


A relevant, credible and proactive youth development organization, offering the program of choice for Canada’s youth, preparing them to become the leaders of tomorrow through a set of fun, challenging, well-organized and safe activities.


The aim of the Cadet Program is to develop in youth the attributes of good citizenship and leadership, promote physical fitness and stimulate the interest of youth in the sea, land and air activities of the Canadian Armed Forces.

  • Citizenship: The development of responsible and caring citizens is one of the most important aspects of the Cadet Program. Throughout the year, cadets participate in citizenship activities in cities and towns across Canada.
  • Leadership: The Cadet Program encourages youth to be fair and ethical leaders. Cadets learn to take responsibility for their actions and motivate their peers to follow their example.
  • Physical Fitness: Cadets develop an understanding of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Participation in fitness activities results in a positive attitude that enables cadets to take on new challenges.
  • Stimulate Interest in the Activities of the Canadian Armed Forces: Exposure to the sea, land and air activities of the Canadian Armed Forces is a unique part of the Cadet Program identity, distinguishing it from other youth development programs.


There are no enrolment or registration fees. Basic activities of the Cadet Program are covered. Uniforms and boots are provided at no cost. Cadets selected for summer camps attend at no cost and will receive a training bonus for attending.

What does it cost for my child to be a cadet?

Cadets are responsible for covering:

  • haircuts, care of their uniform and boots (cleaning and shoe polish),
  • lunch or snacks during certain activities, and
  • their share of costs for special social events, such as a movie or dance, organized at the local level.

Cadets are also expected to participate in fundraising activities.

Are there costs for parents?

Parents are encouraged to participate in fundraising on behalf of the local sponsor and League to cover those costs not covered by the Canadian Armed Forces. The sponsoring committee may ask for donations to reduce the requirement for fundraising. Such donations may be tax deductible.

For more information visit cadets.ca

Safe Environment

The Cadet Program is committed to ensuring the safety and security of every cadet and to providing a respectful environment that promotes fair and equal treatment. Harassment in any form is unacceptable behaviour. All cadets and adults working with the Cadet Program have the right to be treated with respect and dignity in an environment free of harassment and have the responsibility to treat others the same way. Each cadet receives training in conflict management skills, including education on their role in preventing harassment in the Cadet Program. All cadets and adults working with cadets are required to participate annually in Positive Social Relations for Youth (PSRY) training.

For more information visit cadets.ca

Medical Coverage and Insurance

Cadets who participate in cadet activities are covered under their provincial health care plans, but if a cadet is injured during a cadet activity, the Canadian Armed Forces will provide emergency treatment. In certain circumstances, the Canadian Armed Forces may provide long-term medical treatment, for an injury related to a cadet activity. Furthermore, cadets may be covered by the insurance policies carried by the league. These policies may respond to other medical claim resulting from cadet activity and which are not covered by the provincial plans and/or the parent’s personal medical coverage.

If your child is injured during a cadet activity, you should:

  • Forward any medical or ambulance bills associated with the injury to the commanding officer.
  • With the exception of emergency care, do not initiate any medical or dental treatment for which you will request reimbursement prior to receiving proper authorization.

Cadets are entitled to request a copy of the medical report. For more information visit cadets.ca

Consider Getting More Involved

Cadets is not only for youth, but it is also an exciting opportunity for adults to get more involved. Perhaps you have some spare time and would like to help out. There are many opportunities.

  • Become a cadet instructor. Be part of a proud tradition and put your experience and skills to use. No military or cadet experience is required.
  • Volunteer your time.  Any contribution is welcome, from a few minutes to a few hours. There are always things to do, such as filing, car-pooling, fund-raising and supervising the cadet canteen.
  • Join a sponsoring or parent committee. These civilian committees support your local cadet unit by fundraising extra activities such as cultural tours, by assisting with administrative support to the unit, and by promoting the Cadet Program in your community.

Speak with the commanding officer or the sponsoring committee chair on how best to contribute and to learn about our screening procedures.

Personal Information

The privacy act protects the privacy of individuals and provides them with a right of access to their own personal information. Personal information held by the Cadet Program is used to support your child’s participation and progress in the program and is available only to authorized persons who need it. Personal information such as a cadet’s home address, training progress and attendance must be available to staff in considering rank advancement, eligibility for summer training, or parental contact in the event of an emergency. Access to basic details of potentially life-threatening medical conditions allows staff of the Cadet Program to quickly respond to emergency situations. Electronic records are maintained in secure databases, and disclosure of the information will be done only in strict accordance with the provisions of the Privacy Act.

A cadet may access their file at any time. For more information visit cadets.ca

Addressing Concerns

All concerns will be treated with the respect and professionalism you would expect from the Cadet Program.

As parents, you should:

  • have a contact number for the commanding officer or a member of the staff,
  • ensure that your child has a number for the senior cadet of their section,
  • bring concerns to the attention of the commanding officer as soon as possible, and
  • make an appointment. Parade nights are busy and staff may not get a chance to meet with you.

If you leave a telephone message at the unit it may take a week or more to receive a response because cadet instructors work part-time at the unit. If you are not satisfied with the response from the local corps/squadron staff, contact the Regional Cadet Support Unit.

For more information visit cadets.ca