128 Thorold Flying Dragons

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How old must I be to join Air Cadets?

You are eligible to join if you have reached the age of 12 years and may remain until your 19th birthday.

What are the requirements of membership?

The youth must be a Canadian citizen or have Landed Immigrant Status; must commit to attending our Monday night training evenings on a regular basis; and must make an effort to attend other scheduled training such as weekend exercises, Remembrance Day parades, community service events and Squadron fundraising activities.

How much will it cost to join?

Normally, there is a nominal fee for each cadet –$65.00 Cadet Assessment Fee. However, our Squadron has initiated to cover the assessment fee, enabling Cadets to join at no cost. Cadets are expected to take part in annual fundraising activities such as Tag Days and selling/buying of Air Cadet League lottery tickets. Fund raising is necessary to help the Squadron deliver the various training activities in which our cadets will take part. Each Cadet must either purchase or sell one book of Air Cadet League of Ontario Gliding Lottery tickets per year. Many cadets put extra efforts into fund raising and sell several books of Lottery Tickets. Cadets who attend ground school are expected to contribute more time and effort in fund raising for the Air Cadet Flying Program.

Do I have to pay for my uniform?
No. Complete uniforms are loaned to the cadet by the Canadian Forces and are considered property of the Canadian Forces. You are expected to keep the uniform clean, pressed and neat. Each cadet will be trained on the proper care their uniform and boots. Cadets are encouraged to take pride in their appearance. Cadets grow out of clothing and shoes as they mature; uniforms and boots are replaced at no cost, if the exchange is due to growth or deficiency from normal wear. The uniform parts that are returned must be clean and pressed to be exchanged. When a cadet relinquishes active membership, uniform parts are to be returned to supply.

Do Air Cadets receive pay?

All cadets receive valuable educational opportunities such as; trips, free training, opportunities for scholarships and recognition and rewards. Cadets receive a training bonus when attending certain Summer Training Center courses.

What do Air Cadets learn?

Cadets study flying, navigation, meteorology, public speaking, aero engines, airframe construction, rifle marksmanship, bush survival skills, athletics, leadership, ceremonial drill, canoeing, citizenship and many other subjects designed to assist them in preparing for future careers or post-secondary education.

What are my chances for promotion?

Promotion in Air Cadets is based on merit plus the regulations – and hard work does pay off. Each Squadron is allocated a certain number of cadet ranks based on the size of the Squadron. More cadets mean more available ranks. In order to be considered for promotion, a cadet must first meet certain national standards (attendance, training levels completed, summer courses completed). Additional standards for promotion set by the Squadron can include participation in optional training, fundraising activities, community service, special teams, dress, drill and deportment.

Can I attend a summer training course?

Summer training courses for more than 8,000 Air Cadets are held each year at various Canadian Forces bases throughout Canada. Courses run two, three and six weeks each, and cover a wide range of subjects from basic training to music, athletics, leadership, survival training and flying. There is no cost to attend these courses, however available spaces are limited. A cadet’s position on the priority list is determined by several factors including the cadet’s age, interest and aptitude in the particular course, previous summer training and the level of effective participation in the local Squadron’s activities and training during the year.

Are Air Cadets permitted to fly?

Yes. While at summer training courses, all Air Cadets are given the opportunity to go on familiarization flights in powered aircraft and gliders with highly trained and licensed pilots. At the Squadron level, there are generally several opportunities each year to experience flying in a glider at a local Air Cadet Gliding Center.

Are there any advanced courses for Air Cadets?

Yes. In addition to a special Senior Leadership Course, there are other courses for areas of interest such as athletics, bush survival, marksmanship and rifle coaching, technical training and, of course, flying studies. These courses help to prepare the cadets for future positions of leadership within the Air Cadet movement or in other fields. Cadets are selected for this valuable training on the basis of regular attendance and good service within the Squadron.

What about becoming a pilot?

Air cadets who can pass the required medical and written examinations can qualify for aircraft and Glider pilot scholarship courses at flying clubs, schools, and special training centers across Canada. The competition for these scholarships is keen but the local Squadron will assist in preparing the cadet to attempt these examinations through regular training. 128 Squadron has a great history with many cadets “earning their wings” through the cadet program. In fact, in 2019, one of our Cadets received the “Top Stick” moniker for achieving the top marks of all who participated in the Gliding Course.

What is the purpose of Air Cadets ultimately?

Air Cadets is a National Youth Movement which is geared to help youth become better citizens, better leaders and better people in general. The three Aims of Air Cadets are simple: To Develop in Youth the Attributes of Good Citizenship and Leadership; To Promote Physical Fitness; and to Stimulate an Interest in the Air Element of the Canadian Forces. We want to
give your son/daughter opportunities that they otherwise would not be open to outside of our organization and, in the process, help them grow.

If you have questions, or would like further information, please feel free to speak to any one of our Officers at the Squadron any time. We will make ourselves available to the virtues of membership in this fantastic organization!

Further information about the Air Cadet Program may be found at www.cadets.ca