585 Rideau Squadron Air Cadets at the 8 Wing / CFB Trenton Open House 2014 (photo by S. Mayne)
585 Rideau Squadron Air Cadets at the 2014 8 Wing / CFB Trenton Open House
(Photo by S. Mayne)

Air Cadets are part of the Canadian Cadet program. This programme has a membership of over 53,000 cadets, 26,000 of whom are Air Cadets. In Ontario alone, there are 8,000 Air Cadets!

The Air Cadet programme started in 1941 when a group of civilian volunteers set up a country-wide voluntary organisation to help stimulate an interest in flying and aviation. Many cadets eventually entered wartime service with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). Following the end of the war, the Air Cadet programme remained in place. Its role changed to meet the changing needs of society and its young people.

The aims of the air cadet programme are to

  • Develop the attributes of good citizenship and leadership
  • Promote physical fitness
  • Stimulate the interest of youth in aviation and aeronautics

Many cadets choose to pursue their interest in aviation through a career in the Royal Canadian Air Force. Others continue their aviation studies through post-secondary schooling to move into successful flying careers. 585 Rideau Squadron has a history of developing youth into leaders and providing the basic knowledge, skills, and abilities that have led to numerous alumni with careers in aviation as pilots, airport operations personnel, and aviation technicians.

To learn more about Air Cadets and Cadets in general, see the Government of Canada’s Canadian Cadet Organizations.