This manual was prepared for the parents and new Cadets in 700 Squadron as a guide to Canada’s Leading Youth
Development Program. It provides information and tips to help new Cadets succeed and thrive in the program but it
is only a supplement to many other sources of information, such as:
www.700sqn.com | www.cadets.ca/en/what-cadets-do/air.page
www.aircadetleague.com | www.aircadetleague.on.ca
The Air Cadet Program
The Air Cadet Program was established in 1941 as a partnership between the Royal Canadian Air Force and the civilian Air Cadet League of Canada: represented locally by the Squadron Sponsoring Committee (SSC). Since 1968, the Department of National Defence has been the military partner for all three Cadet Programs: Sea, Army, and Air. The aims of the Air Cadet Program are to:
- Develop leadership skills and good citizenship;
- Encourage physical fitness;
- Promote an interest in the RCAF and Canada’s aviation and aerospace industries.
700 David Hornell VC Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets was established on April 8, 1960 in Weston, Ontario. Since the merger with 707 Etobicoke Squadron in 2010 it now serves the youth of York South-Weston and Central and North Etobicoke.
The Squadron is named after Flight Lieutenant David Ernest Hornell, from Mimico, Ontario, who was one of only two members of the RCAF to receive the Victoria Cross (Canada’s and the British Commonwealth’s highest award for Gallantry in action) during WW II. 700 Squadron maintains a relationship with David Hornell Public School in Mimico.
How to Succeed as an Air Cadet
Cadet program demands a lot of its participants but it also delivers tremendous benefits and fond memories to those members who remain involved in the program. Although some Cadets report during their retirement speech (retirement occurs on a Cadet’s 19th birthday) that they were “strongly encouraged” to join Cadets by their parents, when they didn’t really want to, they all say it was the best time of their lives.
The secret to success in Cadets can be summed up in two thoughts:
- Participate in as many activities as you can, and
- Stick with the program.
Participation leads to more learning, which leads to being recommended for more opportunities, which leads to more learning and valuable experience. To drive home this message, the Squadron asks Cadets to read, understand and sign a Pledge indicating their desire and commitment to participate. Read the Air Cadet Pledge
Cadets is Not Just One Night a Week
Cadets joining the Squadron and their parents should understand that the Air Cadet Program is not simply a ‘one night a week’ activity. While the majority of the Mandatory Training takes place each Friday night, there are other activities such as Familiarization flying in gliders (CFB Borden), Field Training Exercises, and special events (e.g. the Annual Mess Dinner), in which Cadets must participate to successfully complete each of the five Levels – corresponding roughly to a year – of their Training.
In addition, there are numerous community events, voluntary service, fundraising, and training opportunities that are offered outside the usual Friday parade nights.
The Cadet will certainly not get the full value of the Air Cadet Program, or progress successfully through the Training Levels, and earn promotions and awards, if they only come out on Friday nights. Any of the Officers would be pleased to speak with Cadets’ parents about these matters.
What, Where and When
The Cadet program provides a series of instructional modules to help build leadership skills and expand knowledge of aviation and the aeronautical industry in Canada. Cadets progress through these modules both at regular training nights and specially arranged full-day training held on specific weekends.
Fridays are the Squadron’s Regular Training night at:
- Thistletown Collegiate Institute (TCI), 20 Fordwich Crescent, Etobicoke, ON M9W 2T4.
- Cadets Report to the school between 6:00 p.m. and 6:15 p.m.
- Closing parade is finished by 9:30 to 9:45 p.m. (Parents are encouraged to attend the Closing parade starting at about 9:00 p.m.)
- Entry is by the door at the front (south side) of the school accessed via Fordwich Crescent, off of Islington Avenue.
- The TTC 37 Islington bus stops at the school at the corner of Islington and Fordwich.
- AS OUR PERMIT ENDS (AND THE DOORS ARE LOCKED) AT 10:00 p.m. ALL CADETS NEED TO BE PICKED UP NO LATER THAN 9:45 p.m.
Other weekday evenings may be scheduled for practices for:
- Squadron Band (brass & reed)
- Precision Drill Team
- Ground School for Cadets who wish to compete for Power and Glider Pilot Scholarships (September to December)
- Effective Speaking and Debating Team practices (February to April)
- The Air Rifle Marksmanship Team regular practices.
- Air Rifle Range nights for various groups or levels of Cadets at different times during the year.
- The Supply Officer is available for Cadets to pick up uniform parts and accessories.
- Timings and dates for all of these activities to be announced.
Other weeknight or weekend training activities or special events are announced in advance. Where these activities take place away from TCI, or the Legion, directions and timings will be provided for parents if the Squadron is not providing bus transportation.
Unable to Attend: Cadets Must Ask to Be Excused
It is important for Cadets to exercise good manners and take responsibility to advise the Squadron when they cannot attend a Regular Training Night, or an activity in which they are required to participate, or for which they have voluntarily signed up.
Cadets may be “Excused” from Training or an expected activity for a number of reasons, including: illness, schoolwork, or other family commitments. If you are unable to attend Cadets must advise the Squadron’s Administration Officer (who monitors attendance), by completing the Excused Absence form.
Excused Absences for special events can only be of an emergency nature (e.g. illness, family emergency, etc.) and not simply because the cadet has changed their mind if the Cadet wishes to have their deposit cards returned.
The Squadron Duty Cell Phone: 647-926-5210 is only to be used for emergencies.
Cost of the Program
700 Squadron does not charge for joining Cadets. Parents are only asked to provide refundable cash deposits for Cadet Event deposit cards.
To help keep Cadets as a fee-free activity we ask parents to read about the various ways to support the Squadron.
Event or Activity Deposit Card System
When the SSC organizes an event in which expenses are incurred (food, halls, buses, etc.) the Cadet is expected to provide one of their deposit cards when they sign up for the event.
If the Cadet does not attend the event and does not request an “Excused Absence” prior to the event, then they forfeit their deposit card. Excused Absences on the day of the event can only be of an emergency nature (e.g. illness, family emergency, etc.) and not simply because the cadet has changed their mind.
If an Event deposit card is lost or forfeited then additional cards may be purchased from the SSC. Cards can be used for the duration of a Cadet’s career. The funds provided by the Cadet for the deposit cards are returned to the Cadet when they retire from the program on their 19th birthday when they return their cards to the SSC.
Parents and guardians should be aware that Cadets is not a ‘Boot Camp’ for undisciplined or socially challenged children. Although the basic tenets of the Program are to instill the values of self-discipline and teamwork, and to develop positive social behaviours, there is a Basic Code of Conduct to which all Cadets subscribe on joining – and which is upheld by adult Staff and senior Cadets.
Review a copy of the Central Region Cadet Code of Conduct.
There is a published scale of disciplinary measures, of which all Cadets are aware, that can be applied as a means of correcting inappropriate or dangerous behaviours. The aim of discipline in the Cadet Program is correction, rather than punishment, although there are immediate remedies for Cadets’ actions that involve alcohol or drugs, or the harassment or abuse of other Cadets.
We Speak to the Cadet First
In order to build each Cadet’s self-esteem and self-reliance, we expect the Cadet to ask questions and communicate concerns for themselves.
They are instructed to follow the Chain of Command at the Squadron: matters are first raised with the Senior Cadet in their Flight, who will refer the Cadet to one of the Squadron Warrant Officers (our most senior Cadets), if necessary. If the question or issue is something with which a senior Cadet cannot assist, the Cadet will be referred to their Level Officer.
Should the Cadet’s concern be something that they are not comfortable discussing with a senior, they may approach their Level Officer directly.
We ask the cooperation of parents to let your Cadets speak for and represent themselves.
There will be occasions, of course, when parents have questions about the activities in which the Cadets are participating; you may also have experience or expertise that you wish to contribute to our Program. There may also be instances where the Cadet has been unable to resolve an issue on their own. In these cases, you are ALWAYS welcome to speak directly with a member of the Staff. If it concerns your Cadet specifically, the one most aware of their individual progress will be the appropriate Level Officer.
A Parent’s Role
A Cadet parent’s role is multi-faceted and can be summarized with the following points:
- Encourage your Cadet to participate – they will only benefit from the program if they invest themselves in the program.
- Help your Cadet succeed by being prepared and organized for every event:
- Wear proper clothing for any scheduled event or training session, such as a complete uniform (clean and ironed) or Squadron t-shirt, when required.
- Boots shined
- Proper meal before coming to Parade
- Carrying their Ontario Health Card to all cadet events
- Being on time for arrival and departure
- Full kit for FTX or other activities
- Notify the Squadron of any change in address or contact information.
- Help the Squadron with Fundraising:
- Volunteering your time, expertise or resources for:
- Cadet Events
- Charity Bingo
- Other special needs
- Joining the Sponsoring Committee
Supervision and Safety
The safety and well-being of the young people who join 700 Squadron is the paramount consideration of the Officers and Civilian Instructors who supervise the training and all Cadet activities. General safety, accommodation of medical conditions, and emergency contingencies are constantly reviewed for Regular and Optional Training activities.
Many of the staff members have First Aid training and Cadets are always supervised by a competent and authorized adult instructor. In addition, all adults in the Air Cadet Program undergo a rigorous screening process that includes obtaining a Police Records Check and/or Vulnerable Sector Screening certificate.
Ontario Health Insurance Card
Cadets must carry their VALID Ontario Health Insurance Card with them at all times during any and all Cadet activities.
Make sure to provide the Squadron with an up-to-date copy of their Health Card whenever it is renewed.
Who Does What?
The Squadron is run by the Commanding Officer (CO) and their staff. Some staff members are assigned specific roles, such as: Deputy Commanding Officer; Training Officer; Supply Officer; Administration Officer; Level Officers; Band Officer; Range Safety Officer; etc. Many staff members fulfill dual roles.
During specific Cadet events or activities, there is always an OPI (or Officer of Primary Interest) who is in charge of that specific activity.
The Squadron Sponsoring Committee (SSC) consists of volunteers that provide support to the Squadron. Please view the Donate and Support page to see the current list of SSC volunteers.
All Cadet-related issues and questions must be directed to the CO and Staff and not to the SSC.
To reward Cadets for their participation and extra endeavours at the Squadron, a system was established that assists Staff in assessing Cadets for purposes of promotion, appointments, awards, and eligibility for special opportunities such as the annual March Break Trip. A comprehensive matrix considers a Cadet’s participation or contribution to the following:
- The number of tagging shifts attended;
- The number Squadron or community events participated in (e.g. Mess Dinner, Santa Claus Parade, Remembrance Days events, assistance at Legion events, etc.)
- Attendance at Regular Training nights;
- Membership in and contribution to special teams (e.g. Band, Range, Drill, Debating, Effective Speaking, Canteen Team, etc.)
- Community service hours;
- Performance with assigned duties (e.g. being prepared when scheduled to instruct a class)
- Enthusiasm for filling-in last minute when asked to perform an activity (e.g., instruct a class when the assigned Cadet is not available)
Missed training or events do not negatively affect a Cadet’s record only if the Cadet goes on the web site to be “Excused”. No-Shows will negatively impact a Cadet’s record.
How We Communicate
The Squadron makes its best efforts to maintain good communication with Cadets, parents and community stakeholders. Our basic tools are:
- Announcements made at the end of each Friday training night
- Squadron Website
- Squadron Standing Orders
- A Weekly Training Report (WTR) is issued each Sunday, to advise Cadets about:
- Activities for the coming week’s Training and other special activities.
- Special instructions for uniforms or sports gear, timings for buses, exams, social events, community parades, are amongst the many items covered.
- WTRs are posted on the website and can be linked from Facebook.
- Event Postings are issued for every training activity or event that takes place away from TCI or the Legion, specifying locations, timings, required dress and other kit, and providing emergency contact information. These are posted on the website, linked to Facebook, and may be provided as a paper copy for Cadets to take home.
As soon as possible after the six-week New Recruit program, all Cadets are issued uniforms free of charge. This uniform remains the property of the Air Cadet organization but is loaned to the Cadet while they are in the program.
Familiarization with the uniform (wearing and care) is included in Recruit and Level 1 training. Parents should encourage Cadets to keep their uniforms clean and pressed (where applicable), boots polished, and badges are sewn on in the correct place and manner.
Pieces of the uniform that are worn out, or which the Cadet outgrows, are replaced free of charge.
Although we are reluctant to do so, Cadets and their families may be charged for pieces of uniform that are lost or damaged due to the wilful negligence of the Cadet.
Although the basic uniform and related ranks and badges are free, Cadets may wish to purchase additional name tags (for a nominal fee).
Weekly Routine Orders state the uniform requirements for any specific event. Always check the website before attending an event to make sure you are in proper uniform.
Field Training Exercises or FTXs occur twice a year. Cadets are required to have hiking-type boots that support their ankles for the FTXs.
Each Cadet is issued a Squadron logo’d T-Shirt that should be worn for all Cadet activities where the uniform is not required. Ask the supply officer or a member of the SSC for a new shirt if you have grown out of the one given to you.
Promotions and Awards
Successful progression through the Cadet Program is marked by periodic promotions in Rank. The Air Cadet rank structure is a hybrid of the Canadian Forces and former RCAF ranks. Promotion at 700 Squadron rigorously follows Cadet Administrative and Training Order (CATO) 13-02, which prescribes the merit-based standard qualifications for promotions.
From the rank of Cadet to Sergeant (through the intermediate ranks of Leading Air Cadet, Corporal, and Flight Corporal), promotion is primarily based on completion of Level Training and a minimum time in each rank.
Promotion to Flight Sergeant requires “demonstrated enhanced leadership ability” in their Level Training, while promotion to Warrant Officer 2nd and 1st Class is determined by a Cadet’s formal assessment at a Merit Review Board.
The swearing-in of new Cadets and promotion of serving Cadets generally takes place in the September to November or March to May time-frames. Parents are invited to attend the Closing Parade on Friday nights if it is announced in WRO’s that their Cadet will be sworn-in or promoted.
In conjunction with both the Annual Ceremonial Review and Awards Events held at the conclusion of the Training Year, numerous Awards are presented to Cadets who have excelled in various aspects of the Program. Cadets are also eligible for National Awards that include the Lord Strathcona Medal and the Royal Canadian Legion Cadet Medal of Excellence.
The process for determining the recipients of Medals and Awards is a transparent one: with input from Staff members, the SSC, and senior Cadets. A description of the National and Squadron Awards can be found in the Squadron Standing Orders.
The Squadron Staff and SSC may also periodically recommend Cadets for annual Awards made by the Ontario Provincial Committee of the Air Cadet League of Canada. Qualified and deserving Cadets are also supported if they choose to apply for scholarships or bursaries offered by the National or Provincial levels of the League, often in conjunction with aviation and aerospace industry partners.
It should be noted that one of the major factors in determining Awards is the amount of active participation by a Cadet in all Squadron activities.
Parade Night Canteen
Cadets may wish to purchase light snacks at Canteen held during the break period on most Friday nights. Canteen is operated by Cadets and supervised by the SSC. Canteen items are available for a nominal price.
Annual Mess Dinner
All Cadets are required to attend the annual Mess Dinner. Dates and timings can be found in Announcements.
Cadets enjoy a catered meal, learn about Mess Dinner traditions, hear from a distinguished guest of honour, and engage in entertaining activities. Dress for the Mess Dinner is a more formal version of the uniform incorporating a white shirt and black bow-tie. Cadets should speak to their Cadet Flight Commander or Level Officer for more information.
Cadets must register for this event and provide one of their Event deposit cards.
Whenever the Squadron provides food during an event the SSC makes every effort to accommodate dietary requirements. When Cadets register for an event that involves food they are asked to ensure they indicate on the registration form or sign-up sheet what, if any, dietary requirement they might have.
Dietary accommodation is not always possible in every case, however, and parents whose Cadets have strict health or religious diet restrictions should speak with the Training Officer. Note: It is always the Cadet’s responsibility to monitor their own food intake for allergy or other reasons.
Annual Weston Santa Claus Parade
Squadron has been a participant in the Weston Santa Claus Parade for many years. The Squadron Band, supported by the Flag Party and marching flights provides entertainment for kids of all ages in the Weston area of the city. The parade is usually held in late November.
Cadet Community Service
Cadets are required to complete several hours of community volunteer service annually: Levels 1-4 require 4 hours per year; Level 5 requires 45 hours “standard” to 70 hours “exceed standard” over two years. The Cadet program offers some local opportunities to complete these hours but the Cadet is free to offer their help to the most worthwhile community organizations. The Cadet should speak to their Level Training Officer to authorize an activity. Forms to record the hours and have them signed-off by a community leader are available at the Squadron Office.
Wearing Uniform at Non-Cadet Events
Cadets may be permitted to wear their uniforms to non-Cadet events, such as Remembrance Day activities in their school. Permission to wear the uniform from the Commanding Officer is required before the event.
All Cadets receive multiple chances throughout their Cadet career to fly in an Air Cadet glider. The first gliding days are usually reserved for Level 1 Cadets, but subsequent gliding days through the training year are available to any Cadet wishing to increase their time aloft.
March Break Activities
The Squadron may organize either local activities (e.g., first aid training) or trips (e.g., Ottawa, Washington, etc.) during March break. Announcements are made during parade nights on the content of the current year’s planned events. Selection of Cadets to attend trips is based on their total contribution to all Squadron activities, including Tagging, Remembrance Day, teams, etc.
Annual Ceremonial Review
The major concluding event of the Training Year is the Annual Ceremonial Review. This is a formal Parade with an invited military or civilian guest as the Reviewing Officer. There are also numerous VIP guests invited from stakeholder groups including elected officials, the Department of National Defence, Air Cadet League, our School Principals, corporate and individual supporters, former Officers and Cadets, etc.
The Parade takes about 90 minutes and includes a formal inspection, a March-Past, band and drill demonstrations, presentation of major awards, and an Advance in Review Order.
THE MOST IMPORTANT GUESTS are the families and friends of the Cadets. We urge all parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters, and friends, to attend the Review. There will be lots of publicity to remind you. And plenty of good seats!
Date: Usually held in late May or early June. (Please check the Calendar for dates and timings.)
Annual Awards Event
Every year there are several personal awards given for individual achievement and contribution to the Squadron. These awards include: Level completion certificates, team leadership and skills awards and Squadron commendations. These awards are handed out at a special awards event in the TCI auditorium. The timing for this awards event changes from year to year, so please check the calendar for the timing and location of the current year awards event.
Squadron Sponsoring Committee (SSC)
The SSC is made up of volunteers who assist the Squadron by arranging for most of the logistics to keep the Squadron operating. Arranging for school rentals, buying administrative supplies, organizing tagging weekends, organizing trips, volunteering at our Air Cadet charity bingo, arranging for catering, etc. are just a few of the things that the SSC does.
The volunteers are made up of parents of current or former Cadets and long-time community supporters. The SSC is always looking for new members to help with the many activities they are involved in. If you are able to volunteer your time please speak to an SSC member (review the Donate and Support page for the current list of SSC volunteers).
Summer Training Courses
Cadets are offered many exciting and valuable summer training opportunities. Selection for summer courses is based on a combination of the Cadet’s general participation and effort in the program and the number of slots available in any given course.
Summer training spaces are made available by DND for approximately 40% of the Squadron’s Cadets in any given year. Cadets need to have a minimum of 60% attendance for regular training activities to apply for a summer training opportunity.
Registration for summer training courses occurs between October and March each year. Staff will canvas interest among Cadets about which course they want to apply for and will provide Cadets with the appropriate paperwork to do so. There is no charge to attend the summer courses and the Cadet will receive a weekly training allowance while they are at the course. See the current list of courses at Summer Training.