Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What are Army Cadets?

A. The Royal Canadian Army Cadets are teenagers craving exciting outdoor activities where their personal limits as individuals and team-members will be tested. The hardcore outdoor-oriented will love the challenge! Army cadets develop abilities in the use of map and compass, GPS technology, orienteering, first-aid, camping and survival skills, canoeing, abseiling, trekking, mountain biking, etc. As they get more experienced, some will be selected for parachuting, white-water rafting and glacier climbing. They will also learn to become outdoor leaders. Army Cadets get involved in ceremonial military events and citizenship activities that allow them to connect to their Canadian heritage. They develop a great sense of pride and discipline through their involvement in a hierarchical system that allows them to hone their leadership skills as they grow older and they learn to care for younger cadets. In addition to their specialty training, Army Cadets may become involved in other exciting activities like competitive Olympic-style marksmanship and biathlon, sports competitions, music training and competitions, cultural outings, volunteer community support, etc.

Q. Should I join Army, Air or Sea Cadets?

A. Well we’re biased, but ARMY of course!  All of the cadet organizations are fantastic and each will teach you valuable skills while having great fun.  The choice is yours.  All we ask is that you come visit us on one of our training nights before you decide.  After that, you’ll know.

Q. If I join the cadets, am I in the military?

A. While the cadet programme does foster a better understanding of the Canadian Forces, and the Department of National Defense provides funding for the program, cadets are absolutely not in the military! You will not handle firearms, throw grenades, drive a tank or fight overseas! But you will go abseiling, canoeing, camping, patrolling, go on ‘exercises’, and learn to lead other cadets – just to name a few. Also, you’ll play a special role in things like the annual Remembrance Day parade and other community events. Certainly there are a few cadets who might choose to go onward to a military career, but it is not required. Cadets teaches you life skills that you will take with you on whatever path you choose.

Q. What does it cost?

A. This is the best part for the parents … cadets is FREE. The program is funded by the Department of National Defense Canada, with additional local fundraising coordinated by the Support Committee. It costs nothing to join, and the dress uniform, most travel expenses, food, lodging, training and more is free. There are only a few small expenses such as your name tag, optional combat clothing, and pocket money for refreshments during the canteen break each parade night.

Q. Do I get paid to be a cadet?

A. No, and yes. Cadets are not paid during the months of September – June. Cadets who attend summer camp receive a training bonus at the end of the summer. Also, senior cadets who return to camp as leaders are paid a daily wage and make very good money for the summer. Most staff cadets are 16-18 years of age and they come back with lots of money in their bank accounts!

Q. Do I get to shoot guns?

A. Once you have been adequately trained on safety precautions and handling procedures, and have proven yourself a responsible cadet, you might then be eligible to be coached as a target rifle marksman. Cadets who participate in marskmanship use the Daisy 853C Air Rifle, a pellet rifle designed for cadet use in marksmanship competitions. Cadets are supervised at all times by the Range Safety Officer (RSO), senior cadets and coaches.

Q. Will I be a Sergeant or a Corporal? How do I become one?

A. Once you are enrolled into the army cadets, you are assigned the rank of “Cadet”. From there, you will have to go through your training and demonstrate your leadership skills and ability to lead. To learn about the different ranks, and the requirements visit the ranks page.

Q. What kind of teams are there in Cadets?

A. 2881 has something for everyone. If you are a cadet who wants to do more than come out to regular parade nights and exercises, you might like to check out one of our many teams. Being part of a team adds to your skills and abilities, and opens up wonderful opportunities for competition and travel. 2881 currently offers: Orienteering, Marksmanship, Drill, Band, and Biathlon teams.

Q. Will I have people bossing me around?

A. You will have other, more senior, cadets in charge of you. You will not be bossed around, belittled, or made to do things that make you feel uncomfortable. You will, however, be guided by your seniors and be made to contribute to the corp’s overall tasks and goals. You must follow instruction. But once you have proven yourself to be a good follower, you will begin to climb the ranks and take on a leadership role of your own. In no time you will have cadets of your own to command – and teach! There are eight ranks, beginning with Cadet. The sooner you join, the sooner you move up!

Q. There are so many people around, will I make friends?

A. Definitely!  Whether you are shy or outgoing, you are certain to make a ton of friends in cadets.  Here’s why.  When you come to cadets for the first time you will be put together with other new recruits, and you’ll get to know who they are.  Not long after, you will be put into a ‘section’.  A section is made up of only 10-12 cadets and these people will become your closest buddies!  As soon as you’re in a section you will meet your Sergeant (Sgt) – the cadet in charge of your section.  The Sergeant is there to answer all your questions – when in doubt, ask your Sergeant!

Sections always work as a team so you will be surprised just how fast you learn everyone’s name!  You will also be placed in a Star Level, Green Star for new recruits.  Green Stars attend all their classes and training togther, so you will get to know a whole bunch of new cadets just like yourself.  Lastly, if you are concerned about making new friends, bring an old one!  We are always happy to welcome new cadets and many new recruits bring a friend to join with them.

Q. What are the uniforms like?

A. There are two types of uniforms – FTUs (field training uniforms, sometimes referred to as “combats”) and the dress uniform. Both are provided at no charge to the cadet, but both MUST be returned upon leaving the program.

Q. Is there any travel involved?

A. 2881 Cadets are lucky because we have a chance to travel across Canada. Throughout your cadet career you will have a chance to go to different cities in Ontario, and sometimes other provinces. This is especially true if you join one of the teams, as they often travel to competitions. The corps as a whole also does trips or citizenship training. Once you have completed your cadet training and have obtained your National Star qualifications, you may be eligible to do an overseas exchange with 20-30 cadets from all over Canada! Exchange cadets might go to the Australia, England, or even Scotland! Our corps has a proud tradition in this regard … we are accustomed to sending senior cadets almost every year across Canada and the world!

Q. I have another question...

A. Visit our contact page and send us an email. Better yet, come down on a Tuesday night and see what we’re up to!