Air Cadets are part of the Canadian Cadet Organizations (CCO). This programme has a membership of over 53,000 cadets and serves youth that range from 12 to 19 years of age, 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