What is 715 Mohawk Squadron and the Royal Canadian Air Cadets?
The Royal Canadian Air Cadets is a national youth organization for teens aged 12 to 18 (to their 19th birthday), sponsored and run by the Air Cadet League of Canada (a civilian organization) and the Department of National Defence. The organization is made up many training centres, gliding centres, and most importantly, the squadrons, of which every cadet is a part of. 715 Mohawk Squadron is one of 450 Air Cadet Squadrons across Canada.
Who can join Air Cadets?
Any Canadian citizen or landed Immigrant in good health can join as early as 12 years of age, and can remain until they turn 19, the age at which they must retire.
How much is it going to cost me?
Air Cadets is sponsored by the Squadron Sponsoring Committee and the squadron raises its own money during the year by Tagging and various fundraising activities. The Canadian Forces provides uniforms, and instructors. There is a small yearly activity fee however no one is denied access to the program because of inability to pay. The fee is $180 per Cadet which now includes the Assessment fee and $120 for two (2) books of 12 OPC tickets. Since you will have pre-purchased the books, you can either, enter your name on all the tickets and submit the stubs, or you can sell the tickets, submit the stubs and keep the money. Remember, Cadets are expected to sell at least 2 books of tickets. (For more information on OPC Tickets, please see the Fundraising Section). Please bring cash, cheque or credit card for the fee by the end of September. Cheques can be made payable to Mohawk Air Cadet Sponsoring Committee Inc.
Does my Cadet have to join the military?
Air Cadets are not members of the Canadian Forces, nor will they ever be asked to join. If you choose to join though, you will have a great advantage over other applicants (most high-ranking officers in the Canadian forces started off in the cadet program). However, you will never be required to serve with the military.
Does my Cadet wear a Uniform?
Your new Cadet will be measured for their uniform by the Supply Officer. Until their uniform arrives, your Cadet will be expected to wear black pants and a white dress shirt (no jeans or T- shirts) to parade nights. The uniform and boots are the property of the Squadron but your Cadet will be expected to look after them as if they were their own. The Cadets will be shown how to shine their boots and keep their uniforms up to standard. Don’t worry, as your Cadet grows, their uniform will be replaced with one that fits! Badges are to be placed on certain parts of the uniform, which can sometimes be confusing for Cadets and parents alike. We have included information on Dress Regulations and the Numbered Orders of Dress for Air Cadets.
What do Air Cadets do?
Air Cadets at 715 Mohawk Squadron meet once a week on Tuesdays from 6:30 to 9:30 pm at the Squadron. While there, they undergo the standard classes that are part of the Air Cadet program. That includes aviation studies, citizenship, leadership, effective speaking, outdoor survival, drill, sports and more. Parents are encouraged to come into the Squadron on parade nights around 9pm. You will have the opportunity to see promotions and merit awards and hear the announcements from the Commanding Officer and the Squadron Warrant Officer. These are the times that the functions are announced and explained and when the dates and times for the different squadron teams and activities are mentioned.
Training on Tuesday nights is only the core of the program, the standard classes that all squadrons teach. It is the training and the teams at the squadron level, on weekends and other weeknights, that really make up all of the opportunities in the program.
*Please Note: A very important event for all cadets is the Annual Ceremonial Review (ACR) at the end of the Cadet training year. Attendance is mandatory for this event so be sure to place it in your calendar early. The ACR for the training year is typically held on the second Saturday of June. It is a full day event for the cadets, with family and friends arriving in the afternoon to watch the Ceremony. This event is the culmination of all of the Cadets’ hard work throughout the year. The Squadron is reviewed and inspected by a visiting Officer, member of the Air Cadet League or member of the Ontario Provincial Committee. The Teams and Clubs also take part and have the opportunity to show both static displays and active demonstrations of everything they’ve been working on throughout the year. Also, the year-end awards are presented at the Annual Ceremonial Review!
This is a wonderful event for family and friends to attend, and is a great opportunity to show their continuing support of their Cadet(s)!
Who teaches Air Cadets?
Air Cadet Instructors are often past cadets themselves. They are members of the community and hold civilian occupations in areas such as business owners, police officers, medical persons, and school employees. Higher ranking air cadets are also instructors, as well as members of local military units.
What are some of the extra activities that 715 Mohawk Squadron does?
First of all, the squadron has many year-long teams, including drill teams, a range (shooting) team, and a flag party. We also have sports competitions, ground school classes (a prerequisite for glider/private pilot licenses), and much more. Your cadet is eligible to take part in most teams and activities. The Swim Competitions and Volleyball Competitions are something all cadets can take part in if they wish. They are fun competitions, designed to build camaraderie between fellow cadets at other squadrons. The Drill Team is a weekly commitment and attends a number of competitions throughout the year.
FTX stands for Field Training Exercise. These weekends are mandatory for your Cadet to attend as they give the opportunity for the Cadets to meet some of the requirements of the Cadet program. They are fun weekends that are fully funded by the DND so they don’t cost you anything. The Cadets meet at the Squadron on a Friday evening, are bussed to the camp location (this is often a DND base) and bussed back to the Squadron on Sunday afternoon/evening. In the event the camp location is close enough, you will be asked to drop off/pick up your Cadet directly at the camp.
715 also takes part in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards and offers your Cadet the opportunity to enroll in the program. (Please note that the registration fee for this program goes directly to the Duke of Edinburgh Award program for log books and materials.) This is a great opportunity for our Cadets! For more information on the Duke of Ed Awards, go to www.dukeofed.org.
Gliding is offered 3-4 times a year and is dependent on good weather. Your Cadet will be required to sign up for gliding, as only a certain number of Cadets are able to go.
The New Recruits, LAC’s and AC’s get preference to go first. The Cadets generally meet at the Squadron and travel as a group to the airpark in the Niagara area. Drivers are usually needed and it’s a lot of fun to go along and watch the cadets for the morning or afternoon (depending on the gliding shift our squadron is given). The glider pilots are senior cadets who have received their pilots’ licenses and are trained to take your cadet up as a passenger. Maybe one day it will be YOUR child flying the other cadets!
Can my Cadet get his or her pilot’s license?
Yes! Air Cadets offers two Transport Canada Pilot licenses, The Glider Pilot License (GPL) and the Private Pilot License (PPL). Scholarships are offered to air cadets in order for them to get their pilot licenses at various airfields and flying clubs around the province. The licenses are free through Air Cadets (the GPL normally costs approx. $25,000, while PPL normally costs around $50,000), cadets just have to pay with their dedication and hard work in the squadron.
What if my child does not want to fly? Can they still join Air Cadets?
Absolutely! Flying is only a small part of Air Cadets. An interest in aviation is usually what draws youth to the Air Cadet program, however, there are many other opportunities that Air Cadets offers, such as band, survival skills, drill, marksmanship and leadership. They can also pursue interests in air traffic control, aircraft maintenance, and airport management.
Does the program run in the Summer?
715 stands down for the summer from regular parade nights, however summer courses are a very big part of Air Cadets, and are run every year in July and August. There are many different courses ranging from 2 to 7 weeks. Cadets are not required to attend the courses, but it is highly recommended. You can take everything from basic cadet courses to advanced technical training, and from leadership courses to aerospace studies and make great friends from all over Canada in the process! Summer courses are free, and each cadet is actually paid a training allowance of $60 per week. Eventually an experienced cadet can apply for staff positions for summer courses, and get pay equivalent to a full-time summer job.
Attending Summer Training is not a right, it is a privilege. Each Cadet is evaluated throughout the training year and those individuals deserving are recommended for Summer Training. Regular attendance at Parade nights, participation in fundraising and community volunteer hours are all taken into consideration. Please note – All first year Cadets (LAC /AC) who are eligible, attend General Training (GT). It is in their 2nd year that they have the opportunity to apply for specific Summer Training courses.
The process for applying for Summer Training is a lengthy one. The applications are typically distributed in late November and need to be returned to the Command Staff in December. If you have questions about completing the forms, please ask, as they must be completed properly for submission. The applications are then forwarded to the Department of National Defense (DND) and/or the Air Cadet League and Ontario Provincial Committee for consideration. The CO may start receiving course offers for cadets as early as mid-March, but it may be as late as the end of May, beginning of June and perhaps even LATER! There are 2nd and 3rd rounds of offers sent. We have even had cadets received offers the day after their Summer Training Course has already started. If for some reason a Cadet registered for the Course cannot attend the spot becomes available, so the CO may be contacting you! If you apply for a course, please make sure you are available on the dates you have submitted. The applications trickle in, so your patience is appreciated.