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History

1940 (Early World War II)

  • Government idea was to select teenaged youth to serve as aircrew in the Royal Canadian Air Force

1941

  • Air Cadet League formed (April 9), which was a country-wide volunteer organization to sponsor and develop a training program for young men to fly during World War II
  • 79 squadrons across Canada at the end of the year

1942

  • 135 squadrons and 10,000 Air Cadets by mid-year

1943

  • 315 squadrons with 23,000 Air Cadets

1944

  • 374 squadrons and 29,000+ Air Cadets, 1,750 officers & instructors, 2,000 civilians – this was the peak of the air cadet program

1946 (Post World War II)

  • Since the was ended, the primary focus was no longer to recruit and train military pilots
  • Air Cadet League of Canada (ACLC) and Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) expand cadet program to include areas such as leadership, citizenship, physical fitness, and a continued connection with the military
  • Flying scholarship courses and summer courses created

1951

  • Air Cadet League’s 10th anniversary
  • 65,000 young Canadian had worn the Air Cadet uniform and participated in training up to this time

1961

  • 20th Anniversary
  • 150,000 Air Cadets had received training so far
  • 332 squadrons across Canada

1968

  • New partnership created with Canadian Armed Forces, replacing the Royal Canadian Air Force partnership

1975

  • Official participation of girls approved by parliament (July 30)
  • Uniforms changed to green

1990s

  • Uniforms changed back to blue
  • Approximately 1,000,000 (one million) Canadians had participated in the Air Cadet program by this time

Present

  • 50,000 Canadians involved in some way with the Air Cadet movement
  • 453 active Air Cadet squadrons across Canada
  • 26,000 active Air Cadets across Canada
  • Purpose of the program: leadership, citizenship, physical fitness, general aviation, and stimulating an interested in the Canadian Forces