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History of Cadets




Cadets Canada

The Cadet Program is one of Canada’s oldest youth programs. The origins of the program can be traced back to 1862.

  • In 1879 the Army Cadets was formed

  • In 1895 the Sea Cadets was formed

  • In 1941 the Air Cadets was formed

  • In 1975 girls were allowed to join Cadets


Today, girls represent more than 30% of all cadets in Canada.

Currently there are approximately 52,000 cadets across Canada.

The Cadet Program offers challenging experiences, friendships and adventure! It’s an opportunity to expand your own horizons, contribute to your community and make friends for life. Many former cadets credit their participation in the program for giving them a head-start in their career.

Did you know that Canadian astronauts Chris Hadfield, Marc Garneau and Jeremy Hansen are all former cadets? Many famous community leaders, athletes and celebrities are former cadets as well. 

Who are we?  Over 57 000 youth, aged 12-18, supervised and led by over 9000 military and civilian members; supported by their communities, sponsors, the Canadian Armed Forces, and the Navy, Army Cadet and Air CadetLeagues of Canada.

Where can you find us?  In over 1200 Cadet Corps and Squadrons in over 800 communities from coast-to-coast-to-coast. Cadets also gain experience at 22 Cadet Training Centres, 32 sailing sites, 34 expedition sites and 59 flying sites and across the country.

When can you find us?  Cadets generally run activities one night per week, and one weekend per month, with additional opportunities for unique experiences during the summer and throughout the year.

How do we do it?  By offering the experience of a peer-led program that is open to all youth, in a safe, yet challenging environment focusing on unique activities that will leave a positive lifelong impact.

Why are we doing it?  We strengthen Canadian communities by investing in youth and developing community leaders.

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