IN YOUR COMMUNITY
- New Air Cadet Squadrons
- The formation of new squadrons in Manitoba communities is one of the responsibilities and major goals of the ACL (MB) Inc.
This process may be initiated by two means: the Provincial Committee of the Air Cadet League of Canada eliciting the citizens and organizations of a community to consider the establishment of a squadron; or by groups or organizations of a community that approach the Provincial Committee to assist in establishing a squadron in their locale.
The formation of a Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron requires the approval of both the Air Cadet League of Canada (ACL) and the Department of National Defence (DND). The minimum requirement to begin the formation process is:
- The support of a local sponsor;
- The availability of training facilities;
- The availability of suitably qualified personnel to conduct training; and
- The interest of area youth.
The local sponsor may be a Service Club, Veterans Organization or a group of individuals who form an association specifically to support the squadron; for example, the parents of interested youths who form an Association of Parents. The sponsor must commit to:
- providing funding for equipment and activities not provided by the DND;
- they must provide suitable facilities for training and storage if such facilities are not provided by DND;
- they must identify a minimum of four individuals that meet the recruitment standards for the Canadian Forces Reserves, Cadet Instructors Cadre; and
- they must enrol a minimum of thirty youths who wish to join the Royal Canadian Air Cadets.
If these obligations can be met then the ACL (MB) will assist them in completing the required documentation to form a new Air Cadet Squadron.
The facilities used by existing squadrons vary from Military Armouries to spaces in community centres, schools and Service Club buildings. Space needs will depend upon the size of a squadron but will at minimum require space for administrative offices, storage for equipment and supplies, as well as, classrooms and a training area large enough for the squadron to parade.
A minimum of four suitable candidates must be identified for recruitment as members of the Canadian Forces Reserves, Cadet Instructors Cadre (CIC) Branch. Ideally, there will be at least one individual of either sex in the group. These individuals are required to meet recruitment standards for the CIC and undergo training to qualify for their position of employment. They must have at minimum:
- an education level of High School diploma or equivalent;
- meet the required medical standard for the CIC Branch; and
- be of suitable character and reliability for working with the youth of Canada.
A minimum of thirty youths, girls and boys, must be enrolled and their documentation submitted with the formation application. Candidates for enrolment in the Air Cadet Program must:
- have reached their 12th but not their 19th birthday;
- not belong to another cadet organization;
- be in good physical condition;
- possess provincial health insurance or equivalent;
- be acceptable to the Commanding Officer; and
- be a legal resident of Canada.
Once all documentation is completed it is forwarded to the National Office of the ACL or those documents relevant to the Canadian Forces will be processed by the various levels of the Canadian Forces. This is a thorough process that can take up to a year to be completed. Therefore, to avoid disappointment from potential cadets, their recruitment should be the last hurdle in the procedure. Experience has shown that the recruitment of Cadet Instructors Cadre officers is the most challenging part of the development of a new squadron.
When all have approved the application, authority to establish the squadron will be granted by the ACL office in Ottawa and a Charter will be issued to the recognized Sponsor to operate the squadron on behalf of the ACL.