Youth leading youth
While our squadron has a number of adult staff that are accountable for the training of all cadets, it is actually the senior cadets in Level 5 that are directly responsible for the day to day operational duties of operating the squadron. This includes performing instruction and evaluation of the Level 1-4 cadets, coaching teams, and enforcing standards.
The training program syllabus is comprised of the following subjects:
- Aviation – Aerodrome Operations
- Aviation – Aerospace
- Aviation – Air Navigation
- Aviation – Meteorology
- Aviation – Principles of Flight
- Aviation – Propulsion
- Canadian Armed Forces Familiarization
- Canadian Aviation Familiarization
- Community Service
- Fitness & Health
- General Cadet Knowledge
- Instructional Technique
- Professional Development
- Physical Activities
- Radio Communication
All cadets are required to attend the following:
- Tuesday night training
- Fall FTX
- 1 of the 3 Remembrance / D Day Parades
In addition, all cadets are expected to participate in fundraising activities organized by the SSC:
- Lottery book
- Minimum 3 tagging shifts in Fall and 3 tagging shifts in Spring
We offer a number of extra-curricular activities, teams, and events that cadets are not required to attend, but are highly encouraged to so in order to maximize the value the Cadet Program can provide:
Training within the Cadet Program is broken up into five Proficiency Levels (1 thru 5). These levels map to the number of years a cadet has been in the program similar to grades in school. The training program is structured and caters towards the developments needs of youth as they progress in age, maturity, and responsibility.
Field Training Exercise (FTX)
The squadron goes out for multiple weekend Field Training Exercises (FTXs) throughout the training year.
At an FTX, our cadets undergo training on topics such as: outdoor survival, shelter building, fire safety, survival psychology, range training, first aid, orienteering, radio communication, etc. They also build on their teamwork and leadership skills.
Despite having to eat military field ration packs (MREs), living in claustrophobic tents, waking up early on the weekend, and occasionally suffering through poor weather conditions, these FTXs are an incredible experience for our cadets and they come home back wanting to do it all over again.
Every year our senior cadets have the opportunity to apply for the Air Cadet Glider Power Pilot Scholarship (GPS) or Power Pilot Scholarship (PPS) programs. These programs are offered as seven-week intensive training courses over the summer. Successful candidates of the PPS have the opportunity to obtain their Transport Canada Private Pilot’s License.
Running from September through January each year, the Ground School program is provided locally at 540 Sqn to offer academic training to interested cadets who wish to compete for selection in the GPS or PPS programs. Ground School is not an easy course to take and requires extreme dedication, studying, and constant testing. From an academic perspective it is equivalent to a Grade 12 or higher course. To apply for the GPS or PPS scholarships, a cadet must successfully complete Ground School and have the recommendation of the Ground School staff. In order to attend Ground School, cadets must be a minimum of 15 years of age by August 31, and have completed Level 3 in the Cadet Training Program. Cadets interested in the GPS program must be less than 6’3″ tall and weight less than 200 lbs due to physical restrictions of the gliders.
All Ground School students will be expected to have a copy of, “From the Ground Up” (FGU). The current version is the 29th version. The ISBN number for the FGU you need is: 978-0-9730036-3-5. Be certain it is the Canadian version, not the American version. They are different! Weekly assignments and exam questions will be sourced from FGU.
Here are some possible Canadian sources, please confirm prices prior to purchase:
March Break Trip
Each year 50 cadets are selected to attend the squadron march break trip. Selection is based on multiple criteria including: attendance, attitude, participation, and fundraising efforts.
Previous trip locations and noteworthy sites are:
- Boston, MA – USS Constitution; Harvard University
- Chicago, IL – Millennium Park; Field Museum; Shedd Aquarium; Adler Planeterium; Willis (Sears) Tower
- New York, NY – Times Square; 9/11 Memorial; Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum; Statue of Liberty; Empire State Building
- Norfolk, VA – USS Buttercup (US Navy damage control trainer); NASA Langley Visitor Centre; Virginia Air and Space Center; Marine Corps Base Quantico; Naval Station Norfolk; National Museum of the Marine Corps
- Washington, DC – National Mall; Smithsonian; Pentagon; Arlington National Cemetery; US Naval Academy; National Air and Space Museum at Dulles International Airport
Algonquin Canoe Trip
At the end of August, a small group of cadets are chosen to go to Algonquin Park for a 5-6 day canoe trip. Completely detached from civilization and technology (no electricity or cell phone signal!), the cadets spend the week canoeing and portaging deep into the park and sleeping in camp sites along the edges of its lakes.
Cadets are chosen to attend based on their attendance, attitude, and participation throughout training year, as well as the results of their written and practical canoe skills evaluation. Cadets are provided all necessary canoe training; previous canoe experience is not a requirement to attend.