Royal Canadian Army Cadets
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The Royal Canadian Army Cadets (RCAC) is a Canadian national youth program sponsored by the Canadian Forces and the civilian Army Cadet League of Canada. Under the authority of the National Defence Act the program is administered by the Canadian Forces and funded through the Department of National Defence. The civilian partner provides support in the local community. Many Army Cadet corps receive additional support from affiliated Regular or Reserve Army units. While cadets may wear the badges and accoutrements of their affiliated unit, cadets are civilians, they are not members of the Canadian Forces .〔http://www.armycadetleague.ca/Templates/faqcadete.html〕
Recognized as Canada's oldest youth program, there are approximately 21,000 army cadets in about 450 corps across the country. Together with the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets and Royal Canadian Air Cadets, it forms the largest federally funded youth program. Cadets are encouraged to become active, responsible members of their communities.
Along with the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets and Royal Canadian Air Cadets, the RCAC is part of the Canadian Cadet Organization. Although the RCAC and the other cadet programs are led and financied by the Canadian Forces and supervised and financed at the community level by the civilian Leagues, cadets are not members of the Forces, and there is no expectation to join the Canadian Forces. In keeping with Commonwealth custom, the Royal Canadian Army Cadets stand second in the order of precedence, after the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets, and before the Royal Canadian Air Cadets.
People aged 12 to 18 may join the RCAC, free of charge. Uniforms, training manuals, and instruction are provided. A cadet must leave the organization before their 19th birthday. Upon departing, most items issued to them during their time in the program must be returned. Some cadet corps conduct a "leaving ceremony", to recognize departing cadets. If the senior-ranked cadet is departing he or she will relinquish the senior position by passing on the drill cane, or the Corps flag to his or her successor.
The organization and rank system of the Canadian Army is used. Cadets are appointed to Non-Commissioned Member ranks and take senior amongst themselves. A few large school sponsored cadet corps use cadet officer designations from Lieutenant to Lieutenant Colonel a practice that is not officially recognized. Army Cadet Corps are often affiliated to a Reserve or Regular Force army regiment and wear the accoutrements of their affiliated unit. Adult leadership is provided by members of the Canadian Forces Reserve Subcomponent Cadet Organization Administration and Training Service composed mostly of officers of the Cadet Instructor Cadre (CIC) Branch, supplemented, if necessary, by contracted Civilian Instructors, authorized adult volunteers, and, on occasion, officers and non-commissioned members of other CF branches. The CIC Branch is specifically trained to deliver the Royal Canadian Sea, Army, and Air Cadet training program, and like all reservists come from all walks of life and all parts of the community. Some are former cadets, many have former regular or reserve force service.
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