Re-established in 2013, 137 Ashbury RCD Army Cadets have rebuilt the once-proud Army Cadet Corps at Ashbury College in Ottawa's Rockliffe Park.
137 Ashbury RCACC was originally founded (or "stood up" in our lingo) on 20 June 1905, and was affiliated with the Governor General Foot Guards, a reserve infantry regiment in Ottawa. The GGFG remained loyal supporters of the cadet corps at Ashbury College for the entirety of their long history at the school. 137 RCACC was officially stood-down on 9 December 1974, just a few months after a tragic accident at the Valcartier Training Centre, saw the entire Cadet Program undergo massive changes. On 21 December 2013, the 130th anniversary to the day of the founding of the Royal Canadian Dragoons (our Regular Force affiliated regiment), 137 RCD RCACC was re-born at Ashbury College, in Ottawa's Rockliffe Park. We carry on the proud tradition of the Corps through our new affiliated unit. Without the Regiment and our sponsors, you would not be visiting this website.
Aims and Benefits of Being an Army Cadet
The aim of the Cadet program is to develop in youth the attributes of good citizenship and leadership, promote physical fitness and stimulate the interest of youth in sea, land and air activities of the Canadian Armed Forces.
Cadets learn to become active, responsible members of their communities. They make valuable contributions to Canadian society on a daily basis through important citizenship and community service activities. Cadets develop valuable life and work skills such as self-confidence, self-esteem, teamwork and respect for others while having fun and building lasting friendships.
Some people think of Cadets as a tool used by the military to recruit for the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). This is not true. Cadets are not members of the CAF, nor are they forced to join after they retire from the cadet corps. While some do select to go on to a career in the CAF, our goal is to create transferrable life skills which will benefit the Cadet, regardless of their selected career path.
137 Ashbury is the cadet affiliated unit for 4 Canadian Division's Royal Canadian Dragoons, based at Garrison Petawawa. As the affiliated cadet unit, we are fortunate to have such a highly trained group of individuals from Petawawa to regularly attend our weekly training nights to pass on the knowledge of the Canadian Army, and of the Dragoons history and training. Moreover, the Regiment regularly extends offers to have our Cadets attend training weekends to pass on more hands-on knowledge.
Q. Should I join Army, Air or Sea Cadets?
ARMY, obviously!! All of the cadet organizations are fantastic, and each will teach you valuable skills while having great fun in a specific elemental setting. The choise is yours. All we ask is that you come visit us on one of our training nights before you decide. After that, you'll know.
Q. What do the Cadets do?
Some of our activities include: Expeditions (Ontario, Canada and overseas), Hiking and Mountain Biking, Canoeing, Camping, Orienteering and Military Navigation Training, Air Rifle Shooting, Biathlon Team, Marksmanship Team, Drill Team, Winter Survival Training, Team Sports, Leadership & Citizenship Training, Radio Procedures, First Aid Certification, Summer Training (we pay you to go!) and much more!!
Q. If I join the cadets, am I in the military?
While the cadet programme does foster a better understanding of the Canadian Armed Forces, and the Department of National Defense provides funding for the program, cadets are not members of the Canadian military! You will not handle military firearms (although some senior cadets may be afforded the opportunity to compete for Canada on the National Rifle Team firing the C11 and C12 competition rifles), throw grenades, drive a tank or fight overseas! But you will go abseiling, white water canoeing, camping, patrolling, go on field training exercises, and learn to lead other cadets - just to name a few. And you'll play a special role in things like the annual Remembrance Day parades. Certainly there are cadets who choose to go onward to a military career, but most do not. Cadets teaches you life skills that you will take with you on whatever path your choose.
Q. What does it cost?
The program is funded by the Department of National Defense with additional local fundraising coordinated by the corps Support Committee. It costs nothing to join, and the uniforms, most travel expenses, food, lodging, training and more is provided. There are only a few small expenses such as your name tag and pocket money for the kids for trips.
Q. Do I get paid to be a cadet?
Yes, and no. Cadets who attend summer training centres receive a training bonus at the end of each week. Also, senior cadets who return to training centres as staff are paid a daily wage and make very good money for the summer. Most staff cadets are 16-18 years of age and they come back with lots of money in their bank accounts!
Q. Do I get to shoot guns?
Once you have been adequately trained on safety precautions and handling procedures, and have proven yourself a responsible cadet, you might then be eligible to be coached as a target rifle marksman. Cadets who participate in marskmanship use the Daisy Air Rifle, a pellet rifle designed for cadet use in marksmanship competitions. Cadets are supervised at all times by the Range Safety Officer (RSO), senior cadets and coaches. As you progress through your training, opportunities may arise where you will be able to fire competition rifles that are typically .22 caliber, for biathlon or National Rifle Team members.
Q. What kind of teams are there in Cadets?
Ashbury has something for everyone. If you are a cadet who wants to do more than come out to regular parade nights and exercises, you might like to check out one of our many teams. Being part of a team adds to your skills and abilities, and opens up wonderful opportunities for competition and travel. There are drill teams, marksmanship teams, biathlon teams, and more in the works.
Q. Will I have people bossing me around?
You will have other, more senior, cadets in charge of you. You will not be bossed around, belittled, or made to do things that make you feel uncomfortable. You will, however, be guided by your seniors and be made to contribute to the corps' overall tasks and goals. You must follow instruction. But once you have proven yourself to be a good follower, you will begin to climb the ranks and take on a leadership role of your own. In no time you will have cadets of your own to command - and teach! There are eight ranks, beginning with recruit. The sooner your join, the sooner you move up!
Q. There are so many people around, will I make friends?
Definitely! Whether you are shy or outgoing, you are certain to make a ton of friends in cadets. Here's why. When you come to cadets for the first time you will be put together with other new recruits, and you'll get to know who they are. Not long after, you will be put into a 'patrol'. A patrol is made up of only 10-12 cadets and these people will become your closest buddies! As soon as you're in a patrol you will meet your Sergeant or Warrant Officer - the cadet in charge of your patrol. S/he is there to answer all your questions - when in doubt, ask your Sergeant!
Sections always work as a team so you will be surprised just how fast you learn everyone's name! You will also be placed in a Star Level, Green Star for new recruits. Green Stars attend all their classes and training together, so you will get to know a whole bunch of new cadets just like yourself. Lastly, if you are concerned about making new friends, bring an old one! We are always happy to welcome new cadets and many new recruits bring a friend to join with them.
Q. What are the uniforms like?
There are two types of uniforms - Field Training Uniforms (FTUs) which resemble the old-style olive drab field uniform, and the dress uniform. Both uniforms are supplied to you by the Cadet Corps at no cost. We only ask that you take care of them as per regulations and promptly attach new rank badges and other training badges you earn to your uniform!
Q. Is there travel involved?
Throughout your cadet career you will have a chance to go to different cities in Ontario, and sometimes other provinces. This is especially true if you join one of the teams, as they often travel to competitions.
The corps as a whole also does trips for citizenship training. Once you have completed your cadet training and have obtained your National Star qualifications, you may be eligible to do an overseas exchange with 20-30 cadets from all over Canada! Exchange cadets might go to the USA, England, or even Scotland!