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Affiliated Unit  - A unit of the Regular Force or of the Primary Reserve with which a cadet corps is affiliated or connected. Our Affiliated Unit is the 48th Highlanders of Canada who are headquartered at Moss Park Armoury, Toronto, Ontario.

Air Force -  The air component of the Canadian Forces, its mission is to provide operationally ready air forces to meet Canada's defence commitments. There are about 13,000 regular and 3,000 reserve-force members and 3,000 civilians working for the air force.

Appointment - A position or role to which a cadet is appointed. Examples include Company Sergeant Major, Adjutant, Company Commander and Commanding Officer. Most appointments have a particular rank which is normal for that position if the appointee is qualified.

Armoury - A building where the militia (army reserve) trains.

Army - A major military formation in modern war comprising at least two corps and commanded by a full general. In Canada, The Land Force, the land component of the Canadian Forces, has a mission to maintain combat-capable, multi-purpose land forces to meet Canada's defence policy goals.

Army Cadet Corps - An individual body of Army Cadets organized pursuant to Section 43 of the National Defence Act. Our Corps is known as #142 St. Andrew's College Highland Cadet Corps.

Army Cadet League (ACL) - The organization incorporated as the Army Cadet League of Canada acting in partnership with the Department of National Defence to provide for the Royal Canadian Army Cadets since 1971.

Army Group - The largest military command, first formed during the First World War, comprising at least two armies.


Base - A Canadian Forces base is designated as a base by the Minister of National
Defence. The role of the base is to provide accommodation and support services for assigned units.

Battalion (Infantry) - The principal unit of infantry 600-1000 strong, normally consists of four companies and is commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel, often loosely called a regiment.

Battlecruiser - A large cruiser, carrying guns but not armour of a battleship's weight, developed before the First World War to scout for the battleships.

Battleship - The largest gun-firing warship.

Brigade - Normally consists of three battalions and supporting elements and is commanded by a brigadier general. The smallest formation (ie. self-sufficient unit) in that it also contained troops of other arms besides those forming its principal bulk. It includes about 4,300 personnel in peacetime and 6,200 in wartime.

Bushcraft - Any aspects of field training that employ the skills required to camp comfortably out of doors.


Cadet Instructor Cadre (CIC) - The largest branch of officers in the Canadian Forces. An officer of the CIC is a member of the Reserve Force while serving cadets. CIC officers are responsible for the organization of a cadet corps and the instruction of cadets.

Cadets - The Sea, Army, and Air Cadet Programs are designed as youth-development programs where cadets, aged 12-19, are taught citizenship, physical fitness, leadership,
and activities related to their environment ­ sea, land, or air. The Cadet Program is co-sponsored by DND and the associated leagues (Navy, Air, and Army Cadet Leagues).

Canadian Forces - The Canadian Forces (CF) consist of two primary components: the regular and reserve forces. There are approximately 60,000 regular and 30,000 reserve members in the CF.

Captain - A junior commissioner officer. Companies are often commanded by Captains.

Civilian Instructor (CI) - A person who is employed as an instructor at a cadet corps, but who is not a member of the Canadian Forces.

Combined Operations - An operation where two or more countries work in co-operation on deployment.

Command - The lawful authority that a leader exerts over subordinates by virtue of rank and appointment. See also leadership and management.

Commissionered Officer - See also non-commissioned officer.

Company (Coy) - An infantry company consist of three platoons and a Company Headquarters (CoyHQ) consisting of the Officer Commanding (OC) (sometimes referred to as the Company Commander), Company Sergeant Major (CSM), The Company Quartermaster Sergeant (CQMS), a Transport Sergeant and a Signaller. In our cadet corps a CoyHQ consists of the Officer Commanding and the CSM. Companies are grouped into battalions. Approximately 120 personnel.

Contingency - The UN or NATO mandate for an operational mission.

Contingent - A group of units formed to go on deployment.

Corps (pronounced kor

  1. See army cadet corps
  2. A formation that normally consists of two or more divisions and supporting elements and is commanded by a lieutenant general.

Course Officer - The officer/civilian instructor responsible for overseeing the training program and welfare fo the cadets enrolled in a star course.

Cruiser - The gun-firing warship next in size after a battleship, developed for reconnaisance, commerce protection and raiding. See also battlecruiser.


Defence White Paper - A Government of Canada document that sets Canada's defence policy.

Detachment - A group of Land Force units not collocated with the base that supports them.

Destroyer - A fast warship, smaller than a cruiser, developed to fight torpedo boats about 1890, and later submarines.

Directorate of Cadets (D Cdts) - The directorate (or department) responsible for setting policy and direction for the cadet movement. D Cdts works under the umbrella organization of the Directorate of Reserves and Cadets (DGRC). D Cdts is located in NDHQ, Ottawa.

Division - The principal army formation comprising infantry or cavalry (or more recently tanks, or a mixture of infantry or tanks) with such supporting troops as artillery, engineers, signals. It is traditionally is commanded by a Major General and numbers 12,000 to 20,000 in three or four brigades.


Emergency Preparedness Canada (EPC) - A government organization, EPC is part of DND. Its role is to advance civil preparedness in Canada for emergencies of all types. The Minister of National Defence is responsible for EPC.


Fieldcraft - A subject that teaches the use of natural and artificial cover when crossing different types of ground; it includes concealment and silent alertness. Skillful fieldcraft therefore demands physical fitnes, mental alertness and discipline.


Flank - The side of a military formation; a column has longer flanks than a line.


General Officers - Commissioned Officers that include (from lowest to highest) the ranks of:

  • Brigadier General - Normaly commands a Brigade.
  • Major General - Normally commands a Division.
  • Lieutenant General - Normally commands an army Corps.
  • General - Normally commands an Army.


Instruct - To impart knowledge or skill to an individual or group using a systematic method in order to achieve a required standard.

Instructor - Any cadet, guest lecturer, civilian instructor or Cadet Instructor Cadre Officer who is charged with the responsibility of instructing cadets during a period of instruction.


Joint operations - An operation whereby two or more elements of one nation's military
(navy, army, and air) work together.



Leadership - As defined by the Canadian Forces:  "The art of influencing human behaviour in order to accomplish a task in the manner desired by the leader." 

See also Command, Management and  Titanic Leadership Lessons.

Lieutenant Colonel - A senior commissioned officer who normally commands a battalion.


  1. A military or naval formation, greater in breath than depth.
  2. The ordinary infantry and cavalry, as opposed to that of the guard or the light troops.


Management - The science of employing human resources and material in the economical and effective accomplishment of a task. (See also Leadership and Command.)

Multinational Force - A force made up of military members from more than one nation.


National Star Certification - An annual army cadet examination set by NDHQ designed to test mandatory star programme subject material.

National Defence Headquarters (NDHQ) - Located in Ottawa, Ontario, NDHQ represents the policy making body for the Canadian Forces. The Minister of National Defence has offices located in NDHQ.

NATO - The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) - Was established in 1949, and currently has 16 member countries: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany (since 1955), Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain (since 1982), Turkey (since 1952), the United Kingdom, and the United States. The transatlantic partnership between the European members of NATO and the United States and Canada is designed to bring about peace and stability throughout Europe.

Navy - Canada's navy is represented on the east coast in Halifax, and on the west coast in Victoria. Its mission is to defend Canada's maritime interests, which include fisheries patrols, pollution monitoring, and drug interdiction.

Non-Commissioned Officer - NCO's consist of  the following ranks from lowest to highest. See also Commissioned Officer.

  • Junior NCO's:
    • Lance Corporal (LCpl)
    • Corporal (Cpl)
    • Master Corporal (MCpl)
  • Senior NCO's:
    • Sergeant (Sgt)
    • Warrant Officer (WO)
    • Master Warrant Officer (MWO)
    • Chief Warrant Officer (CWO)
NORAD - The North American Aerospace Defence (NORAD) Agreement - Is a bilateral agreement whereby Canada and the United States jointly maintain aerospace surveillance, missile warning, drug interdiction, and air defence of North American airspace. The Canadian NORAD region headquarters is in Winnipeg at 1 Canadian Air Division/NORAD Region Headquarters (1 CAD/CANR HQ). The actual surveillance is done from the Sector Air Operations Centre, located at North Bay, Ontario.


Officer - See either Commissioned Officer or Non-Commissioned Officer.

Optional Programmes - Those activities that may be conducted by a cadet corps during the training year in order to enhance training and to take advantage of local expertise and resources.

Orienting a Map - To make its directions coincide with directions on the ground.


Partnership for Peace (PFP) - The Partnership for Peace aims to expand political and
military co-operation throughout Europe, to increase stability, and to diminish threats to
world peace. Canada is an active member of this partnership.

Platoon - An infantry platoon consists of about 40 personnel in three sections and a platoon headquarters consisting of a platoon commander (normally a Lieutenant) and a platoon 2nd in command (2IC) (normally a Warrant Officer or Sergeant).



  1. In close order drill (ie. on the parade square), a line of cadets standing beside each other. Normally you will have a front rank, centre rank and rear rank.
  2. An official grade, i.e. Major.
  3. (Plural) - The body of soldiers of an army as opposed to the officers.
Rangers - Volunteers who contribute to Canadian sovereignty by patrolling Canada's hinterland. Rangers provide a military presence in the sparsely settled northern, coastal, and isolated areas of Canada which cannot be conveniently or economically covered by
other elements of the regular or reserve forces.


  1. The principal unit of cavalry, about 500 strong, commanded by a Lieutenant-Colonel. 
  2. A unit of infantry comprising 2-4 battalions, commanded by a Colonel, but generally an administrative rather than a tactical body.
Regular Force - Made up of about 60,000 uniformed Canadian men and women, regular-force members work full-time for DND, making the military their career.

Resection - A method of determining your location by taking compass bearings on two known locations.

Reserve Force - The army reserve (militia), air, naval, and communication reserves provide a vital link between the CF and local communities. Reservists are employed part- and full-time to augment the regular force.


Section - The basic unit of organization in the infantry, it normally consists of 10-12 all ranks. Sections are grouped into platoons.

Sponsor - The function of the local sponsor is to raise money and provide facilities for cadet training. The sponsor for our cadet corps is St. Andrew's College.

Star Programme - A mandatory programme carried out at the cadet corps which teaches and practises the minimum knowledge and skills necessary to achieve the training objectives of the army cadets. This programme is divided into four levels signified by green, red, silver and gold stars. Each star signifies a level of mandatory training completed and normally a cadet will only accomplish one star level in a given training year. The training is normally completed in the above stated order.

Station - A Canadian Forces station is a unit that is operationally oriented, usually without any support capability.


Time Appreciation - A process which helps make sure that the time available for a given task is put to best use. Four steps include determining:

  1. How much time is there between now and when the task must be completed?
  2. What must be done during the time that I have available?
  3. How long will each task identified take to complete?
  4. What is the logical sequence in which the tasks should be completed?

Training Officer - The officer filling the position of training officer who is responsible for the planning and coordination of all activities.


United Nations - The Security Council of the UN has primary responsibility for maintaining
international peace and security. Any of the five permanent Council members ­ China,
France, Britain the Russian Federation, the United States ­ can veto any decision on
peacekeeping operations. The UN does not have an army. For each peacekeeping
mission, member states voluntarily provide troops and equipment, for which they are
compensated from a special peacekeeping budget. Canada has been a member since the
inception of the UN in 1945.


Victoria Cross - Instituted on January 29, 1856,  the  highest military award for valour is made from the bronze of Russian artillery guns captured in the Crimea. This decoration has been awarded 94 times to Canadians (only once for action in Canada), none of whom are currently living. The last living recipient was Sgt Smokey Smith who died in 2005.


Wing - A Canadian Forces wing is the air-force equivalent of a base, except that where the base is a support structure, the wing is an operational entity.

  • Royal Canadian Army Cadet Course Training Plans by NDHQ
  • Royal Canadian Army Cadet Handbooks - Green, Red, Silver, Gold by NDHQ
  • Who's Who in Military History From 1453 by John Keegan and Andrew Wheatcroft