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Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps (RCACC) Ranks

Updated on November 9, 2011

The Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps uses the following ranks. In addition to the rank-specific criteria given below, all appointments are subject to the approval of the cadet’s Commanding Officer, who generally promotes based on the advice of Platoon Officers and unit training staff (hint: so don’t tick them off).

The official phrasing for the ranks uses the word “Cadet” as a preface — as an example, Cadet Corporal. However, custom omits “Cadet” in casual reference. Thus, Corporal is the usual wording. Generally, where there is a need to distinguish between cadets and Canadian Forces members, ranks will be written or spoken as Cadet Corporal and abbreviated as C/Cpl.

In keeping with Commonwealth military tradition, certain rank titles may vary depending on the kind of unit a corps is affiliated with – for example, an artillery unit or an armoured unit. The Airdrie Army Cadets do not use any of these alternate rank titles.

Brought to you by the Airdrie Army Cadets.

Cadet (french:Cadet)

  • The rank of Cadet is automatically granted on joining
  • There are no prerequisites for this rank, except a minimum age of 12 years
  • Cadet recruits do not wear rank

Lance Corporal (french: Lance Caporal)

Source

For promotion to Lance Corporal (LCpl), a cadet must:

  • have successfully completed the Green Star level;
  • maintain a satisfactory level of dress and deportment; and
  • be recommended by their course officer or platoon commander .

This badge is worn on the upper sleeves of the dress uniform

Other terms: Craftsman (EME/GEM), Signalman (Signals), Sapper (Engineers), Trooper (Armour), Gunner or Lance Bombardier (Artillery), Guardsman (Guards), Rifleman or Highlander (Infantry and other support regiments), Fusilier (Fusiliers), Private (Various Units)

Historical Info: The rank Private in French is Soldat, meaning soldier. Effective September 2009 the rank of Private was replaced with Lance Corporal due to the controversy and confusion that is could cause in French areas since cadets are not military personnel, . Units with historical use of other terms, including Private (Mostly English units,) were allowed to keep using the titles.

Corporal (french:Caporal)

For promotion to Corporal (Cpl), a cadet must:

  • have successfully completed the Red Star level;
  • maintain a satisfactory level of dress and deportment; and
  • be recommended by their course officer or platoon commander.


This badge is worn on the upper sleeves of the dress uniform


Other Terms: Bombardier (Artillery)

Master Corporal (french: Caporal-chef)

For promotion to Master Corporal (MCpl ), a cadet must:

  • have successfully completed the Silver Star level;
  • maintain a satisfactory level of dress and deportment; and
  • be recommended by their course officer or platoon commander.

This rank is worn on the upper sleeves of the dress uniform


Other terms: Master Bombardier (Artillery)

Sergeant (french: Sergent)

For promotion to Sergeant (Sgt), a cadet must:

  • have successfully completed the Gold Star level;
  • maintain a satisfactory level of dress and deportment; and
  • be recommended by their course officer or platoon commander.

This rank is worn on the upper sleeves of the dress uniform

Warrant Officer (french: Officer – Adjudant)

For promotion to Warrant Officer (WO), a cadet must:

  • successfully completed the NSCE;
  • have held the confirmed rank of Sergeant for at least 6 months;
  • maintain a satisfactory level of dress and deportment;
  • be recommended by their course officer or platoon commander.

This rank is worn on the lower right sleeve of the dress uniform


Other terms: Colour Sergeant (Guards)

Master Warrant Officer (french:Adjudant-maître)

For appointment to Master Warrant Officer (MWO), a cadet must:

  • have successfully completed the NSCE;
  • have held the confirmed rank of Warrant Officer for at least 6 months;
  • maintain a satisfactory level of dress and deportment;
  • there must be a vacancy on the corps MWO establishment.

Unlike previous ranks, this rank is worn on the lower right sleeve of the dress uniform

Chief Warrant Officer (french: Adjudant-chef)

For appointment to Chief Warrant Officer (CWO), a cadet must:

  • have successfully completed the NSCE;
  • have held the confirmed rank of Master Warrant Officer for at least 6 months;
  • maintain a satisfactory level of dress and deportment;
  • there must be a vacancy on the corps CWO establishment.  There is a limit of one CWO per corps;

Chief Warrant Officers almost always serve as Regimental Sergeant Major of their corps.


This rank is worn on the lower right sleeve of the dress uniform

Rank Quotas and Appointments

The number of cadets in a cadet corps determines how many cadets may be appointed to each rank.  There is no minimum or maximum number of the following ranks: Cadet Warrant Officer, Cadet Sergeant, Cadet Master Corporal, Cadet Corporal, Cadet Lance Corporal and Cadet.

Corps may limit certain ranks to ensure a balanced chain of command.

Forms of address

  • Junior Cadets are typically addressed by their last name by all ranks; however, a superior might address them as simply “Cadet,” “Recruit,” or “Private,” especially in situations where names aren’t known, as at multi-unit events or at the beginning of a Cadet year.
  • Sergeants and both grades of Corporal are typically addressed by their juniors as “(Rank) So-and-So,” or, conversationally, as “(Rank).” Superiors and equals will often use last name only.
  • Warrant Officers, Master Warrant Officers and Chief Warrant Officers are addressed by their juniors as “Sir” or “Ma’am.” Superiors and equals might use some suitable contraction of the rank – “Warrant,” “Master Warrant,” and “Chief Warrant / Chief.” Superiors and equals may use last name depending on unit circumstances.
  • Additionally, cadets often hold an appointment in addition to their rank, and many of these are used as an alternate form of address (e.g. Drum or Pipe Major, Company or Regimental Sergeant Major, etc.)
  • In formal situations; for example, being called up for an award or promotion; a cadet’s full rank and his/her surname is generally used.

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