Uniforms and Badges

In Air Cadets, two types of uniform are used.

Field Training Uniform (FTU) used for regular training

Blue Uniform (C1 - C4) used for ceremonies



Shoulder Badge (Shoulder Flash)

The shoulder badge is worn on both sleeves of the tunic only. The top of the badge is to be 2 cm below the shoulder seam.

Placement of the should flashes can be found on the following links: Left Sleeve and Right Sleeve.

Cap Badge

Your cap badge is worn on the left side of the wedge. The centre of the badge is positioned half-way between the front

and middle of the wedge and it is centred between the top and bottom of the wedge.

Rank Badges - LAC to FSgt

Your ranks belong half-way between the shoulder seam and elbow on both sleeves of the tunic. When you are promoted you replace your current rank with the new rank in the same way. LAC, Corporal, Flight Corporal, Sergeant and Flight Sergeant badges are all placed this way as seen at the following links. Left Sleeve and Right Sleeve.

Warrant officer ranks are placed slightly differently and can be found at the following links: Left Sleeve - Warrants and Right Sleeve - Warrants.

Proficiency Badge

Your first year proficiency badge is centred on the left sleeve of the tunic. The bottom edge of the badge should be flush with the cuff top of the cuff unless fitness, marksmanship or glider pilot familiarization badges are worn, then the proficiency level badge will be places 1.0 cm above these. This can be seen at the following image: Left Sleeve

Name Tag

If you have a name tag it is worn centred just above the flap of the right breast pocket of the tunic. This placement of the name tag varies slightly if you have medals. The placement of the name tag can be seen at the following link: Right Breast Pocket.

First Aid Badge

If you have Emergency or Standard First Aid qualifications, your badges should be centred on the right sleeve, 1.0 cm from the bottom of the sleeve, or 1.0 cm above summer course qualification badges if worn. This can be seen at the following link: Right Sleeve


In early wars, during the heat of battle, the fighting men could not recognize each other and often fought their own friends. In those days, people wore whatever they pleased and no one knew by sight alone who was friend and who was foe. Clever generals dressed their men all the same, or in a “uniform dress,” and scored many victories before this new development in warfare became widely known. The story of the origin of the Air Force Blue uniform is interesting.

At one time, England was a major supplier of uniforms and the materiel for them. At the time of the October Revolution in Russia, there was a large quantity of clothing in England that was originally ordered for the old Russian Army. The cloth remained unused until at the end of the First World War, the Royal Air Force (RAF) came into existence and required uniforms. The result was that the RAF and original Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) uniforms were the same colour as the old Tsarist Russian uniform.

The original cadet uniform was also blue. In 1968 the Army, Navy and Air Force unified into the Canadian Armed Forces. At that time the Canadian Forces adopted a single green uniform that remained for almost 20 years. In 1994, the Air Cadet uniform changed once again to the present traditional air force blue style.


Cadet Administrative and Training Order (CATO) 55-04, Air Cadet Dress Instructions (Apr 2006), details the items of wear and the uniforms that you are allowed to wear. Your squadron has a copy of this book. DND approves and issues on loan, the uniform worn by air cadets. The care and custody of all items of clothing issued are the responsibility of individual cadets and their parents or guardians during the cadet’s service with the organization.

The dress and appearance of air cadets in uniform shall, on all occasions, be such to reflect credit to their unit and the Royal Canadian Air Cadets. The uniform is to be worn only when attending authorized parades or activities. When cadets appear in uniform in public, it is their duty to be sure that their uniforms are properly maintained and correctly worn.


You shall only wear your uniform when:

a. you are attending training or proceeding to or from the place where you train; or

b. you are attending ceremonies or functions at which the wearing of the uniform is appropriate and authorized.

The following paragraphs give you some regulations and hints about how to wear your uniform.

Wedge Cap

You wear your wedge on the right side of your head. The lower point of the front crease of the wedge is to be in the centre of your forehead. The front edge of the cap is to be 2.5 cm (1 in.) above your right eyebrow. If you remember that the bird on the cap badge should look toward the sky, you will always have the cap on the right side of your head. To be sure the cap is 2.5 cm (1 in.) above the right eyebrow, you can use the measurement of the width of two fingers. If your hair hangs down on your forehead you should be sure to tuck it under your wedge when in uniform.

When you are outside you will always keep your head-dress on, even when you are seated. You will also keep your head-dress on in a mall or store unless you are seated. Remove your head-dress in a restaurant or church.


If you are a member of the Sikh religion you may wear a turban and associated personal items. The turban will be air force blue. The hat badge is centered midway on the front of the turban.


When wearing the tunic you shall always keep all pockets buttoned. Be sure all front buttons (except the top) are also

fastened. You should keep your tunic well pressed. The sleeves of the jacket shall be roll-pressed with no creases. Be sure your belt is even with no twists. The black buckle of your tunic belt is to be centered. The pockets of your tunic should not bulge. The following are links for badge placement on the tunic: 


Your trousers/slacks should be well pressed. Creases should be sharp. Creases in male pants go up the front centre of each leg and extend to the waist, inside the first belt-loops. Creases in female slacks go up the front centre of each leg and extend to the corner of the pocket. Rear creases extend up the centre of the pant leg and meet in the back at the waistband, forming a “V.” Your trousers/slacks should reach the point where the creases will be slightly broken on the top of the boots. Males trousers are held up by a belt.

Note – When ironing your pants and tunic you should use a pressing cloth. A pressing cloth may be a towel, pillowcase or other piece of cloth. Some people also use an open brown paper bag. The pressing cloth will prevent your tunic and pants from becoming shiny due to ironing. You should also use a pressing cloth when ironing your wedge and necktie. The creases in your trousers/slacks sharpen with the use of a moist pressing cloth or by wetting the crease itself.


Your shirt should be neatly pressed when worn. The only crease in the shirt should be down the centre of each arm beginning at the centre of each epaulette. It may be helpful to starch the collar of the shirt to prevent it from becoming limp.


Your necktie should be ironed and tidy. The knot should be compact and the tie done up to the collar hiding the top shirt button, as illustrated here.  It should be tied in a double windsor knot.

T-Shirt (Blue)

The light blue T-shirt is worn at summer camp. You will keep your T-shirt well pressed with creases down the centre of each arm beginning at the shoulder seam.


You will wear your turtleneck during the winter. It is worn with the neck band neatly folded down. The turtleneck is ironed with no creases.


You will wear the grey wool socks that are issued to you by your squadron. If you are allergic to the material in the socks, you may wear other socks made of a suitable material and colour. Another option is to place sports socks under your issue grey socks.


Your overcoat may be worn when the weather is appropriate. You may turn up and button the collar in severe weather. No rank Insignia or other badges are to be worn on the overcoat. Your overcoat is to be kept buttoned whenever it is worn.


Your black issue boots are laced straight across, as illustrated here.

Your Uniform is Government Property

When you joined cadets your parents signed your enrolment form. By signing the enrolment form your parents have taken responsibility for all parts of your uniform. As a result, you are always responsible for all parts of your uniform. You should follow these rules:

a. Do not leave your uniform lying around.

b. Mark your name in every piece of your uniform.

c. Return damaged or poorly fitting parts of your uniform to your squadron supply and get new parts.

d. Be sure that any parts of your uniform that you return are signed off when you return them. You have a right to insist on this, even to an officer or senior cadet.

e. You must return your uniform promptly if you leave the squadron.


When you are in uniform you should present a good appearance. Chewing gum, slouching, hands in pockets, walking arm in arm, and similar actions do not look good for a cadet in uniform. The way you behave in uniform will affect what people think of all cadets. The pride you show in your uniform is a reflection of the pride you have in yourself and your squadron.

Make-up - Females

When you are wearing your uniform, you shall wear a limited amount of make-up. 


You shall not wear jewellery when you are in uniform, except wrist watches, ID or Medic Alert bracelets. You can also wear rings as long as they are not costume jewellery. Female cadets may wear plain gold stud earrings in pierced ears. The ear-rings shall be round and not more than 7 mm (1/4 in.) in diameter. (Male cadets are not permitted to wear ear-rings.) You cannot wear other types of ear-rings, but you may wear sleepers while your ears are healing after piercing. Only one pair of ear-rings/sleepers may be worn at a time.