History of The Cadet Instructors Cadre - Transition and Upheaval in The Canadian Forces

Transition and Upheaval in The Canadian Forces

The integration of the Canadian Forces in 1968 brought confusion and upheaval to the Reserve Force. From 1968 until the mid 1970s, Cadet Instructors were caught in a transitory environment. While it was not long before the country's military was wearing the new green uniform of the Canadian Forces, Cadet Instructor List officers, along with all members of the CF Reserve, continued to wear their former service uniform or acquire the Canadian Forces green uniform from surplus. In an environment where appearance and uniformity are of primary importance, dress was less than "uniform"; If narrow trousers were the fashion of the day, they might ask the tailor to make narrow trousers. If they were unable to find black shoes, brown shoes would have to do instead. It was not until 1975, more than seven years after unification, that reserve members of the forces were issued the new rifle green CF uniform.

Sea Cadets wore the new badge of the Naval Operations branch, while Air Cadet officers wore either the previous Royal Canadian Air Force (Officers') hat badge or the new Air Operations branch badge. Many Army Cadet officers wore the badge of the former Cadet Services of Canada or the army unit with which their Cadet Corps was affiliated. A new Cadet Instructors List cap badge was created in 1977. Originally issued as a tri-service style hat badge, it was later restyled to be element specific (sea, land or air).

Formal training for cadet officers fell by the wayside during this period as well, leading to an ad hoc series of courses that were not compulsory. Until a new training regime was instituted, it was relatively easy to get be promoted. As was the policy for all reserve force members, former cadets and university graduates could, for example, be enrolled and promoted to the rank of second lieutenant (2Lt). A former ranking cadet and graduate of an advanced 6 week cadet course could be commissioned as a Lieutenant (Lt). Occasionally, because of lack of personnel, an Officer-Cadet about to become a commanding officer would be promoted to acting Captain. After one year, his rank would become substantive. Lack of resources undermined the credibility of Cadet Instructor Officers for several years. Today CIC Officers are accepted and recognized for their unique and special role in the Canadian Forces.

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