As a cadet you are expected to maintain your uniform to the highest standard. If you are in need of any uniform part replacements, please do not hesitate to go see the supply officer.

All of the following information is taken from the dress regulations (CATO 55-04). The dress regulations state the policies and instructions for wearing the Air Cadet uniform.

CATO 55-04 – Air Cadet Dress Regulations (PDF)



How to Wear Your Uniform

During your time as a cadet you will be issued a uniform. It is loaned to you and belongs to the Department of National Defense, and following your time with the Squadron, you must return your uniform. As such, you are expected to take good care of your uniform and take pride when wearing it. When in uniform, you represent not only yourself but also 83 Squadron, the Royal Canadian Air Cadets and the Cadet Program as a whole, so it is imperative to have a great looking uniform and maintain exceptional deportment. If you need help with the maintenance of your uniform, consult the senior cadets in your flight.

Deportment: a person’s manners or behaviours. While in uniform you must have exceptional deportment and act professional at all times. The following is an excerpt regarding deportment from CATO 55-04, the Air Cadet Dress Regulations:

Chewing gum, slouching, sauntering, placing hands in pockets, smoking or eating on the street, walking hand in hand, and similar deportment which detracts from a proud and orderly appearance in the eyes of the public is unacceptable for cadets in uniform. The object of this guideline is to project an image of a disciplined and self-controlled group. Thus, as one example, physical displays of affection between uniformed cadets shall be avoided. 

The entirety of the boot must be polished to a mirror shine. This takes time and patience, but eventually you will develop a good shine. There are no tricks, you require only black polish, a polishing cloth, water and an old toothbrush. The following is the recommended sequence when polishing boots:

  1. Use the toothbrush to apply polish to the welts (side grooves) of the boot until blackened.

  2. Wrap polishing cloth tightly around index finger, dip in water and cover with a layer of polish.

  3. Apply polish to entire boot area with small circles, with an initial coat that blackens the leather.

  4. Reapply a thin layer of polish (and keep the cloth moist with water) in small circles in on the entirety of the booth.

  5. Subsequent polishing will lead to a mirror shine.

Your pants, dress shirt and tunic must all be kept clean and wrinkle free. When ironing, use the right temperature for the clothing item (cotton for dress shirt, wool for pants, wool for tunic), ample steam and a pressing cloth. 
Dress shirt: front and back kept wrinkle free, and a sharp crease down the centre of each sleeve.
Pants: wrinkle free with a sharp crease down the front and back of each pant leg.
Tunic: wrinkle free with no creases.

Cadet trousers are worn with creases running down the centre of the front and back of each leg. Trousers must be hemmed such that the length extends to the 3rd eyelet of the ankle boot. Remember that you will be growing while in cadets; once the trousers start to rise past the fourth eyelet, it is time to see the Supply Officer! Click here for a good video guide for pressing your trousers.


The Double Windsor knot is the only approved knot for wear with the cadet uniform. Here are illustrations from the CATOs and a video on YouTube:

Windsor Knot.gif


Boots must be laced straight across with no laces crossing diagonally except for at the top.

Excess boot lace is tucked into the boot.

Click here for an interactive diagram

boot lacing.jpg


A better way to learn uniform maintenance may be to see it visually. For a video tutorial showing you every aspect of the maintenance of your uniform, check out this fantastic video made by cadets from 395 Squadron, in Edmonton: