15-22 – Conduct and Discipline – Cadets
Cadet Administrative and Training Orders (CATOs)
1. This order defines the duties and powers assigned to commanding officers and officers in charge of cadets in matters of discipline, in order to encourage a fair, sound and constructive application and serve as a guide for dealing with incidents of misconduct.
2. This order applies to:
- members of the Canadian Armed Forces and employees of the Department of National Defence serving or employed, whichever applies, with the National Cadet and Junior Canadian Rangers Support Group;
- civilian instructors; and
- Sea, Army and Air Cadets.
Date of Original Issue
Date of Current Issue
Commander National Cadet and Junior Canadian Rangers Support Group
National Cadet and Junior Canadian Rangers Support Group / J1 Administration
CAF (FAC): Canadian Armed Forces
CATO (OAIC): Cadet Administrative and Training Order
CCO (OCC): Canadian Cadet Organizations
CO (cmdt): commanding officer
CPO 1 (pm 1): chief petty officer first class
CPO 2 (pm 2): chief petty officer second class
CTC (CEC): cadet training centre
CWO (adjuc): chief warrant officer
FSgt (sgts): flight sergeant
MWO (adjum): master warrant officer
OIC (O resp): officer in charge
PO 1 (m 1): petty officer first class
PO 2 (m 2): petty officer second class
QR (Cadets) (OR (Cadets)): Queen’s Regulations and Orders for the Canadian Cadet Organizations
RCSU (URSC): Regional Cadet Support Unit
RTU (RAU): return to unit
Sgt (sgt): sergeant
WO (adj): warrant officer
WO 1 (adj 1): warrant officer first class
WO 2 (adj 2): warrant officer second class
cadet training centre (centre d’entraînement des cadets)
refers to a:
- cadet training centre,
- cadet flying training centre, and
- cadet music training centre;
commanding officer (commandant)
refers to, except where specified, the commanding officer of a:
- cadet corps or squadron,
- cadet training centre,
- cadet flying training centre, or
- cadet music training centre;
corporal punishment (punition corporelle)
refers to a corrective measure that is physical in nature and is administered for the purpose of punishing an individual, including but not limited to beating, hitting, spanking, slapping, pinching, etc. and, when used as punishment, physical training and drill;
directed activity (activité dirigée)
- regionally and nationally directed activities, as defined in CATO 11-04; or
- training conducted at a technical training establishment, other than a CTC, as defined in CATO 11-04;
means a behaviour deemed inappropriate or contrary to regulations, orders (verbal or written) or instructions;
officer in charge (officier responsable)
refers to, except where specified, the officer in charge of:
- a cadet nautical site,
- a cadet expedition site,
- a cadet flying site,
- a regionally directed activity,
- a nationally directed activity, or
- cadets taking part in a ship deployment or international exchange; and
means an individual with parental authority over a cadet such as:
- parents, and
- legal guardians;
supervising officer (superviseur)
refers to :
- a divisional officer,
- a platoon commander,
- a flight commander, or
- an individual in charge of a group of cadets,
whether he or she is a CAF member or civilian instructor.
3. Discipline in the CCO shall be used to achieve the following objectives:
- as a learning tool to encourage youth to develop appropriate conduct;
- to correct inappropriate personal actions or comportment that have a negative impact on others or are counter to social norms;
- to maintain proper unit actions, activities and safety; and
- to maintain unit order and morale.
4. Any suspected or alleged criminal infraction shall immediately be reported by the CO or OIC to the military or civilian police as well as the chain of command.
5. It is paramount that a CO or OIC and his or her staff be familiar with the range of options available to them in order to deal with incidents of misconduct and to take the appropriate corrective measures.
6. Discipline should be administered on a progressive scale meaning that the lowest appropriate level of corrective measure for the misconduct committed should be implemented first.
7. Corrective measures shall never be used as a means of retaliation against a cadet. Corporal punishment to correct deficiencies is forbidden.
8. Once a corrective measure has been assigned to misconduct and carried out, further discipline for the same misconduct is not allowed. A cadet must be given the opportunity to correct his or her conduct and continued corrective measures would be unproductive. A cadet must be allowed to learn from his or her error.
9. This order cannot address every possible situation; however a wide variety of options, the use of which depends on the nature of the problem, its severity and the history of the cadet’s conduct are available. Care must be taken to ensure that all recourses have been examined before proceeding to more serious measures appropriate to the problem. Examples of suggested corrective measures are outlined at Annex A to this order.
10. The provisions of this CATO may be used to discipline a cadet for an infraction even if the cadet is facing prosecution or has been convicted for the same infraction.
11. Punishment must be reasonable and appropriate to the issue that needs to be corrected. Public ridicule or embarrassment is not appropriate, even if done in a joking manner.
12. For the purposes of this CATO, the age of majority is as defined in the applicable provincial legislation.
Principles of Procedural Fairness
13. The principles of procedural fairness must be adhered to in any disciplinary process. The basic principles of procedural fairness are that the decision-maker should be unbiased and impartial and the subject cadet must have adequate notice of the allegation(s) and an opportunity to be heard and respond to the allegation(s).
14. A CO or OIC must act impartially and separate his or her personal interests and beliefs from his or her decision-making powers and duties. If the CO or OIC has a direct personal interest in the outcome of a case, the CO or OIC cannot preside over the matter. Not only is it important that the CO or OIC be unbiased, but also that there be no appearance or perception of bias. The test to ensure fairness is whether a reasonably informed bystander would perceive bias on the part of a CO or OIC.
15. The basic principles of adequate notice and opportunity to be heard dictate that:
- the cadet must be informed of the allegation and provided with all available information related to the allegation;
- the cadet must be given reasonable time to prepare a response to the allegation and must be offered adult assistance when preparing the response; and
- the cadet must be given the opportunity to present a response to the CO or OIC or the person tasked with conducting the fact-finding process.
Observance and Enforcement of Regulations, Orders and Instructions
16. As stated in QR (Cadets), article 5.40, a cadet shall:
- become acquainted with, and obey, all regulations, orders and instructions necessary for the performance of his or her duties; and
- conform to the established customs of the cadet organization with which he or she is associated.
17. The CO or OIC must initiate the fact-finding process, explained later in this order, and determine the validity of the allegation through interviews with those members involved in the incident and any potential witnesses.
18. The CO or OIC should contact the RCSU Detachment or RCSU staff if assistance is required.
19. Misconduct by a cadet must be recorded in his or her unit personnel file in order to provide feedback on his or her performance and to justify corrective measures. The cadet involved must be advised of this fact. Notes may be hand-written or typewritten and do not need to be in any specific format. Only officers and civilian instructors authorized by the cadet corps or squadron CO may make notes to a cadet personnel file. A senior cadet may make notes on disciplinary problems, but as he or she does not have authorized access to personnel files, these notes must be reviewed and endorsed by an officer or civilian instructor before being placed on a personnel file.
20. The statement of facts in a disciplinary report must be clear, concise and accurate.
21. Access to information and discussion of material held in cadet personnel files is restricted to those individuals authorized by the cadet corps or squadron CO pursuant to the provisions of the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act.
The Fact-Finding Process
22. In any situation where a cadet is alleged to have acted inappropriately, all sides of the issue must be explored in a manner consistent with the requirements of procedural fairness discussed earlier.
23. Once a CO or OIC has observed or received a report of misconduct, he or she shall initiate a fact-finding process into the incident. It is recommended that the latter assign the task of conducting the fact-finding process to a CAF member or civilian instructor (the “assigned officer”) that has no direct or indirect involvement with the misconduct in question. The process must be fair and defensible and, therefore, it is necessary to have someone who is perceived to be without bias conduct the process. This person can then recommend courses of action to be taken by the CO or OIC.
24. The CO or OIC shall ensure that the assigned officer is provided with all available information regarding the alleged misconduct. The assigned officer will normally commence the fact-finding process by interviewing all parties involved and where applicable, witnesses to the alleged misconduct.
25. The assigned officer must meet with the cadet who has allegedly committed the misconduct to provide the cadet an opportunity to provide his or her point of view regarding the matter. When providing the opportunity to respond, the following shall be done:
- the cadet must be made clearly aware of the conduct which is believed to be inappropriate or contrary to regulations, orders (verbal or written) or instructions;
- specific details of when this misconduct was observed must be given;
- if the allegation is not clearly understood, explanation must be repeated as often as necessary in language appropriate to the age and understanding of the cadet;
- the cadet is to be asked to repeat his or her understanding of the alleged misconduct in order to confirm clear comprehension of the concern or allegation;
- the cadet must be given reasonable opportunity to consult with his/her parents in responding to the allegation;
- the cadet must be given an opportunity to respond to the concern or allegation either verbally or in writing; and
- the cadet must be assured that the explanation of the incident will be considered in the decisions to follow.
Consultation with Parents
26. For a cadet who is a minor pursuant to applicable provincial legislation, it is the responsibility of the CO or OIC to ensure, to the best of his or her ability, that his/her parents are present for all discussions which involve corrective measures listed at paragraphs 31.f to 31.l.
27. For a cadet who is not a minor, the responsibility to inform his/her parents about the disciplinary concerns rests with the cadet. The cadet must, however, be given the opportunity to have his/her parents present for all discussions that involve serious disciplinary matters.
28. If a meeting with parents occurs, the CO or OIC must ensure that the parents are advised of the measures that have been taken to date. The CO or OIC shall draft a summary of the meeting with the parents. A copy of this document shall be placed in the cadet’s personnel file at his or her cadet corps or squadron.
When a decision has been made to terminate a cadet’s membership, the corps or squadron CO shall afford the cadet an opportunity to inform his or her parents, before the former does so. Once the cadet has confirmed with the corps or squadron CO he or she has informed his or her parents, the corps or squadron CO shall follow up with the parents.
29. Once the fact-finding process has been completed, a determination of what has occurred, the severity of the misconduct and the intended course of action must be made. Before deciding what corrective measures will be taken, if any, the following elements shall be considered:
- the nature and severity of the misconduct;
- the cadet’s experience, training, rank and position of trust held by the cadet;
- whether the misconduct involved any physical harm or potential physical harm to another individual;
- the nature of the relationship between the individuals involved (if applicable);
- the extent to which the misconduct was intentional;
- whether the cadet has admitted responsibility and expressed a willingness to correct his or her conduct;
- whether the misconduct is an isolated incident or part of an ongoing pattern of misconduct;
- the degree of provocation and any other mitigating circumstances; and
- whether the cadet was made aware of the policy in place or should reasonably have been expected to know of its existence.
30. It is the responsibility of the CO or OIC to determine which corrective measure is most appropriate to the misconduct.
31. A cadet must never feel that he or she is being demeaned or belittled in front of his or her peers or subordinates. If, based on the information gathered during the fact-finding process, it is determined that the cadet breached regulations, orders or instructions, the following corrective measures may be considered:
- verbal warning;
- cautionary notice;
- assignment of extra duties;
- written warning;
- suspension of privileges;
- removal of position;
- suspension of pending promotion;
- reduction in rank;
- return to unit;
- suspension; and
- termination of CCO membership.
32. Any use of the corrective measures set out in this CATO must be done in a manner consistent with the principles of procedural fairness set out above.
33. When determining the corrective measure, the objective that is to be achieved must be clear, e.g. to correct a wrong, to correct a bad habit, to safeguard other cadets, to maintain unit order and discipline, etc.
34. Verbal warning is suggested as the first line of response to misconduct other than misconduct that endangers the welfare of other cadets. This measure should be used on a cadet to reinforce the conduct expected of him or her.
35. The determination of the requirement for an apology must be based on the severity of the misconduct. Normally, a verbal apology is adequate. It may be necessary to ensure that the apology is offered in the presence of a staff member and ongoing supervision may be necessary to ensure that the problem is resolved.
36. When a cadet is required to apologize, it must be done in a respectful manner. An apology must not be intended to be a humiliating experience but rather an acceptance of responsibility for an inappropriate action.
37. If the cadet has been verbally warned about the inappropriate conduct and there is a repetition of this conduct, the supervising officer shall determine if it is appropriate to proceed to a more formalized approach by way of a cautionary notice.
38. When it is determined that a cadet will be issued a cautionary notice, the supervising officer shall complete Parts 1, 2 and 3 of the form at Annex B to this order prior to meeting with the cadet. The supervising officer should be accompanied by a witness.
39. When it is time to meet formally with a cadet, he or she must be fully informed of the reasons why this corrective measure is being implemented and the actions required to correct the conduct.
40. The cadet shall be made aware that a cautionary notice will be permanently placed in his or her personnel file and failure to correct his or her conduct could lead to further corrective measures.
41. The cadet is to sign and date the form as having read and understood the cautionary notice. If the cadet refuses to sign, the supervising officer and the witness shall sign and annotate the form accordingly and forward it to the CO or OIC.
42. Under normal circumstances, a cautionary notice must be given in privacy, and not in the presence of a peer or subordinate, unless issuing it in public is absolutely necessary to maintain discipline or to ensure the safety of cadets.
Assignment of Extra Duties
43. A cadet may be assigned extra duties as a corrective measure. The extra duties assigned shall be related in nature to the misconduct and must not be demeaning or humiliating to the cadet.
44. The extra duties must be supervised and these duties should reinforce the required conduct.
45. If the cadet has been cautioned about the inappropriate conduct and there is a repetition of this conduct, the CO or OIC shall determine if it is appropriate to issue a written warning. The CO or OIC is also required to issue a written warning when any of the following corrective measures are taken against a cadet:
- suspension of privileges;
- removal of position;
- suspension of pending promotion;
- reduction in rank; and
- return to unit.
46. When it is determined that a cadet will be issued a written warning, the supervising officer shall complete Parts 1, 2 and 3 of the form at Annex C to this order and the CO or OIC Part 4 prior to meeting with the cadet. The CO or OIC should be accompanied by the supervising officer.
47. When it is time to meet formally with a cadet, he or she must be fully informed of the reasons why this corrective measure is being implemented and the actions required to correct the conduct.
48. The cadet shall be made aware that a written warning will be permanently placed in his or her personnel file and failure to correct his or her conduct could lead to further corrective measures.
49. The cadet is to sign and date the form as having read and understood the warning. If the cadet refuses to sign, the CO or OIC shall sign and annotate the form accordingly.
50. At a CTC and, if applicable, during a directed activity, the existence of a written warning (not the reason(s) for issuing it) shall be recorded in the student’s participation evaluation report or staff cadet’s performance evaluation report as follows: “Cadet Bloggins was issued a written warning. A copy will be forwarded to his or her cadet corps or squadron under separate cover.” A copy of the written warning shall therefore be forwarded to the cadet’s corps or squadron to be placed in his or her personnel file.
51. When a cadet submits a participation application for a summer course, a staff cadet position or a directed activity, his or her cadet corps or squadron CO shall indicate in Fortress if the former has received a written warning within the current training year as follows: “Cadet Bloggins was issued a written warning. A copy may be forwarded under separate cover upon request.”
52. When a cadet receives a written warning after the application has been submitted, the cadet corps or squadron CO shall inform the RCSU, through the chain of command, and submit a copy of the written warning upon request. The CO RCSU will advise of the final disposition. Where the League has been involved in the selection process, they shall be informed.
Suspension of Privileges
53. A cadet may have privileges suspended as a result of misconduct. Suspension of privileges can take many forms, including being suspended from a cadet corps or squadron or CTC activity, having free time during an exercise cancelled or cancelling his or her participation in a summer course, staff cadet position or directed activity for which he or she was selected.
54. The impact of the suspension of privileges must be carefully considered and this must be justifiable based on the severity of the misconduct, particularly if it involves removing a summer training course or exchange opportunity.
55. A cautionary notice or written warning shall be issued in conjunction with a suspension of privileges ensuring that the cadet is aware of the details of the inappropriate conduct and the expected conduct in the future.
56. When this measure is imposed at a CTC or during a directed activity, a copy of the written warning shall be forwarded to the cadet’s corps or squadron to be placed in his or her personnel file.
Removal of Position
57. Senior cadets who are assigned to positions within a cadet corps or squadron or during a directed activity or who are staff cadets at a CTC are given a certain amount of responsibility and there are expectations with regards to their level of performance. When, in the performance of his or her duties, a cadet’s conduct was extremely inappropriate or he or she committed a serious breach of regulations, it may be necessary to remove him or her from that position as a corrective measure.
58. When it is determined that a cadet will be removed from his or her position as a corrective measure, a written warning shall be issued to the cadet and the cadet must be fully informed of the reasons why this corrective measure is being implemented. Once the cadet has corrected the conduct, he or she should be reinstated in his or her former position, whenever practical.
59. Depending on the circumstances, consideration should be given to providing the cadet and his or her parents a copy of the completed writing warning, when a decision has been made to remove a cadet from his or her position.
60. When this measure is imposed at a CTC or during a directed activity, a copy of the written warning shall be forwarded to the cadet’s corps or squadron to be placed in his or her personnel file.
Suspension of Pending Promotion
61. Suspension of a pending promotion is a severe corrective measure which must be carefully considered before it is carried out. This is only to be used when other corrective measures have failed or when a cadet committed a serious breach of regulations.
62. When it is determined that a cadet’s pending rank appointment will be suspended as a corrective measure, a written warning shall be issued to the cadet and the cadet must be fully informed of the reasons why this disciplinary measure is being implemented. A suspension of pending rank appointment shall not be longer than six months. Once the cadet has corrected the conduct, the suspension of pending rank appointment shall be removed leaving the cadet eligible for future promotion consideration.
Reduction in Rank
63. A reduction in rank is a severe corrective measure which must be carefully considered before it is carried out. A cadet may be reduced in rank by one rank only. This corrective measure shall normally be implemented only when previous attempts to correct the cadet’s conduct have failed to produce the required outcomes or when he or she committed a serious breach of regulations.
64. The CO of a cadet corps or squadron may, with due cause, reduce in rank cadets holding the rank of PO 2 / Sgt / Sgt and below.
65. The CO of a cadet corps or squadron may recommend the reduction in rank of cadets holding the rank of PO 1 / WO / FSgt and above. The recommendation, as well as the supporting documentation, shall be forwarded to the CO RCSU or RCSU Detachment Commander, whichever applies, for approval.
66. The CO of a CTC may, with due cause, reduce in rank staff cadets holding the rank of CPO 2 / MWO / WO 2 and below.
67. The CO of a CTC may recommend the reduction in rank of the staff cadet holding the rank of CPO 1 / CWO / WO 1. The recommendation, as well as the supporting documentation, shall be forwarded to the CO RCSU, whichever applies, for approval.
68. Since the reduction in rank of a staff cadet comes with a reduction in pay, this corrective measure should be imposed only in cases of very serious breaches of conduct.
69. In all cases of submission to higher authority for a reduction in rank, the submission must include the cadet’s complete file including all copies of cautionary notices and written warnings.
70. A written warning shall accompany a reduction in rank so that the cadet is fully aware of the items that were considered in determining this corrective measure. The cadet shall be made aware of what is expected in the future and what has to be done to earn an appointment back to the former rank, where practical.
71. A cadet and his or her parents shall be provided with a copy of the completed writing warning, when a decision has been made to reduce a cadet in rank.
72. When this measure is imposed at a CTC or during a directed activity, a copy of the written warning shall be forwarded to the cadet’s corps or squadron to be placed in his or her personnel file.
Return to Unit (RTU)
73. The RTU of a cadet is a very severe corrective measure which must be carefully considered before it is carried out. Before a cadet is removed from training, he or she should have received previous warnings regarding misconduct, except in instances where the safety of others is at risk, or when he or she committed a very serious breach of conduct. The reason for this disciplinary measure must be clearly explained to the cadet.
74. Since the RTU of a cadet comes with an early termination of the training allocation or pay in the case of a staff cadet, this corrective measure should be imposed only in cases of very serious breaches of conduct.
75. A written warning shall be issued by the CO or OIC at the time of the RTU or as a follow-up to it to ensure that the cadet is clearly aware of the conduct that resulted in the RTU and is advised of expected conduct. A copy of the written warning shall be forwarded to the cadet’s corps or squadron to be placed in his or her personnel file.
76. Instructions concerning RTUs are contained in CATO 13-26.
77. The suspension of a cadet is a very serious corrective measure available to the CO of a cadet corps or squadron and CO of the RCSU. This corrective measure shall normally be used as a final attempt to provide opportunity for a cadet to take corrective action to change the inappropriate conduct or when he or she committed a very serious breach of conduct. The cadet shall be advised that further misconduct following the suspension will likely result in termination of his or her CCO membership.
78. A cadet and his or her parents shall be advised in writing, when a decision has been made to suspend the cadet. An example notification of suspension letter is provided at Annex D.
Termination of CCO Membership
79. Termination of CCO membership is the most severe corrective measure available to the CO of a cadet corps or squadron and CO of the RCSU and should only be used in situations where all previous attempts have failed or where the cadet’s misconduct is sufficiently serious to warrant this action.
80. CATO 15-21, Termination of Cadet Membership outlines the procedures to be followed in the event that a cadet membership is terminated pursuant to QR (Cadets).
81. In the event of termination of membership, notification of the parents is to be done in accordance with the provisions of CATO 15-21.
82. A cadet whose CCO membership has been terminated may never rejoin a cadet corps or squadron. By reviewing a cadet’s personnel file from his or her previous cadet corps or squadron, it will be possible to determine if his or her membership was terminated as a corrective measure.
83. Should a cadet disagree with any corrective measure, he or she may request a review of the matter through the CO or OIC. This may be done verbally or in writing to the CO or OIC and reasons for the request must be clearly stated. Should the cadet still have concerns after the review by the CO or OIC, the cadet may request in writing through the chain of command that concerns be submitted to the CO RCSU or RCSU Detachment Commander as applicable. The CO RCSU or RCSU Detachment Commander is the final authority in the process.
84. When the misconduct is serious, it may be appropriate to hold follow-up interviews with the cadet to provide further guidance and advice to ensure that the cadet meets the required standard of conduct. Such interviews shall be summarized on the Cadet Interview Sheet which can be found at Annex E. Completed sheets shall be placed in the cadet’s personnel file.
85. The CO or OIC or delegate shall decide if follow-up interviews are necessary. The CO or OIC will thus make sure the cadet is making progress, has all the tools for improvement in hand and the file is annotated in accordance with the meetings as well as with progress or lack of progress.
- Queen’s Regulations and Orders for the Canadian Cadet Organizations
- Privacy Act
- Access to information Act
- CATO 11-04 Cadet Program Outline
- CATO 12-18 Corps / Squadron Personnel Records – Cadets
- CATO 13-26 Return to Unit – Cadets
- CATO 15-21 Termination of Cadet Membership
Examples of Misconduct and Suggested Corrective Measures
Sample Notification of Suspension Letter
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