47-02 - National Star of Excellence

Cadet Administrative and Training Orders (CATOs)


1. This order describes the organization and structure comprising the Army Cadet National Star of Excellence.


2. The Senior Staff Officer of Army Cadets (SSO Army Cdts) is responsible for setting the policy for the Army cadet program. Changes to this policy shall only be made with the approval of the SSO Army Cdts.


3. A need exists to use a common and comprehensive means of comparing cadets from different corps and regions, in support of selection for various activities and rewards.

4. A need exists to provide interesting and frequent challenges for senior cadets to pursue in order to generate higher retention.

5. A need exists to recognize senior cadets that display superior involvement in Army Cadet activities.

6. The National Star of Excellence (NSE) is the most comprehensive Army Cadet challenge. It is designed to capture the level of commitment and performance from all senior cadets over several years.

7. More specifically, the NSE aims to:

  1. be an exciting and worthy goal to pursue for senior cadets;
  2. appeal to the competitive fibre of cadets as individuals and/or as members of teams;
  3. establish a common denominator in the ranking of cadets for various selections and awards by cadet corps, RCSU and D Cdts & JCR;
  4. be equally attainable by cadets interested in specialties (marksmanship. biathlon, drill, expedition, music, etc);
  5. recognize the participation of senior cadets in optional training, in Regionally Directed Activities (RDA) and in Nationally Directed Activities (NDA) as important elements of retention; and
  6. be flexible enough for cadets to establish their own objectives based on personal preferences.


8. All cadets who successfully complete Silver Star training will be registered automatically in the NSE as of 1 July, so that they can start accumulating points while attending summer training. Cadets will remain in the NSE ranking system until they age out.

9. Cadets cannot opt out of the NSE. They may decide not to accumulate points beyond what they receive for compulsory training, but they will still be ranked based on their compulsory training results. The onus is on each cadet to define their level of involvement and to assess the consequences on future training opportunities.

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Performance-based system

10. Progression in the NSE is based on the capacity of cadets to collect performance points in various areas of assessment and reach four (4) levels of excellence.

11. The four levels of the NSE are:

  1. NSE Level 1 – 450 points;
  2. NSE Level 2 – 750 points;
  3. NSE Level 3 – 900 points; and
  4. NSE Level 4 – 1000 points.

Areas of assessment

12. Several compulsory and optional areas of assessment are available for cadets to pursue.

13. The areas of assessment are:

  1. Compulsory Training for Gold Star:
    (1) citizenship,
    (2) community service,
    (3) leadership,
    (4) fitness and healthy living,
    (5) recreational sports,
    (6) air rifle marksmanship,
    (7) general cadet knowledge,
    (8) drill,
    (9) instructional techniques,
    (10) CF Familiarization,
    (11) navigation,
    (12) wilderness survival,
    (13) outdoor leadership,
    (14) expedition; and
    (15) Positive Social Relationship for Youth.
  2. Compulsory Training – Master Cadet:
    (1) citizenship,
    (2) community service,
    (3) leadership,
    (4) fitness and healthy living,
    (5) general cadet knowledge,
    (6) instructional techniques, and
    (7) advanced training; and
  3. Participation:
    (1) attendance at compulsory training,
    (2) marksmanship,
    (3) expeditions,
    (4) physical fitness,
    (5) community leadership,
    (6) Duke of Edinburgh,
    (7) music,
    (8) participation in optional training teams,
    (9) podiums in RDA and NDA, and
    (10) Colonel Robert Perron Award.

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14. Annex A provides a description of all areas of assessment and the scoring system.

Use of the results

15. The NSE is built to generate a fair and comparative assessment of cadets from all corps and all regions. Although not all cadets will be using exactly the same areas of assessment and are not specializing in the same fields, the overall results achieved by all cadets will be indicative of a comparable level of commitment and performance.

16. Results will be used to facilitate the selection of cadets for various activities and awards. Cadets will increase their chances of being selected for various training opportunities and for awards by accumulating more points.

17. The use of the NSE as specific ranking element will be detailed in the appropriate CATOs and Directives.

18. Corps COs should use the ranking of their own cadets to establish an order of priority for CSTC, corps nominations and for corps awards. By doing so, they will create an additional incentive for cadets to pursue higher levels of excellence.

Equality of opportunity

19. The NSE was designed in such a way as to ensure that all cadets can equally aspire to the NSE and that they are not disadvantaged because their corps offers fewer activities.

20. Where fewer or no optional activities are offered within a given corps, cadets are allowed to gather points by participating in optional activities as members of multi-corps teams.

21. Corps are encouraged to communicate with other corps/squadrons in their neighbourhood to explore possibilities to have cadets participate in qualifications and activities that are not offered within the corps.

Data collection

22. Data collection will be performed during the regular management of training. In order to reduce to a minimum the requirement for each corps to populate Fortress, the data entry will be done, collectively, by the following data OPI:

  1. Corps Staff:
    (1) compulsory training results,
    (2) attendance at compulsory training sessions,
    (3) marksmanship qualifications achieved at the corps,
    (4) physical fitness qualifications achieved at the corps,
    (5) cadet participation and results in the Colonel Robert Perron Award,
    (6) Duke of Edinburgh participation, and
    (7) community leadership;
    (8) participation in optional team activities;
  2. RCSU:
    (1) participation in regional expeditions,
    (2) attendance and results of RDA competitions,
    (3) music levels,
    (4) regional results for the Colonel Robert Perron Award,
    (5) marksmanship qualifications achieved at the CSTC, and
    (6) physical fitness qualifications achieved at the CSTC; and
  3. D Cdts & JCR:
    (1) participation in national and international expeditions,
    (2) results of NDA competitions, and
    (3) national results of the Colonel Robert Perron Award.

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Capturing the results

23. The tracking sheets found at Annexes B, C and D should be used by cadets to plan and follow their own progress. They can also be used by the corps staff to keep track of progression and validate the content of Fortress. Corps must provide a copy of the appropriate sheets to their NSE candidates at the start of each NSE level.

24. These documents are not to be used as an official record of what cadets do. The only official record that will be used to qualify cadets is the training file in Fortress. It is therefore vital that results and achievements be recorded entirely in Fortress.

25. Cadets will use the following:

  1. Gold Star cadets will use Annexes B and D;
  2. cadets registered in Master Cadet training will use Annexes C and D; and
  3. cadets that are qualified Master Cadet will use Annex D.

Generating the NSE qualification

26. Before a cadet is presented with a NSE badge, results must be validated in Fortress so that no data is missing or erreneously registed. Once the data has been validated, the NSE qualification must be generated in Fortress, which will indicate the date at which the cadet officially reached the required number of points. This will automatically move the cadet to the next level of NSE in Fortress. Unless the qualification is generated in Fortress, the cadet will remain in the same level and his progression in the NSE will be delayed.

NSE badges

27. Cadets who reach the various levels of the NSE will be awarded the NSE badge equivalent to the level achieved.

28. The Corps CO will order and present the NSE badges.


Annexe A

National Star of Excellence Prerequisites and Points​

Annexe B

NSE Results Tracking Sheet – Gold Star​​

Annexe C

NSE Results Tracking Sheet – Master Cadet​

Annexe D

NSE Tracking Sheet – Participation Record​​

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OPI: SSO Army Cdts

Date: Aug 12

Amendment: Ch 2/12

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