Local Sea Cadets from 81 Hampton Gray VC. RCSCC (Nelson) and 131 Kootenay RCSCC Trail, and Air Cadets from 531 RCACS (Trail), 561 Osprey RCACS (Nelson) and 581 RCACS (Castlegar) participated in their Annual Ceremonial Review earller in June at the Castlegar Community Complex.
The Annual Ceremonial Review (ACR) is the final formal event of the year for the cadets, prior to them departing for various Summer Training Centres throughout Western Canada. On the parade, several prestigious awards and presentations are handed out, acknowledging the hard work and perseverance of local youth in the Canadian Cadet Movement.
This year, approximately 85 cadets from all five units in the West Kootenays teamed up in a display of comradeship and cooperation. The cadets lead the parade in its entirety, and this year there were two auditions to fill the available positions. The Reviewing Officer for this year’s ACR was Regional Cadet Support Unit Commanding Officer, Commander Brad Henderson, accompanied by his Chief, Chief Petty Officer First Class David Bliss.
“When I was told the cadets on this parade today had only one practice before we showed up, I was astounded”, said Bliss, “My job in the military as a Chief, is to plan and execute parades. And today’s parade was impressive!”
Included in the ceremony were presentations of awards. Each of the five participating cadet units presented their top three awards, saving the remainder for more intimate celebrations at the local level.
The 81 Hampton Gray RCSCC presented their Esprit de Corps award to Leading Seaman Daniel Sullivan of Nelson.
When asked how he felt about receiving the award, Sullivan said exuberantly, “this is awesome! I am super excited!”.
The Lord Strathcona Medal of Excellence to Chief Petty Officer Second Class Hugh Cho of 81 RCSCC and Sergeant Thompson, R of 561 RCSCC. The Lord Strathcona Medal a prestigious national-level award that’s qualifications include a high level of physical fitness, a demonstrated knowledge of the cadet program, and community service.
The Royal Canadian Legion Medal of Excellence, which is sponsored by the Royal Canadian Legion, and requires a dedication to community service and a high level of dedication to one’s cadet unit, was presented to Chief Petty Officer Kane Cho of 81 RCSCC and Warrant Officer Second Class Bullen of 561 RCACS.
Not in attendance were Petty Officer Second Class Wintergreen, and Petty Officer First Class Crawford, all of 81 RCSCC, who were awarded the Long Service Medal. This medal is awarded for 4 years of continuous service to the cadet program, and includes 5th and 6th year additions to the original medal. It is sponsored by the Navy League of Canada and the Air Cadet League of Canada. Chief Petty Officers Second Class Cho and Cho also received recognition for six years of service to the program.
“We saw a poster, and thought it would be a valuable program for us as new Canadians”, Hugh Cho answered when asked why he and his brother joined cadets. He also added, “we discovered we love sailing, and have stayed in the program because of the life skills and opportunity to meet a variety of people from across Canada”.
A Top Rookie award was also presented to Leading Air Cadet Kikosewin-Holden from 561 RCACS.
The Cadet program, which include Sea, Army and Air Cadets, is the largest government funded youth program in Canada with over 50,000 participants across Canada. The cadet program accepts youth between the ages of 12-18 who have a desire to learn more about the air element of the Canadian Forces, wish to develop the attributes of leadership and good citizenship and who wish to promote physical fitness. While the program is military based, there is no obligation for a cadet to join the Canadian Armed Forces.
For more information on Sea Cadets or Air Cadets, please contact Lieutenant Navy Llora McTeer at Llora.McTeer@cadets.gc.ca.