• Army Cadet Membership On the Rise

    May 27, 2013

    After eight months training with the 2618 Rocky Mountain Rangers Army Cadet Corps, Daniel Poser's tour of duty in Canada is coming to an end.

    Poser, a 17-year-old exchange student from Berlin, Germany, will be leaving Prince George once he finishes his Grade 11 courses at Prince George secondary school. At the end of June, he'll be saying goodbye to his host family and the Canadian friends he's made and he will be taking back to Europe the skills he's acquired as an army cadet.

    "I joined the cadets right away, my first day in Canada," said Poser. "I honestly wish we had cadet program like this in Germany because I would join right away.

    "I really like the skills you learn, like teamwork, leadership and all the expeditions we're making to the Chilcotin and Mt. Robson. And the whole thing is for free, it's an amazing opportunity. I would think the cadet program made me more mature and helped me a lot with leadership and making decisions.

    "The biggest thing I've learned about myself is I can take responsibility. I always thought I was more a follower and have others tell me what to do. Here I had to be in charge and I learned I'm actually pretty good at that."

    Poser got involved with army cadets through Anthony Delzell, also a Grade 11 student at PGSS and part of Poser's host family. They are among 54 army cadets in the 2618 Regiment, most of whom were in attendance Saturday for a ceremonial parade at the Connaught Youth Centre. The corps has more than doubled in size from 23 last year.

    "It's the first time in many years we've had that many cadets," said 2618 Regiment Commanding Officer Wally McCue, who brought along one of his goats to the ceremony to serve as the regiment mascot.

    "I think the Rocky Mountain Rangers primary reserve coming to the community [in 2011] has made a big difference. There's a real resurgence of interest."

    The cadet program is geared toward youths aged 12-18. Training takes place on Wednesday nights from September to May. The program encourages fitness, responsibility, leadership skills, first aid, survival techniques, discipline and willingness to contribute to community service projects. Once they turn 19, the opportunity exists to join the Rangers reserve force Bravo Company in Prince George.

    "I like to think that our cadets are a cut above their peers," said McCue. "They have good social skills, they can public speak, they're confident. It's the best free program in the country in my opinion. We're training them to be good citizens of Canada."

    The regiment has been involved in handing out Christmas gifts to seniors homes, roadside garbage pickup, Christmas tree pickup for the Lions Club, helping serve the Vimy Ridge dinner at the Royal Canada Legion and Remembrance Day activities.

    The cadets will now prepare for a trip to the slopes of Mount Robson and the Berg Lake trail, a challenging four-day, 52-kilometre backpacking trip that marks their last official duty until September. The federal-funded program also presents an opportunity for the cadets to go overseas next spring to work with an allied regiment in Yorkshire, England.

    "We're hoping to have mountain bike instructors and canoe instructors up here and we're trying to give them lots of experience outdoors in things they might never experience," said 2618 Deputy Commanding Officer Art Forsyth. "Some of these kids are sometimes just sitting back quietly and all of sudden you put them in that situation and they excel. You see leadership qualities come out. When they see that in themselves it boosts their confidence and really helps them improve in whatever they do in life."

    For more information, go to pgarmycadets.com or phone 250-564-9030.

    Ted CLARKE
    Citizen staff

    Source: http://www.princegeorgecitizen.com/a...ip-on-the-rise

    Photo Credit: 2618 RCACC

    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Lt(N) Deck's Avatar
      Good article, always nice to hear of a Cadet unit growing and thriving! One thing the reporter did say that seemed inaccurate was about joining the local Reserve unit. The minimum age of enrolment into the Primary Reserve as a non-commissioned member is 17, so "the opportunity exists" well before a Cadet turns 19, though they do have to cease being a Cadet if they do.

      I get that the reporter was explaining options for Cadets who age out, but thought it might be good to clarify for CadetWorld's readers.

    1. Ranger Rick's Avatar
      Actually it is 16 as long as they are enrolled in secondary or post-secondary school full time. I served as the Recruiting NCO and later the Recruiting O for my unit and there was some confusion when the new DAOD came out.