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My Last...

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As all of the cadets and those involved in the cadet program know, summer training is on our doorstep.

For some, it will be their first time away from home; nervous and scared... but for those of us - course and staff cadets - that have been there, done that: this is the most exciting and most anticipated time of the year. For some of us, it is our last summer of wonderful training - myself included.

I'm going to start off by saying that the Cadet program has made me what I am today, some days I sit in my room just before going off to LHQ training night and try to imagine my life without cadets; and I cannot. It is an impossible scenario to imagine how my life would be without cadets, it has become an important piece of my life... Summer Training being the greatest.

July-August 2010 will be my 4th summer at Vernon Army Cadet Summer Training Centre.

In 2007, my first year and a bit of cadets (technically 2nd because I signed up on 16 January 2006, although I did not go to camp that summer). I took the Army Cadet Leader course and was a member of DELTA company for 6 weeks. I admit, I was nervous, but not once did I get homesick and I had a few good friends who always helped me out along the way. I didn't want to leave when the summer was over.

In 2008, I was a member of GUARD company - participating in the Army Cadet Leader Instructor Drill and Ceremonial course. Here is where I felt the most proud. There I was at the very front of the parade square... all of the eyes of the spectators were on us. I was a drill machine right from my first day of cadets, my father (a former member of Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians)) had taught me some drill before I had joined. I feel that it was here I shined my brightest... but apparently that wasn't the last of my brightest. I had developed friendships that summer that were unforgettable... truly remarkable and had tons of fun! Also, brought back a fountain of knowledge to my LHQ, which was very beneficial.

In 2009, I was a staff cadet in Vernon as a Sergeant with the Navigation and Orienteering Cadre under the Field Training Group. I had a wicked fun summer (despite the fact that it seemed like I only had 3 showers the whole summer - being in the field almost the whole time), not only were my friendships from the previous summer strengthened... I made new friends aswell. Being a Staff Cadet isn't just about being able to spend your days off in the city, wearing civilian clothes on your off time, or that nice paycheque that we receive; but rather it's about the knowledge that you gain from taking on a larger, more dedicated, more responsible role as a cadet. Some units only have 15-20 members, so when you come to Vernon as a staff cadet and you're put in charge of a platoon of 40 cadets - It's definitely a test of your abilities, but also to learn. I learned so much and passed on so much valuable skills and knowledge that for once in my life I felt 110% accomplished and satisfied in myself.

Summer Training is a magical thing, I'm not even joking. My most memorable moments, my strongest of skills, and my great friends were all thanks to the amazing opportunity provided to me by the cadet program to participate in such a marvelous thing. This summer... 2010... is my last summer to participate in Summer Training as a cadet. I have been given the position of Company Sergeant-Major, holding the rank of Master Warrant Officer, of DELTA Company - which will consist of the 2-week General Training course. I will have, once again, the summer of a lifetime. Cadets as given me, memories and experiences that will never be forgotten, skills and knowledge that in invaluable and friendships that will last a lifetime.

I cannot describe how thankful I am.
I will cry when the mass band strikes up the bagpipes and begin to play Amazing Grace during the famous Sunset Parade - because that will signal the end to THE GREATEST moments of my life.

I wish everyone a safe, exciting, fun, and memorable summer wherever it may take you; Quadra, Vernon, Alberthead - Army, Sea, Air. I hope that all of you bring back knowledge and skills and apply them to your LHQ - strive to achieve, give the younger cadets the experience of a lifetime!



  1. Lt(N) Deck -
    Lt(N) Deck's Avatar
    Great post. Enjoy your last summer as a Cadet!
  2. SaulT -
    SaulT's Avatar
    I'll see you there buddy