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Change: for the good, for the bad- we should still be glad.

Rating: 4 votes, 4.25 average.
I read two brilliant blogs on change one by a very close friend of mine which is here and another by Lt(N) Deck here, and I felt that I should probably add my two cents to this discussion.

I have been in the cadet program for over 5 years now and more than once I have experienced "change". I leave change in quotation marks, because at the end of the day we are all the same, I am still and air cadet as I always have been.

I remember there was a time where we would wear our medals on the left, go all over Canada to attend summer courses and jive at people in different colours of the same clothes. Now however look at what we can experience: meeting people from all around us, going on courses and being the foundation of new traditions, becoming friends with those we once teased, feared and distanced ourselves from.

People call these changes new, but they are merely revisions... As Lt(N) Deck stated there was a time when all cadets wore green, there was no elemental identity but we were all somehow different nonetheless. What we seem to forget is just because our CPU's are all similar now does not mean we are loosing our individuality... Cadets have been taught to fear the changes we are experiencing by the few that remain from a time when the demands of the program were much different than they are now. The cadet program is growing at a substantial rate and we cannot afford to let this growth happen without a few decent changes to ensure the success of future cadets. Times have changed and I personally, am glad that the people writing the CPU's have opened their eyes and realized that the only way forward is to work together.

There was also a time when medals were worn on the right hand side- before they were worn on the left hand side. People often comment on how bad it looks, I am probably one of those people. In truth though we must all concede that they were right to change this back, and that's why we do it. Unfortunately we don't always do it with the best grace.

The cadet program's fear of change has become contagious. Cadets refuse to change their traditions and customs, but why then do we also refuse to pass them on? People always come up to me and ask why things have changed recently... I always reply that it is for the good of the program and that without the change we would not be able to send over half our squadron on summer courses, equip all our cadets with a cap badge, ensure that their own feet aren't cold- even though they could go to the moon in their boots.

People relish what they once had, they convince themselves that less is more. Less isn't more. How is a memory of a past course, a past dress code, or an old pair of worn out boots more? It should be surpassed by the experience of bringing together years of change to create a diverse and enjoyable organization for the youth that choose to participate that's worth more than any tradition, CATO or memory that I have.

How am I lucky that my boots are different from yours, how am I lucky that 4 of the 5 badges on my sleeve will no longer be given out, how am I lucky that I learned everything I know from a grainy blue handbook that now gathers dust on my shelf? The lucky ones are the ones that get to do all the cool activities, that get to go and meet people from other elements, that get to do drill for hours without loosing circulation in their feet, the ones that can have all their questions answered by referring to a few guides in their own time.

So what if you can't do someone else's shuffle? So what if you can't pin your medal above your heart? So what if you can't go to places that have become renowned for their food, their staff and their location? Learn to adapt. Learn to build. Lear to cherish.

But never. Ever. Ever... Forget how to accept change.
Tags: cadets, change, cpu, medals, stc


  1. Survival Instructor -
    Survival Instructor's Avatar
    agreed with your post
  2. sam.shepherd2379 -
    sam.shepherd2379's Avatar
    You had me and then lost me.
    In my opinion, you're on the other end of the spectrum from the people who can't accept change. You're too eager to accept it.

    Yes cadets is growing, but that isn't necessarily good when the quality of cadet is going down. Some of it is inevitable because of stupid little lobby groups of parents worried that cadets is 'changing our children into child sodiers'. It's gotten to the point that you can't discipline cadets properly anymore. Camp is not as bad with their ED's and taking their free time, but what about back at home corps/squadron? We can't give PT anymore, which is exactly what the military does. We can't run the same 'assault course', instead we do a 'confidence course' were the best components are taken out.

    And the fact that you simply shrugged off the changes to the courses is dumbfounding. Cadets isn't a challenge anymore. Everything has gone to a lower level. I'm no longer proud to be a cadet because the level of what a cadet means has lowered. The PT is easier, the challenges are easier, the FTX's are easier.

    On the other hand I love how the rivalry between elements is now just a friendly rivalry. As an army cadet I got the chance to staff with 'Delta Squadron' at Blackdown CSTC after my jump course this summer and I loved it. I worked with plenty of Air Cadets and we swapped stories of how we do things. Some things are more efficient now in the way things are done, and that is good.

    In my opinion, yes, change is good. But when the 'bad changes' significantly outway the 'good changes' then something is wrong.

    If the funding would allow it, I'd say make two different cadet systems. One like the old system and one like the new. One that is more military, the other is less. I joined cadets because of the stories my dad told me, and all the cool military things he did. I can't do half the things he did. Two organizations would clear up everything apart from the money issues. But of course that could never happen.

    In short, don't be too quick to praise the changes and stick with the good things that were, that what I do, and I love my corps for it.
  3. -'s Avatar
    I agree with the both of you, however we must learn to accept the things we cannot change, therefore, since it is out of our particular hands, why not accept it with a positive attitude. If you wish to add some of the old element, then start in the small ways in which you're capable. Remember that with change, of course we lose good things, but in time, we gain great things. For the better, or the worse we are constantly evolving and that is the only way we can move forward.