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One More Year Down the Road

Rating: 3 votes, 5.00 average.
It's now been three years since I joined cadets. I never imagined coming this far. When I joined cadets, it was based on two things: my desire to bring myself closer to a military style of life and the need for community service hours. Later, being perhaps a tad pessimistic in my own potential, I made my biggest goal to be a Sergeant. Now I've achieved that goal, but so much has changed.

First of all, being accepted onto Fullbore Phase I last summer was something that I could have never expected. I did poorly at my Basic Marksman course the year before, but with enough hard work throughout the training year I achieved something that once seemed impossible. I consider that course to be the start of my year, and an excellent one at that. Six weeks in Ottawa with people from around the country really helps you realize some things about yourself. At the end of the summer, I found myself placed as 18th out of 98 shooters on course, which would be enough to get me into the National Rifle Team with the same placement in Phase II. I also found myself as the Acting WO on our graduation parade, a treat that came to me very unexpectedly.

Throughout the actual home corps training, some very interesting things happened. Some were good, some were bad. My first memory is our trip to Algonquin Park. Arriving at 0100 hrs after several hours on the bus only to have to set up the mod-tent and organize the cadets to go to bed. That is a good and a bad memory in and of itself. The rest of the weekend went excellently, though. We had a nice long hike with a great view, which is all I really wanted from a place like Algonquin.

The same month, I was promoted to Sergeant. And who better to award this to me and my fellow new seniors than resident Mr. Rob Gill? This marked an important time in cadets. Not only does it give me permission to beautify my uniform with a glengarry, red sash and white belt, it was the transition into a position of leadership. It may have been my goal beforehand, but things change once you're there and some time has passed.

It was only later in the year that I was appointed as Company Sergeant Major. Finally, I can make myself heard, both on parade and off. With the new responsibilities of this appointment comes great satisfaction to look back and see the work I've put into getting there.

As well, 2403's marksmanship team, for the first time in a looong time, progressed to the provincial competition. Placing 2nd at our zone, we were sent to Trenton where we would come in 9th - not bad for our first time - and send one junior cadet to the national competition in St. Catharines, where she would receive a plethora of medals.

I look back upon what went well and what went not as well this year and come out of it a better person. This summer I'll be attending the next phase in my marksmanship training, having learned from my last, and hopefully earning a spot onto the National Rifle Team, which would serve as a good high-school graduation trip. Upon returning home and recommencing training operations, I hope to be the leader that polishes the corps from a good one to an excellent one. I've already written-down some of the things I hope to change next year in order to establish a local cadet program that's undoubtedly worth joining. I want to leave a mark on my unit that will be imprinted for a time to come, so that it's not just a youth group that teaches lessons and does drill ever Tuesday, rather a program that will bring-out the qualities of the local youth and exploit it into making a generation of individuals prepared for life.

Its crazy to see how much can change in just a few years, which is why I make these blog posts in the first place.


  1. Seaman Parkinson-Dow -
    Seaman Parkinson-Dow's Avatar
    Wow. That was deep. Your blog is very well written! You have earned all my respect.

    I really like the perspective that you take; pros and cons. Keep writing!
  2. Wlodar.Alex -
    Wlodar.Alex's Avatar
    Thank you! I pride myself in doing everything the best I possibly can and writing has always come very naturally to me. With regards to pros and cons, I'm not writing a story that needs to be pleasing; I think it's important to give the history, good and bad, as it happened, lest the truth fade out, leaving us with nothing of any particular value. I'm glad you took a liking to it!
  3. Seaman Parkinson-Dow -
    Seaman Parkinson-Dow's Avatar
    I'll pay close attention to upcoming blogs!