Local Cadets were at their finest for the Annual Ceremonial Review (ACR) on Saturday at the Castlegar Community Complex.
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 ACR, 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 Kootenay teamed up in a display of comradeship and cooperation.
The cadets led 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.
131 Kootenay RCSCC presented the Navy League Medal of Excellence to Chief Petty Officer First Class Naomi Savage. This national-level award is only presented to 1 in every 200 senior Royal Canadian Sea Cadets that reflect The Navy League of Canada’s core values of loyalty, professionalism, mutual respect and integrity. The selected cadets are highly involved in their community, exhibit strong leadership, have outstanding dress and deportment and provide an example for younger cadets to strive for. Savage also received recognition for six years’ service to the program.
This was CPO1 Savage’s last parade as a cadet.
“I am going to really miss being a cadet,” she said through tears. “But I am excited to start my new adventures, and look forward to coming back and helping the program as an adult leader. It’s really important to me to give back some of what I came away with.”
Petty Officer First Class Jordan Cherrington received recognition for five years service in the Sea Cadet program.
531 RCACS had a tie for their Top Cadet Award, and presented Flight Sergeant Brodie Grosjean of Trail and Warrant Officer Second Class Kelton Kinch of Trail each with a plaque and a trophy to share between them.
Sergeant Eben Sirges also of Trail received the silver level for the Duke of Edinburg’s International Award. This is an internationally-recognized award, and required months of hard work to achieve.
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, develop the attributes of leadership and good citizenship and 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.