The Rocky Mountain Rangers Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corp has a new officer recruit.
Last Tuesday Carla Reese was accepted into Merritt’s cadet corps as an officer in training.
Reese’s youngest son has been involved in cadets for two years now and last year she underwent volunteer training and a backgroung check, which allowed her to become more involved with the group.
Reese can be an officer cadet for up to three years before she has to fully commit.
Now she wants to give even more of herself to this highly recognized national youth program.
“I have never done anything like this before,” says Reese.
“I like the discipline and the camaraderie this organization offers.”
Officers do get paid for their time but it is a small amount compared to the time most officers commit to this program.
Commanding Officer Lynn Henville has been serving in Merritt for a year and admits that even though there is compensation it does not compare to the amount of time most officers willingly commit to the program
“For being a commanding officer I get paid for 3.5 days a month so all the rest of it is voluntary,” says Henville.
“Depending on the level of involvement a corp wishes to be engaged in, the amount of time expected can vary greatly.”
Although the amount of work can be tremendous, Henville says that it is all well worth it.
“You see some of these kids come in at 12 and they are scared of their own shadow, and when they leave they are young men and women,” says Henville.
“It is just amazing the transformation they go through.”
The Cadet Program is the largest federally-sponsored youth program in Canada that includes the Royal Canadian Sea, Army and Air Cadets.
Early cadet units called “Drill Associations” began in the late 1800’s as part of a school program to train boys over the age of 12 in military skills and drill.
The Cadet Program is open to all Canadians from the ages of 12 to 18 regardless of income, race, religion, culture or other socioeconomic factors. The Program embraces Canada’s multiculturalism and offers young Canadians opportunities to interact with youth from other cultures.
Anyone who would like to join cadets or volunteer with the corps is asked to contact the barracks at 250-378-9485 and there is no need to have previous military experience to volunteer or become an officer as all training will be provided.