Cadets hailing from Virden, Moosomin and Oak Lake, along with families and friends gathered on Saturday, June 8, in Virden for the 2528 XII Manitoba Dragoons, Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps 65th Annual Ceremonial Review. This is the culmination of their year’s work.
Reviewing Officer Maj. Andrew Flook from Winnipeg brought a background of rich cadet and military experience to the occasion.
Commanding Officer (CO), Second Lt. John Harrower (Brandon), reported the promotion of five cadets: B. McNairn and A. Rousson to Lance Corporal; O. Andrew to Corporal; J. Wiebe to Master Warrant Officer; E. Gibbert to Chief Warrant Officer.
The cadet liaison from CFB Shilo, Darryl Gould, commended the area cadets as a strong cadre. “These kids are an amazing group of kids. They show up, try hard, and put in hours of drill.”
Gould explained their preparation for the review. “The drill, the dress, they came in the Monday before to shine boots, press uniforms and form their berets.” He says this is “preparing them for citizenship, training them to be leaders.”
A mentor for the cadet corps, Gould has a connection with Virden since, in 1998, he came on an exchange with his cadet unit. He stayed with the Hanlin family where he got a taste of farm living, and learned about the history of Virden’s No. 19 Elementary Flying Training School with the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.
Throughout the year cadet activities included: Iron Stag, visits to CFB Shilo, the Winnipeg Museum of Human Rights, and outdoor survival exercises.
The district cadet organization has reported a very successful year which saw new recruits joining.
Gould says, “They came up with a plan to increase their numbers and were all challenged to bring a friend to cadets.” Some even gave presentations in their schools.
In praise of the XII Dragoons, Gould said, “On any given night they have a 90 per cent attendance rate.”
A number of cadets will attend summer training to sharpen their skills and increase their discipline and deportment. Looking forward, watch for uniformed cadets in Virden doing an orienteering drill, planned for the fall.