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Cadet Corporal (Belle) Lordan - Australian Army
Cadets As the Dubbo region prepares to commemorate Remembrance Day this Sunday, November 11, here’s a young person’s view on what it’s like to be involved in one of Australia’s armed services.
I had wanted to join Cadets since I was in Year 7, however I didn’t join until
I was in Year 10, when I was 16 years old. I joined because I saw them marching on ANZAC Day one year. I thought it was so awesome and I am pretty big for respecting the fallen.
We are 235 ACU, which is the Army Cadet Unit in Dubbo. We meet every Wednesday night. You can join at about 12 or 13 years old, and then you finish the year you turn 18. In any other after-school activity, the adults run it for you, whereas at Cadets we run it ourselves. It is very demanding, but also very rewarding.
In Cadets we don’t do physical training, we do team games. It is all about lifting people up and making them more confident in themselves. Leadership is a big one. I have definitely developed as a leader after being with Cadets for two years.
I got promoted just over a year after I started. You start as a Recruit
and then you become a Cadet. Then you have Lance Corporal, which is your base rank, then you go up to Corporal, which I am currently at now. In January I will be promoted to Sergeant. I am going away to train for a week at a Sergeant’s course in Singleton. You do a series of tests and then at the end you get a promotion.
As you go up the ranks, the level of responsibility gets higher. As Cadet Corporal, my job is to look after the wellbeing and make lessons for a section of ten people. I get orders from Sergeants, who tell me what lessons to teach them.
We go out camping on bivouacs.
Basically we just run around in the bush having heaps of fun and doing army style training. It’s pretty awesome. The best part of Cadets is how it has changed me as a person. I would say that it has shaped my identity. I have become much more confident and I have a lot more pride. I feel like I am invincible – like I can do anything and achieve anything, there are no limits. Army Cadets has really lifted me up, especially going through the ranks.
Last year at the awards evening
I got “Most Improved Cadet of the Year”. That was pretty memorable for me. We also went to Kapooka as a Cadet group, which is where you train to go into the army, and we got to do the obstacle course there.
Quite a few Cadets have just recently left and are now doing training or have become members of the Australian Defence Force. They have come back and talked to us.
I want to go into the Army as a Nursing Officer, that would be my ideal role. I am
also interested in Paramedics or maybe a General Officer. I might go in through the gap year program and just have some fun for a year and then get serious.
I follow the values of the Army:
Respect, Teamwork, Initiative and Courage. From going through Cadets with those values, I use them in my everyday life now – I just follow them automatically. It’s a part of me.
It is important to commemorate the fallen as they are a major part of our Australian identity. I feel that we really need to do more than what we already do. Myself and Jasmine Ward, who is another cadet, will be running a Remembrance Day service at Dubbo College Senior Campus tomorrow (Friday, November 9).
- Photo and interview by Darcee Nixon