Showing their stuff
2584 Whitbourne army cadets hold annual review
The rifle team for the 2584 Whitbourne army cadets had just left the gymnasium at Whitbourne Elementary when Lt.-Col. Wayne Miller was compelled to call the team back in.
The corps was holding its 57th ceremonial review on May 25 when Miller stood as the team lined up in front of him.
Turning to parents, grandparents and family members, the reviewing officer said he was amazed at the display he had just seen. “You should all be proud,” he said. It is rare for an ACR to be stopped in the middle. Usually, the corps runs through its entire program before the reviewing officer will give his remarks. However, this time was different.
Miller implored the crowd to give the rifle team, and by extension, the entire 2584 group, a standing applause.
The rest of the program included a physical training demonstration, a slideshow — which brought commanding officer Capt. Patti Kennedy to tears — and some impressive choreography from the band.
“They certainly did an outstanding job,” said Miller. “Just looking at all of the information and all of the things they did throughout the year, the people are to be commended.”
Community support is a big part of any cadet program, and that support can be seen with 2584. The corps is the longest running youth group in Whitbourne. Supporters lined both sides of the gymnasium and cheered after each demonstration and when each award was given out.
“That’s why the cadet corps is as strong as it is today,” said Miller.
Cadets are seen as an organization that benefits every youth that participates in the program.
“In school they’re taught reading, writing and arithmetic. The three R’s, but the cadets teach you two more Rs. They teach you respect and responsibility,” said Miller.
The cadets of 2584 were in a difficult situation for most of the year. Whitbourne Elementary was slated to close at the end of June, which meant the corps would be left without a home for next year.
However, the Eastern School District board of trustees rescinded the motion to close the school last month. This means the corps could still have its home next year.
“It’s very difficult coming in with so much uncertainty hanging over your head,” said Kennedy.
The cadets put that aside, said Kennedy, and focused their energy into the effort put forth over the year and into the ACR.
“It was the perfect combination of everything the kids have worked for all year,” she said.
Chief Warrant Officer Daniel Gosse was awarded the Lord Strathcona Trust Medal. The medal is given to the cadet who exudes exemplary performance in physical and military training. It is the highest individual award that can be given to a cadet in Canada.
“I don’t have words to describe how happy I am that I won the medal,” he said.
A Level III student at Crescent Collegiate in Blaketown, Gosse was proud of the way his fellow cadets performed.
“I don’t think we could have done it any better,” he said.
Lt.-Col. Wayne Miller (centre) inspects a group of cadets at the 2584 Whitbourne army cadets annual ceremonial review at Whitbourne Elementary on May 25. Also in the photo are (l-r) Warrant Officer Amberlee Elford, Chief Warrant Officer Daniel Gosse and Capt. Patti Kennedy.