Par­sons is ‘spirit of the corps’

Surgery pre­vents cadet from par­tic­i­pat­ing in re­view; still wins awards

The Compass - - NEWS - BY MELISSA JENK­INS lissa.jenk­

While 23 other cadets in the 2615 Vic­to­ria Lions Army Cadet Corps marched at Per­salvic School in Vic­to­ria on June 2, played in­stru­ments and were in­spected dur­ing the 36th an­nual cer­e­mo­nial re­view, Mas­ter Cpl. Jenna Par­sons was sit­ting un­com­fort­ably on a pil­low in a plas­tic chair on the side­lines.

While her counter parts marched in per­fect unison, Par­sons, who was cov­ered with a fleece blan­ket, wished she could have been up there with them but un­for­tu­nately surgery to re­move a cyst led her to miss out.

Even as a mem­ber of the au­di­ence, Par­sons walked away with three ma­jor awards — the Le­gion Medal of Ex­cel­lence, Esprit De Corps and Reg­i­men­tal Sergeant Ma­jor’s Choice.

She joked while pos­ing for pho­tos not to get her sweat pants in the pic­tures, which was fol­lowed by a chuckle from the of­fi­cers in at­ten­dance.

Award achieve­ments

When asked af­ter the clos­ing ban­quet about re­ceiv­ing the Esprit De Corps award, she said, “It was sur­pris­ing,”

The award is given to a de­ter­mined cadet who helps younger cadets achieve great­ness in the cadet move­ment, said Par­sons.

“I do it be­cause I re­mem­ber what it was like to be a young cadet,” she smiled, adding she helps the younger cadets dur­ing camp, es­pe­cially when they just need some­one to con­fide in.

For the sec­ond year in a row Par­sons was the re­cip­i­ent of the Reg­i­men­tal Sergeant Ma­jor’s Choice award, which is de­cided by the RSM of the corps, Ali­cia Ash, who picks the re­cip­i­ent based on ded­i­ca­tion, in­volve­ment and over­all at­ti­tude.

All in the fam­ily

For this Per­salvic Grade 9 stu­dent, suc­cess in cadets is no sur­prise within her fam­ily.

Her brother, Justin Par­sons, was a for­mer RSM at the same corps, and he pre­vi­ously took home some of the same awards as his sis­ter.

Her mother, Kathy Par­sons, was “very proud” of her daugh­ter’s ac­com­plish­ments dur­ing the event, and said how ded­i­cated the fam­ily has been with the corps for many years.

“I am cur­rently work­ing on be­com­ing an of fi­cer,” Par­son’s mother said.

Lord Strath­cona

The high­est award a cadet can re­ceive in Canada is the Lord Strath­cona Medal. The re­cip­i­ent must dis­play ex­cep­tional phys­i­cal and mil­i­tary per­for­mance and have at least a Sil­ver Star, or third year, train­ing level.

2615 Vic­to­ria hon­oured its Com­mand Sergeant Ma­jor, Mas­ter War­rant Of fi­cer Jonathan Davis, with this award.

He also re­ceived the award for Mas­ter Cadet, and was hon­oured with the po­si­tion of RSM. He will take over from grad­u­at­ing cadet Ali­cia Ash this Septem­ber. Per­for­mances The corps demon­strated their skills through nu­mer­ous demon­stra­tions, in­clud­ing a drill team and unique and tra­di­tional band per­for­mances.

Cadets marched in per­fect unison into the gym­na­sium show­ing their pro­fes­sion­al­ism and ded­i­ca­tion to the group.

Dur­ing the tra­di­tional per-

“I do it be­cause I re­mem­ber what it was like to be a young cadet.” — Mas­ter Cpl. Jenna Par­sons

for­mance, the band played each note with pre­ci­sion and showed their variation with tra­di­tional mu­sic and New­found­land folk tunes.

Dur­ing the event, the band played a sec­tion of songs in the dark on the school stage. They wore white gloves which glowed un­der three black lights sit­u­ated at the base of the stage.

Lt.-Col Perry Grandy, re­view­ing of­fi­cer, praised the troop for their great per­for­mances and for an ex­cel­lent re­view.

Suc­cess in cadets

Com­mand­ing Of fi­cer Capt. Joseph Lafitte wasn’t all that sur­prised at the suc­cess of both Par­sons and Davis.

He said Par­sons was one of four cadets in the prov­ince to win a trip to Ot­tawa last year for the En­coun­ters with Canada pro­gram for a com­mem­o­ra­tion of Vimy Ridge.

Lafitte was also elated that more than half of his troop would be at­tend­ing camp this year, even af­ter sig­nif­i­cant cuts to the cadet pro­gram.

“It could be a very small frac­tion that will de­ter­mine if one cadet goes to camp and an­other doesn’t,” he ex­plained.

Lafitte an­nounced that the army cadets still have a few more events to at­tend this year, in­clud­ing a me­mo­rial ser­vice June 23. De­tails will be pub­lished on the corps’ Face­book page.

Mem­bers of the 2615 Vic­to­ria Lions army cadets par­tic­i­pated in the unit’s 36th an­nual cer­e­mo­nial re­view June 2 at Per­salvic school in Vic­to­ria. Then they held an awards ban­quet at the Vic­to­ria’s Lion’s Club to hon­our this year’s award win­ners. In at­ten­dance were: front (l-r) —Lance Cpl. K. Rid­dle-Ellsworth, Lance Cpl. B. Ken­nell, Lance Cpl. C. Cull, Mas­ter War­rant Of­fi­cer J. Davis, Chief War­rant Of­fi­cer A. Ash, Lt.-Col. P. Grandy, Lance Cpl. G. Baggs, Lance Cpl. C. Green and Lance Cpl. S. Em­ber­ley; mid­dle — 2nd Lieut. S. Clarke, Mas­ter Cpl. J. Par­sons, civil­ian vol­un­teer K. Clarke, Mas­ter Cpl. M. Slade, Mas­ter Cpl. M. King, Mas­ter Cpl. S. Short, Mas­ter Cpl. C. Slade, Mas­ter Cpl. J. Green, Mas­ter Cpl. K. Hef­ford, Mas­ter Cpl. J. Mor­gan and Mas­ter Cpl. O. Clarke; back — civil­ian vol­un­teer A. Grif­fin, Of­fi­cer Cadet J. Drover, Cpl. M. Fry, Mas­ter Cpl. J. Gar­land, Cpl. J. Davis, Capt. J. LaFitte, Cpl. F. Fin­layson, civil­ian vol­un­teer E. Hef­ford and Mas­ter Cpl. K. Doyle.

The 2615 army cadets show­case their drill per­for­mance with con­fi­dence. Mem­bers of the drill team are from left —Mas­ter Cpl. J. Gar­land, Mas­ter Cpl. K. Doyle, Mas­ter War­rant Of­fi­cer J. Davis, Cpl. J. Davis, Cpl. F. Fin­layson, Mas­ter Cpl. K. Hef­ford, Cpl. J. Mor­gan, Cpl. N. Green, Mas­ter Cpl. S. Short, Mas­ter Cpl. J. Ryan, Cpl. M. Fry, Mas­ter Cpl. C. Slade, Mas­ter Cpl. M. Slade and Cpl. M. King.

Pho­tos by Melissa Jenk­ins/spe­cial to The Com­pass

Mas­ter Cpl. Jenna Par­sons (left) was a big win­ner at this year’s re­view­ing cer­e­mony for 2615 Vic­to­ria Lions Army Cadets. Al­though not able to par­tic­i­pate in the ac­tiv­i­ties, she took home the Esprit de Corps, RSM’s Choice and the Le­gion Medal of Ex­cel­lence awards. Pre­sent­ing her with the Esprit de Corps award is com­mand­ing of­fi­cer Capt. Joseph Lafitte.

Photo by Nick Mercer/the Com­pass

Lt.-Col. Perry Grandy (mid­dle) and Chief War­rant Of­fi­cer Ali­cia Ash in­spect glock­en­spiel player Mas­ter Cpl. Olivia Clarke.

Cpl. Mor­gan Fry, win­ner of the Out­stand­ing Ded­i­ca­tion to Band award, plays her glock­en­spiel dur­ing the fi­nal march of the an­nual cer­e­mo­nial re­view.

Chief War­rant Of­fi­cer Ali­cia Ash per­forms her fi­nal duty as a cadet, pass­ing on the Cadet Reg­i­men­tal Sergeant Ma­jor sash to Mas­ter War­rant Of­fi­cer Jonathan Davis. Ash re­ceived the Grad­u­at­ing Cadet award and Davis was the re­cip­i­ent of the Lord Strath­cona Medal, the high­est hon­our that can be pre­sented to a cadet.

Lance Cpl. Cameron Green (left) re­ceives the “Best Dressed on Pa­rade” award from Lt.Col. Perry Grandy at the an­nual cer­e­mo­nial re­view.

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