These young men and women are preparing for life through training in discipline, respect, camaraderie, hard work and focus. These skills will bring them recognition and demonstrated commitment that will entitle them to opportunities they may never have even considered.
The Reviewing party arrives: Reviewing officer, Hon. Col (Ret) Don Wilkin, CD; Mrs. Taryn Findlay, Director, 104 Squadron Ontario; Major Jody Roberts, Commanding Officer; Mrs. Deborah Jago, Squadron Sponsoring Chair for 104 Starfighter RCACS; Major Don Bryce, CD Area Elemental Advisor.
The pride on the cadet faces is palpable as they march out onto the melting tarmac of the Brantford Municipal Airport: knife sharp creases in their uniforms; and spit polished shoes. They are focused on the cadet soldier in front of them but secretly crave to glance into the audience and catch the eye of their loved ones. They know that comes later of course. Sir, yes Sir.
The sun is setting into a possible sunset and all is good.
The Pipe and Drum Band has been practicing for months for this event. Some had barely picked up a set of bagpipes…now they can call themselves an accomplished Piper. The Colour Party holds the Regimental and Canadian flags with the honour they deserve and the Cadets with rifles at the ready to accompany them into the parade square.
The cadets have formed up in their company ranks under the watchful eye of the Warrant Officers, senior Cadets. Instructions are shouted by the Senior Warrant Officer, ‘At Ease…Atten-Shun!’ and the boot heels snap together and stamp the ground in unison like a single crack of a bat.
They are led by the Pipe Band across the parade square and formed into a single snake of Air Force blue uniforms, arms swinging in tempo and knees elevated simultaneously as they pass the reviewing stand, officers saluting the gathered dignitaries.
These are the 104 Squadron Cadet Corps of 2018. Staff, parent volunteers and representatives from the Canadian Air Force have all had a hand in preparing for this day.
The first display is ‘Silent Drill Team’. About 20 cadets, with no instructions or reference points begin to spin, march, cross paths in all directions silently. At one point they are spread out across the parade square facing in all directions and suddenly, they have choreographed a return to their original ranks facing the reviewing stand. Around they go in complicated moves and always back to the precise position they started from.
And of course, the awards recognize the efforts of the most proficient in: marching; marksmanship; leadership; personal development; fundraising; mentorship; and community participation to name a few.
Sgt. Lepp, (centre) Top Shot Marksmanship Award
Flight Corporal Bossy, Most Improved Junior Cadet
WOII Peplinski, Most Improved Senior Cadet
WOII Jago, Howard Lewis Memorial Award
WOII Manley, Parent’s Auxillary Award
Corporal Banuelos, Top Performing Rookie
WOII Corner, Top Performing Senior Cadet
WOII Bowerman, Starfighter Award
Flight Sgt. Fogg, Royal Canadian Legion Medal of Excellence
Flight Sgt. Willson, Leadership, Dedication as Pipe Major with band
WOI Holley, Retirement Certificate and Summer Exchange Program through Cadets in Australia, before heading to university
Major Roberts, CO, the Canadian Forces Decoration
Top Staff Award
Commanding Officer Commendations, for aiding a citizen in medical distress and calling 911, LAC Barrett and Flight Major Sullivan
These are our youth and we have every reason to be as proud of them as their families are. They represent the strength and hope for our future leaders.