Jeff Green | Aug 29, 2013
On Sat. Aug. 17, the 640 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps held a pre-registration/information session at the Northbrook Foodland parking lot. The army cadet program in Addington Highlands and North Frontenac was established in 1998. It was successful from the start and after a few years there were 36 cadets in the corps. The numbers have slipped since then but that is now changing.
“We were down to about six cadets a couple of years ago but we are now back up to 20,” said Corps Commander Tim Trickey, a paramedic with the L&A ambulance service and a resident of Henderson in North Frontenac.
“We are still on probation from the military for numbers but I hope we can get back up to 25 this year, which will take us off probation.”
Trickey was the commander of the cadet corps between 1998 and 2007 and he has just taken on the job again with a three-year commitment. The cadet corps is free to join and the Canadian military covers all cost for the cadets, even providing uniforms free of charge.
“All that we ask is for cadets who decide to leave the corps to return their uniform to us,” said Trickey.
The corps meets for training weekly, on alternative Monday and Wednesday nights during the school year at North Addington Education Centre in Cloyne from 6 to 9 pm. A number of topics are covered during the training sessions.
“Three main goals are: promoting leadership in communities where we live, promoting physical fitness, and trying to create an interest in the Canadian Armed Forces, land, sea and air,” Trickey said.
In addition to the weekly sessions, the corps participate in Remembrance Day Services, which is the one event where Trickey likes to see a 100% commitment from the membership. Aside from that there are a number of weekend activities available to corps members, which include a lot of adventure training, including mountain biking, canoeing, orientation, camping, and more. Summer camps, in Ottawa and the Barrie area for army cadets, and as far away as the Yukon, are also available. Not only are the camps free to attend, cadets receive a $60 a week stipend.
As in military organisations, cadets rise through the ranks, and the corps offers leadership opportunities for older, higher ranking members who can take officer training.
“I have run into numbers of our former cadets who have moved on to some outstanding jobs,” said Trickey. “Some have gone into the military; some are reservists, and there are professional firefighters and many others who have done well.”
Trickey himself took the air cadet program out of Belleville when he was a teenager. “It was the cadet program that taught me self-discipline. As cadets we learn that if we want something we have to work for it.”