Air Cadets hold review for family, friends and guests
By S.L. Furedi
The 279 Elk Valley Air Cadets were spit and polish perfect for their annual ceremonial review, June 5.
The teens, aged 12-18, showed off parade skills, received awards and were evaluated by a group of invited guests. Every cadet unit in the country participates in an annual inspection and review, to show their skills meet the standards set by the Department of National Defense and the Air Cadet League of Canada. Units are graded on dress, deportment and drill.
Commanding officer Captain Murray Clow said he was impressed with how the cadets handled themselves. “It’s the culmination of a year of training and these young men and women did an excellent job. They work hard to learn the parade ground skills, but it came together very well for our audience.”
The reviewing party included Sgt. Will Thien, commanding officer of the Elk Valley RCMP Detachment; Ronald Rique, President/director of the B.C. Provincial Committee, Air Cadet League of Canada; Major Jerry Gregr, representing the Area Cadet Instructors Cadre, Wray Mills, vice-president of the Michel-Natal Royal Canadian Legion; Captain Clow; and Yvette Doratty, chair of the Squadron Sponsoring Committee.
Awards were presented to: Leading Air Cadet (LAC) William Doratty, best first year cadet; Flight Corporal Grant Mills, best junior non-commissioned member; Flight Sergeant Nathaniel Suwala, best senior non-commissioned member; Flight Sergeant Ben Doratty, Training Officer’s Award for outstanding dedication and commitment; Sgt. Joel O’Sullivan, Leadership award and Lord Strathcona medal; and Sgt. James Fairhurst, Royal Canadian Legion medal. Cadets were also presented with gold, silver or bronze badges for physical fitness, first aid training certificates and attendance award prizes.
Throughout the training year, the cadets have also participated in range competitions, gliding and flying, first aid training, campouts, sports nights, and trips with other cadet squadrons. They have also volunteered at Remembrance Day services, Canada Day, poppy sales, the Toys for Tots fundraiser, the Sparwood Lions TV Auction and other events.
Although weekly meetings have ended until September, many of the cadets will spend part of their summer vacation at various camps throughout Canada, learning leadership, survival skills and aviation. The camps are free and last from two to six weeks, and cadets are paid $60 a week for their participation.
The air cadets program will start up again in the fall. Meetings are held Wednesdays from 6-9 p.m. For more information on the cadets, call Captain Clow at (250) 425-1271, or visit the squadron’s Facebook page at [email protected].
Lead image: The 279 Elk Valley Air Cadets were put through their paces at their Annual Ceremonial Review, June 5, in Sparwood. Cadets are graded on their parade performance, appearance and deportment. (Photo S.L. Furedi)