by Lorraine Payette, written October 8, 2013
(GANANOQUE, ON) – The 492 Military Police Army Cadets in Gananoque are in full swing after having held a very successful Recruitment Barbecue on September 11. Now that the excitement of joining up, the fun of seeing your friends join, too, is over, it’s time for the work to begin.
Kate Andrews, formerly known as CWO Andrews, assisted with training through most of the month of September as a civilian volunteer.
“I was in this corps for five years,” said Andrews. “I felt very honoured when I achieved my highest promotion. It’s something I had wanted since I first started cadets. I love being in a leadership role, bring able to teach the kids who are coming up through the ranks. I like to share knowledge with them and show them how to be in a leadership role so that one day they can take my place.”
Her goal was to become a military police officer. She was overjoyed when she was asked to join the reserves, so she filed in her paperwork out and submitted it.
“I’ve always wanted to be in the military,” said Andrews. “It’s sort of a family tradition. I just want to help people, which is why I want to become a police officer. The Gananoque Cadets are the Military Police Corps, so that really helped me along as well. I aged out of the corps last year, which was sad, but I’m getting to go on to what I always wanted to do.”
“I always like to point out Chief Warrant Officer Andrews as a fine example of what the army cadets are all about,” said Major Bernard Hudson, Deputy Commander of the Canadian Military Police Group. “Whenever anyone asks me about the corps, where they’re going and what it can do for them, I just tell them her story.”
The September barbecue brought in 13 new recruits, all eager to get an idea of what the corps was like, and to take charge of their lives. Unlike most activities for young people, the Army Cadets is completely free of charge to participants. Everything is provided for them, from meeting space to uniforms and special instruction. They get to experience military discipline, a strong sense of camaraderie and civic pride, and a chance to volunteer throughout the community, giving something back to all around them.
As part of the barbecue festivities, Ken O’Connor, the owner of the Gananoque Home Hardware, had donated a beautiful Airwalk bicycle that would be won by one of the new recruits. Valued at $220, it was just a small temptation to help draw young people in to see about joining the cadets.
Members of the corps experience an overall improvement in themselves, whether in taming bullies or bring shy kids to the forefront, improving grades and study habits, and becoming better all round citizens. Although the cadets are not part of the military, many do go on to find careers in the Forces.
The discipline is strict but rewarding. Most learn the importance of good study habits, and their grades improve. Teachers are usually very impressed with students who have joined the cadets due to the positive changes they get to see in them every day.
But just because the summer is over it doesn’t mean it’s too late to join. The corps is always eager to have new recruits, and will welcome any young people between the ages of 12 and 18 who wish to apply. Members meet from 6:30 to 9:00 pm on Wednesdays at the Gananoque Recreation Centre.
They are also continuing to search for a better, hopefully permanent location to house the corps. It was suggested that the former Home Hardware buildings on Stone Street would be ideal for this, if something can be arranged between the owners, the town and the corps. A similar size building in a convenient location would be equally appreciated.
For more information on becoming a cadet, please call 1-800-561-4786 or go to http://www.cadets.ca/army-armee/ and explore the options. If you have a possible new location for them to use as a permanent home, please contact Ron MacNeil at firstname.lastname@example.org .