The Fort St. John Army Cadets held their 72nd Annual Ceremonial Review at the Fort St. John Curling Club on May 26. Cadets marched, were sworn in, and received awards in front of family and friends.
Reviewing Officer Captain Stefan Stefanov, based in Edmonton, said he was very impressed with the cadets in Fort St. John and their dedication to the program.
Captain Geoff Bough, commanding officer in Fort St. John, said during the review it was a tough year as many cadets aged out of the program, but said the number of young cadets who were sworn in at the review were the most this corps has ever had.
After he was done speaking, Captain Bough called up Captain Gregg Nicoll, who is retiring after 18 years with the cadet corps, and presented Nicoll with an officer’s sword.
“I’ve really enjoyed working with the cadets," Nicoll said.
"It’s very rewarding to see the difference between a cadet when they come in as a 12 or 13-year-old, and when they leave on their 19th birthday. There’s a huge change in their demeanor and conduct, and I’ve never been disappointed in a cadet."
Nicoll was honoured and surprised to receive the sword.
“I was absolutely shocked when I saw it. I’m very proud to be honoured that way, and if they were going to give me a gift, that’s the best one they could have given me," Nicoll said.
The presenting of awards at the review is a longstanding army cadet tradition. Sergeant Jacob Barley, 16, won five awards, including the prestigious Lord Strathcona Trust Fund Medal – given to a cadet who shows a high level of fitness, volunteering, and attendance.
“The Lord Strathcona medal represents the volunteer aspect, and I only missed two days of training the entire year. I’m very pleased to receive it,” said Barley.
Barley also received awards for Top Gold Star Cadet, Best Effort in Drill, Espirit de Corps, and was named the Top Cadet of the Year.
“It feels really good that the corps deemed me deserving of these awards. When I first started cadets, I was a very different person and not the best cadet either. It’s really changed my life, and helped with schooling and friends,” Barley said.
The Cadet Leadership Award went to Warrant Officer Caylen Forrest. It's given to any cadet who consistently displays fine leadership attributes.
The Lieutenant Brian Wallace Award for Excellence, named after Cadet Lieutenant Brian Wallace and awarded in his memory, was given to Chief Warrant Officer Parker Neumeier. The award is given to a cadet whose mastered learning and leadership, and superior dress and deportment.
There are 14 cadets who have been accepted for Cadet Summer Training Centres this summer in B.C. and the Yukon.
Email reporter Dillon Giancola at email@example.com.