TISDALE — The #624 Tisdale Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron seen a successful year, with both individual membership achievements and an overall growth of the squadron.
For the past year, the numbers of first-year cadets joining has doubled.
“There were eight or nine first-years. This is usually not the case. It’s normally one to five,” said Mike Benjamin, commanding officer (CO) of the squadron. “So that’s pretty cool.”
He believes this boost is from the cadets themselves.
“Them talking to their friends, telling them how much fun they’re having and us being more in the public eye now a little bit, is definitely the case,” Benjamin said. “The minimum age to join cadets is 12 and that’s where we saw the number increase this year.”
These numbers were shown as the squadron held their annual ceremonial review on June 5. The review serves to give awards and promotions to the cadets due to their hard work throughout the year.
Carrot River Valley MLA Fred Bradshaw was present as the cadets’ reviewing officer.
This was Benjamin’s first annual ceremonial review since becoming CO of the squadron about two weeks prior.
“Up until now I’ve been the training officer. So this was my first one as the CO and it went really well. We had some good opportunities to recognize the cadets for the good work that they’ve done all year.”
In the highlights from the year, Benjamin reflected back on taking the cadets to two field training exercises to Camp Saskadet.
“This was always a blast and this year we did some really good training with the kids out there.”
Another highlight for him was their flight introduction.
“We actually took them out for a gliding day, and the gliding centre is actually based out of Tisdale for the next five years, so it’s nice to have the training centre local.”
A final highlight for Benjamin was three of the cadets this year receiving national level training for this summer. One of which will be training to earn their pilot’s license.
“Giving three cadets a national level course was huge for our squadron. It’s not something that happens very often. So that was a big event for us.”
Next year, he is planning to do an introductory scuba diving type experience for the cadets.
“So that’s one of the additions we’re going to be doing,” Benjamin said. “We’re also looking at expanding our music program, our drill program, our marksmanship program, so there is quite a bit in the planning stages.”
Top Cadet Level 1 Lac. Tomas Baptist
Top Cadet Level 2 Cpl. Samuel Benjamin
Top Cadet Level 3 F/Cpl. Caitlyn Blythe
Top Cadet Level 4 F/Sgt. Rachael Benjamin
Top Cadet Level 5 Wo2. Nathaniel Lewis
CO Award Most Proficient Senior Cadet F/Sgt. Rachael Benjamin
RCMP Best Senior Marksman Wo1. Anna Nahosha
RCMP Best Junior Marksman Cpl. Samuel Benjamin
Esprit de Corps F/SGT. Cole Roszell
Esprit de Corps F/SGT. Keenan Roszell
Esprit de Corps F/Sgt. Rachael Benjamin
Top Uniform F/Sgt. Cole Roszell
Top Uniform F/Sgt. Keenan Roszell
Ray Baumgartner Memorial – Citizenship F/Sgt. Rachael Benjamin
Morgan Phillips Memorial - Most Improved Cpl. Kade Aseltine