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HMCS Ontario: Sea Cadets taking over the peninsula
HMCS Ontario: Welcome presence over the summer Article by: 27476 OCdt Danielle Fielding Danielle Fielding For many years now, at this time of the year, HMCS Ontario with Sea Cadets from all over the province, arrive at RMC and spend time doing various levels of water related training. Navy Bay is full of sailboats most days. A beautiful sight! Prior to the ankle-biters arriving the staff have arrived; they have been hard at work preparing for the arrival of course cadets which is scheduled for Sunday, 8 July. History of the Canadian Cadet Program The Canadian Cadet Program has offered it’s training to young Canadians since the late 1800s. The first of the cadet programs to come into effect were the Army Cadets, as part of a young militia school program with the mandate of training boys over the age of 12 in military skills and drill. Interest grew significantly during the First World War, with more than 64 000 Cadets enrolled in the program. It slowed down once the war ended, to be revived during the Second World War as Canadians looked to their youth to serve their country. In 1917, the Navy League of Canada established the Boy’s Naval Brigade. It was their mission to encourage young men towards a seafaring career. The Air Force followed suit in 1941, and the Air Cadet League of Canada was officially incorporated as a voluntary organization. In the 1960s a Directorate of Cadets was established in Ottawa to coordinate the activities of the Sea, Army and Air Cadets. Over the years the program has continued, with the focus changing from training future Canadian Forces members to developing community leaders and good citizens. With its emphasis on leadership, physical fitness and citizenship, the Canadian Cadet Program helps young Canadians to become active and engaged members of their communities. Present Situation Every year, RMC opens its dormitories and hosts HMCS Ontario. The Sea Cadets can be seen fulfilling the goals of the Cadet Program every day. Early in the morning, the task of raising the flags rotates through all the cadets, emphasizing citizenship and pride to be Canadian. Raising and lowering the flags is a long standing tradition and routine in Canadian military, marking the beginning and end of every day. The Sea Cadets also partake in physical fitness activities every day, keeping them fit and active. Most notably, the water ways around the RMC peninsula are filled with sailboats. The cadets are on the water daily, learning the skills required to sail. The Sea Cadets specialize in sailing, seamanship, shipboard life, naval communications, power boat handling, boat repair, and marine engineer. The opportunities are limitless and it is an enriching program for all those involved. We wish HMCS Ontario much success this summer as they turn cadets into the leaders of the future.