Reviewing officer Lt.Col Leo Brodeur (centre) shares a light moment with one of the 138 army cadets who finished their two-week general training course at the Vernon Army Cadet Summer Training Centre Friday with a ceremonial parade. Joining him on the inspection are cadet warrant officer Kalen Paulson (left) and VACSTC commanding officer Lt-Col Lyle Johnson.

Reviewing officer Lt.Col Leo Brodeur (centre) shares a light moment with one of the 138 army cadets who finished their two-week general training course at the Vernon Army Cadet Summer Training Centre Friday with a ceremonial parade. Joining him on the inspection are cadet warrant officer Kalen Paulson (left) and VACSTC commanding officer Lt-Col Lyle Johnson.

First round of summer cadets graduate

Vernon Army Cadet Summer Training Centre grads finish two-week course

“The best part of the past two weeks was the summer biathlon,” said army cadet Robert Dungate of Calgary after the 138 cadets enrolled in the two-week general training course at the Vernon Army Cadet Summer Training Centre completed their dress rehearsal for their final parade on Friday.

“The worst part was trying to wake up in the morning.”

Dungate is already looking forward to next summer when he hopes to enrol in the basic marksman course.

The young army cadets are participating in the army cadet general military training course which sees them introduced to communal living, participate in an overnight field training exercise, challenge the mini confidence course, improve their accuracy with the air rifle, take part in a summer biathlon, learn orienteering and receive information on more senior courses that will be available to them in the coming years.

Taking the salute from the dais and inspecting the cadets was reviewing officer Lt-Col. Leo Brodeur, the commanding officer of the Regional Cadet Support Unit for the Prairies.

“I was pleased with the progress the young people made in their two weeks here,” said Major Reg Tweten, the officer in charge of Charlie Training Group.

“For many of these cadets, this is their first experience living with a large group of their peers, and they’ve made wonderful progress.”

Cadet Brandon Kenna of Vancouver liked the overnight field training exercise in the hills overlooking the main camp. He plans to continue with his cadet training, but is aiming for a place in Whitehorse next summer.

For Cadet Sergeant Morgan Downing-Baker of Pincher Creek, Alta., the past two weeks were his first experience as a staff cadet, in charge of a section of 10 cadets.

“It was fun, but the hardest part was teaching them to look after their kit,” he said.

During the summer, more than 1,100 army cadets from Western Canada will spend up to six weeks in the Okanagan Valley training centre, expanding the training they receive at their home corps, developing new skills and forming friendships.