At a special ceremony organised on Friday, at the Defence Force Camp at Springfield in Basseterre, the new cadets were given words of encouragement and guidance by the Commander of the Force, Lt. Col. Patrick Wallace.
Wallace, who himself once served in the Cadet Corps, congratulated the recruits who completed their training and admonished them to make the best of their new skills and to set examples for other young people to follow.
Friday’s event came at the end of the annual Cadet Camp, which this year had the participation of approximately 30 cadets from both St. Kitts & Nevis.
In the presence of their parents and other family members, the cadets were engaged in a performance of drill display while also putting on a demonstration of some of the survival skills picked up on the camp. They also recited the Leadership Principles of the cadets, in addition to highlighting their new abilities as young leaders.
The 2011 camp was held under the directorship of the Officer Commanding the Cadet Corps, Captain Kayode Sutton, while the main instructors were Staff Sergeant Brian Mills, along with Sgt. Henderson, Sgt. Caines and LCPL Phillip.
Captain Sutton said this year’s camp was very successful and they had encouraging participation from everyone, especially the senior cadets who were used to help train the recruits. Sutton explained that focus was placed on enhancing the leadership skills of the seniors, helping them to project themselves as role models for the others.
The Defence Force Captain cautioned that the leadership positions that are being assigned to the senior cadets come with responsibilities. He said that those who have been promoted would be placed under close scrutiny to assess their growth and leadership performances, over time. Sutton indicated that the new senior ranks of the cadets would be required to take command of some of the training of their subordinates, making sure that their program of development is being pursued as required and with the desired results.
“We are expecting them to show proactive leadership and to ensure that the corps is progressing in the manner that is required, “ explained the captain.
This year’s camp saw the promotion of some senior cadets, who were elevated to the ranks of Lance Corporal, Corporal and Sergeant.
Prominent amongst the list of those climbing the ranks were Sergeants Isha-Shawn Halbert of Nevis and Kai’Jana Henry of St. Kitts.
The two new sargeants expressed joy and satisfaction on the occasion of their promotion. Sergeant Henry told MiyVue.com that with the promotion, new doors are opening and new ideas will be emerging for the Cadet Corps.
He said that he has been thinking of new initiatives, in the form of programs and activities that could now be pursued, in order to make the time spent in the corps, more interesting and rewarding for all cadets.
“I would like to help create more interaction between the cadets who reside in Nevis and those who are based in St. Kitts, recognizing that we are all part of one organization,” said Sergeant Henry.
He said that he is hoping that the cadets could become even more involved in community projects, such as the painting of school buildings, community cleaning campaigns and other initiatives that benefit the society generally.
Through these undertakings, said Sergeant Kai’Jana Henry, the wider community would know that the cadets are still out there playing a meaningful role, and that the Cadet Corps remains a good organization for the youths to join.
Henry described the recent Summer Camp as very challenging but that it helped them to motivate themselves and excelled in various disciplines. He agreed that the camp was very successful, especially since they were able to accomplish many of the programs that sometimes have posed difficult to complete, due to various constraints that may present themselves during camp time.