Weekly Meeting - Cadets Luncheon, Major General Petras, Chief-Reserves & Cadets

Weekly Meeting at the Chateau Laurier at 12:30.

Attached and below is the speech which was presented at our luncheon last Friday, by Major Dave Burniston, Commanding Officer of the 211 Air Cadet Squadron. It is very informative, as it details the over-1000 hours spent by the Cadets in their training.

President Sam, Kiwanians, guests and cadets. Thank you for the opportunity to attend this luncheon and to speak to you about cadets. I see from the announcement that was sent out that I was to be speaking about my career with cadets. I hope you will indulge me if I change the focus of my talk, because this luncheon isn’t about me, it’s about the young men and women you see here with you today, the members of the 2 cadet units that you sponsor. While my talk will refer to Air Cadets, the principles apply to the other Cadet movements as well.

As you heard, I’ve been involved with Air Cadets for many years, and with 211 Squadron since 1994. During that time, I’ve seen many young people benefit from the Cadet program. I’m sure that you’ve seen a cadets at luncheons, bed races, world trivia nights and a number of other community events. What I’d like to take a few minutes to discuss are the activities of a cadet that you may not be aware of.

From the time a young person can join cadets at the age of 12 until they must retire on their 19th birthday, they have the opportunity to participate in 5 years of structured training referred to as Local Headquarters Training, followed by 2 years of Administration, Training and Supply support activities, including teaching younger cadets.

I took a little time to figure out how many hours a cadet would spend at various activities during their cadet career. Again, these examples are from the Air Cadet program, but there are equivalent activities in the Army Cadet environment as well.

A cadet training year consists of 30 weeks of Mandatory Level Training and a number of weekends of Mandatory Support Training. During the 5 years of Level training, a cadet will undergo the following: 42 hours of Drill 15 hours of General Cadet Knowledge 9 hours of Citizenship 8 hours of Life Skills 6 hours of Effective Speaking 10 hours of Aircrew Survival 24 hours of Leadership In addition, they will spend time learning Airframes, Principles of Flight, Propulsion, Radio Communications, Navigation, Meterology and Fitness.

In support of this training, cadets will undergo 20 days of field training we refer to as Bush Weekends for a total of 300 hours of training. We also have optional activities that a cadet may participate in such as Band and Drill team that practice almost every weekend. Many cadets participate in both of these for their whole cadet career, adding 420 hours to their time spent at cadets over the 5 years of the mandatory training.

They will attend Battle of Britain, Battle of Atlantic and Remembrance parades as well as assist in Poppy Sales for a total of at least 95 hours of community service. There are also at least 5 inter-Squadron competitions per year totaling at least 100 hours of time spent meeting and interacting with other cadets undergoing physical fitness related activities and learning sportsmanship.

That brings us to a total of 1,029 hours cadets invest into the Air Cadet program. And this doesn’t include the additional 2 years cadets can remain in the Squadron. I’m sure that most of you didn’t know that the funds you provide to the Squadron give young people the chance to spend well over 1,000 hours involved in activities that build character and promote fitness, citizenship and leadership. Consider that you have sponsored 211 Squadron for over 60 years and the thousands and thousands of hours where cadets have been provided an environment for self improvement and community service, and I honestly can’t think of a better investment that you could make in both our community and Canada as a whole.

On behalf of the cadets of 211 Sqn, past, present and future, I thank you for your commitment to the development of our youth. As they say in one of the current television commercials: "Kiwanis Sponsorship of Cadets ----- Priceless". DG Burniston, CD Major Commanding Officer 211 Ottawa Kiwanis Squadron Royal Canadian Air Cadets 21 April 2006