A local army cadet has been recognized for her superlative performance at this year’s general training course in the Yukon.
© Submitted photo
Yukon Commissioner Doug Phillips presents Cadet Tesa Thompson of Prince Albert with the Top General Training Army Cadet Award last Friday at the Whitehorse Cadet Summer Training Centre. The award recognizes the cadet who displays overall excellence in dress, deportment, co-operation and team spirit.
Cadet Tesa Thompson of 390 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps Prince Albert received the Top General Training Army Cadet Award during last Friday’s graduation parade at the Whitehorse Cadet Summer Training Centre (CSTC).
The reviewing officer for the ceremony, Yukon Commissioner Doug Phillips, presented Thompson with the award, which honours the cadet who has displayed overall excellence during the training period in terms of dress, deportment, co-operation and team spirit.
“She just really was the greater achiever of all the cadets,” unit public affairs officer 2nd Lieut. Betty Froese said of Thompson.
“She showed responsibility, she took initiative to be a leader, she was mentoring cadets around her in her course, she did the skills well … She carried herself, she was clean and she was neat, her bunk area was always in good condition.”
The course platoon commander is responsible for assessing the performances of each cadet and therefore determines the annual award recipient.
The Whitehorse CSTC is the only cadet camp located at a latitude north of the 60th meridian and caters primarily to young people from northern Canada. Only a small number of positions are available at the centre each year.
“It is quite the achievement to be the top cadet, because there are 30 in the platoon,” Froese noted.
Sponsored by the Department of National Defence, the two-week General Training Course provides the first taste of the army cadet program for new recruits.
Each year, the program offers cadets the opportunity to enjoy activities such as hiking, orienteering, biathlon, marksmanship and an introduction to drumming.
She just really was the greater achiever of all the cadets. 2nd Lieut. Betty Froese
“The summer was great! I had a really fun time,” Thompson, 14, said in a press release.
“Winning the award of Top Cadet of my platoon was a big highlight and meeting new people was cool. This is my first time at any cadet camp and I really love it here.”
Following the General Training Course, cadets can move on to more selective programs such as Basic Marksmanship and Basic Expedition, which give them additional insight into the army cadet routine and offer new activities such as mountain biking.
The top-level program is the Expedition Instructor course, which involves six weeks of expedition training in the great outdoors.
“Here in the Yukon it’s just beautiful for that,” Froese said. “We’ve got the rivers, we’ve got the mountains, we’ve got mountain biking, the canoeing, we've got all of those things … It’s a beautiful place to train.”
Come registration time for next year’s courses, Thompson hopes to be selected for the Basic Marksmanship course so she can return to the Whitehouse CSTC.
Based on her performance this year, her chances of qualifying are high.
“She just was very, very good at what she did,” Froese said. “She really showed a lot of leadership skill.
“She would have a very good chance at that, because she showed herself to be a very good cadet.”