By Army Cadet League of Canada
This past April 27th, the Army Cadet League of Canada (ACLC) held its National Annual General Meeting of its Board of Directors and Membership. As all Canadian non-profit organizations, it is a necessity to organize such meetings annually to properly demonstrate the organization’s operations and financial status to its Board of Directors and Membership. While abiding by our by-laws and Canada’s Corporation Act, we, at the National level of the ACLC, look to ensure that our members remain properly informed, engaged & rewarded.
This year was an election year and a main point on our agenda. We elected a new Board of Directors who serve for a two-year term. At the helm, Mrs. Cathy Bach, from Surrey BC was elected as our new National President. As Mrs. Bach states: “I would never have imagined that 16 years ago when I walked into a small Surrey BC Corps with my 13 year old son that I would be elected to the position of National President of the Army Cadet League of Canada. The Army Cadet Program provides our youth with the tools they need to become better Canadians through the program’s citizenship and leadership training. Cadets are taught the skills to teach peer to peer which is invaluable now and in their future endeavors. Our son is now 30 years old and a responsible Manager, husband and father who makes us proud every day!”
Mrs. Bach will sit as National President of the ACLC for a minimum term of 2 years. During this time, she plans on representing the best interests of the League to ensure that there is proper support for the thousands of volunteers who work countless hours and also the best interests of the Army Cadets within the Cadet Program.
During the weekend event in Ottawa, the ACLC was happy to host a presentation from WO Moogly Tetrault-Hamel, the Indigenous Advisor to the Chaplain General. As part of his job to create awareness, the position of Indigenous Advisor was added by the Royal Canadian Chaplain Service to help Indigenous CAF members receive the same level of spiritual support as other military personnel. After meeting WO Tetrault-Hamel at the last VCDS’s change of command in 2018, our Executive Director, Robert Gill, felt this could be a great opportunity to expose our members to the realities faced by the First Nation’s population and the potential inclusion of their youth within the Army Cadet program by handling the recruiting processes slightly differently. As the program is open to ALL youth 12 to 18 years old, Army Cadets can provide excellent opportunities for the indigenous youth within our communities.
As an organization that supports youth, Army Cadets for the Ottawa & St-Lawrence Area were invited to actively participate in our meeting. As part of their own mandate, they are to learn about the League’s role within the program. This opportunity was the best way to see firsthand how the national level of the League works. C/WO Whittaker, of the 2360 RCACC, and cadets C/WO Fifield, C/Sgt MacNeil, C/Sgt Laliberte, C/Sgt Culhane, C/MCpl Seitcher-Hamel all from the 2870 Royal Dragoons RCACC, presented to our membership their input and suggestions for a new award the League would like to propose. Each of them brought forward great points and terrific insight into the type of recognition they feel would be worthwhile for cadets.
Their proposal was approved by the board and the National Office will move forward in developing this award thanks to their input. Also, as a side role, these cadets assisted in the conduct of our National election. This was a great learning experience for them, and it was also rewarding as they saw firsthand how the League can move forward with projects that will benefit them directly. C/Mcpl Tibbles of the 2332 Army Cadet Cade corps participated in our event as well and was proficient as our Master of Ceremonies for the Evening Banquet in both official languages. Former cadet Markus Valtonen was a special guest for the banquet as he is our 2018 Top Army Cadet currently enrolled at RMC. Both had the opportunity to share their cadet experiences with our members during the evening. Following tradition from many years ago, the 57 Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders, Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps Pipes & Drums Band provided the musical entertainment for our guests.
At the end of a busy weekend and as part of the Saturday night banquet, the ACLC hosts an Awards ceremony where many of our supporters & partners attend. These include members of the National Cadet & JCR Support Group and key representatives of the Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Command, Esprit de Corps Magazine, the Canadian War Museum, Library and Archives Canada, Order of St-George, ANAVET’s and AON Insurance Group. Our guest of Honour was MGen Carl Turenne, CMM, MSC, CD, Deputy Commander of the Canadian Army. He presented an inspiring speech of encouragement to all present to continue supporting the best youth program in the country as volunteers. He also assured us that the Department of National Defense and particularly the Army will continue its support of the program. During this event, we also presented National recognition awards to members, and other national awards to cadets and their corps.
This year our winners were:
• Chief of Defense Staff Citation: Mr. Greg Twining from Newfoundland and Labrador
• League Member of the Year: Mr. Jean Lord &
Mr. Claude Pichette both from Quebec
• Gerard Buckley Army Cadet Fund:
– 2615 Victoria Lions RCACC, Avalon, Newfoundland
– 3013 Commando RCACC, Cochrane, Ontario
– 2943 Campbell River Eagles, Campbell River,
– 2632 Halifax West RCACC, Halifax, Nova Scotia
• LGen Quinn Award for Musical Excellence:
• For the Pipes and Drums category:
– C/MWO Molly Stamp
– C/MWO Maliah LeBlanc both members of the 2659 56th
Field Artillery Regiment, RCACC, Brantford, ON
• The Military band category:
– C/MWO Raphaelle Sylvain of the 2898
Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce RCACC, Quebec
– C/MWO Joyce Reid of the 2632 Halifax West, Nova Scotia
Congratulations to all the winners and the League thanks you for all that you do!
These annual events are the one time of year our folks can gather and share their knowledge and experiences from coast to coast as they work tirelessly within their provincial branches in supporting their local cadet corps and volunteers. By attending our events, our guests come to have a better understanding and recognition of the hard work and long hours our volunteers put in to support such a great program for our Canadian youth.
In 1971, while recognizing the need to organize sponsors and volunteers coast to coast, the Army Cadet League of Canada was formed to act as supervisory sponsor. In partnership with the Department of National Defense and the Canadian Armed Forces, The Army Cadet League supports one of Canada’s premier youth organizations.
In many cases, like Mrs. Bach said, it was witnessing her son’s development in the program that drove her to volunteer in the first place. While every volunteer, member, director and officer of the organization may have slightly different reasons for joining the League and supporting Army Cadets, they are united in the belief that the program directly benefits youth in their journey to becoming better citizens. Mrs. Bach expands, “Today’s Board of Directors consists of highly enthusiastic and committed individuals to the organization and to the program. Not everyone was a cadet. Not everyone was a parent of a cadet. Each of us sees the benefit in volunteering, in giving back to the community, while recognizing the value in investing in youth. Volunteering has value.”
For more information about our awards or if you are interested in volunteering, visit www.armycadetleague.ca for more information on how you can get involved.