Cadet Stories

Warrant Officer Bautista (2016 - Present)

Hello, my name is Master Warrant Officer Bautista. I joined army cadets in September 2016 when I was 12 years old because it was recommended to me by my friends. I wanted to get involved in the program so that way I had something to do outside of school.

As of this year, I have been a cadet with 557 for almost five years. It has been an amazing and exciting five years. I really enjoy being a cadet because of the people I get to meet and interact with, as well as being able to do different and exciting activities and learning new skills like how to use a map and compass and my favorite cadet activity is marksmanship… everything and anything to do with marksmanship.

While being a cadet I have had a lot of memorable moments, however, my most memorable was going to summer camp at Cadet Training Centre Connaught in Ottawa to do the ARMI course (marksmanship) during the summer of 2019. I really enjoyed the experience, knowledge, practice and making new friends with cadets from other Corps across Ontario that I met while at the course. We stay in close contact through group chats. While at summer camp, I also did a co-op program offered through the cadet program and earned one grade 9 high school credit.

Now as a senior cadet, I am in charge of teaching the green star level cadets, age 12 who are the new recruits of the Corps. Being a senior cadet while teaching new cadets is a great opportunity for me to refresh my first-year learning skills and teaching those same skills to new cadets. I enjoy teaching them and helping them to progress to the next star level and rank of the army cadet program while helping them to grow and learn as they advance in their cadet careers.

For my last two years as a cadet, I hope to continue teaching cadets and to be able to advance my position at the corps in marksmanship leadership, to be selected to coach the cadets on the marksmanship team, and to compete with the team. I would also like to return to summer camp to staff at Cadet Training Centre Connaught in Ottawa or at any location that is available through the cadet program.

The army cadet program has positively impacted my life and taught me valuable lessons about being a leader, working as a team, and developing my own personal skills. I highly recommend any youth that is interested - to join the army cadet program.

Sergeant Fortin (2017 - Present)

Hello, I am Sergeant Fortin. I joined the cadet corps in 2017. I was 12 years old when I joined. I joined cadets because I like going on adventures, so my dad told me about the cadet program. I could make new friends and also have the opportunity to go to summer camps. I heard about the cadet program from my dad. He was in the air cadets back in Quebec. My objective is to go to the para course that the cadet corps offers, and my second objective is to get you to join the cadet corps.

My first FTX (Field Training Exercise) was in green star. It was in the middle of winter we were going snowshoeing on the military base called Canadian Forces Base Meaford. After a while, I started to feel numb in my feet and I went to see my instructors. They took me to a warm place and they made sure I was warm before letting me go back outside. I stayed inside for 20 minutes before going back outside, I can tell you guys that the cadet corps is full of wonderful people and staff.

We went to Quebec on a trip with cadets and had a lot of other trips that were very fun. The cadet corps has done a lot to help me choose my career. I have come to the conclusion that I want to become a military paramedic and go to military college in Quebec or in Kingston.

Sergeant Valencia Riascos (2016 - Present)

Hello, I am Sergeant Valencia Riascos, and this is my cadet story. I joined the army cadet corps when I was 12. My parents wanted me to be more active and I was also thinking that I should get out more. They suggested the cadet program and I agreed to go. We first visited the sea cadets, but I did not like the idea of always being around the water and not being able to mess around, so I joined army cadets.

I have been in the cadet program for 4 years now and I have enjoyed it a lot. I have made a lot of friends along the way and I am incredibly happy that I have met them. They have made the cadet program a lot more enjoyable and they have made every achievement more meaningful with them around me.

Throughout the entire cadet program, my goals have always been do better than last year and really that was all I needed. I have continued to improve every single year of cadets and I am extremely happy with myself. I need to thank all of my friends for helping me stay on my feet the entire time. Especially Master Warrant Officer, Gill, she has done a lot for me and has been one of my best friends throughout my time here at cadets. I am grateful to be a part of the cadet program. I am happy to be an army cadet.

Warrant Officer Buddington (2016 - Present)

Hello, my name is Warrant Officer Buddington and I have been a part of the 557 Lorne Scots since the age of 12 in September 2016. Being an army cadet is an extraordinary experience that cannot be found elsewhere and also provided me with another extracurricular activity to stay involved in. A few of my family members had been a part of army cadets which sparked my interest in the program. Since then, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time and had been provided many opportunities.

During my first year of being a cadet, I had recognized how much the program had to offer. I had joined the band for a period of time and there are numerous chances to continue with getting music certifications and pursuing multiple summer training courses centered around music. Throughout my experience as a cadet, I also joined the Flag Party during my second year in the program. In the Flag Party, we have the honor of carrying the flags which represent our corps and Canada. Throughout my cadet career, I became Flag Party Commander and it is a unique opportunity to be given.

For summer training there are different categories that allow you to hone certain skills such as drill, fitness, expedition and et cetera. I had the chance to do the Basic Fitness and Sports course at Cadet Training Centre Blackdown. This experience was very enjoyable and I was able to meet new friends and enhance my physical fitness. There are numerous courses that are achievable throughout one’s cadet career and each has its own area of specialization.

As a senior cadet, I teach the Silver Star cadets and a majority of them are in their third year of the program. At this stage, leadership becomes more involved in their training as they get closer to being senior cadets. These leadership skills support them in taking on more responsibility in the corps and becoming great role models for their younger peers. Additionally, these skills are very applicable throughout their daily lives and in their future endeavors.

Overall being an army cadet is a great experience that undoubtedly affected my life. There are also many possibilities to advance cadets’ participation and enjoy what the program has to offer. Numerous life skills are taught and I truly believe that any youth can benefit from becoming an army cadet.

Warrant Officer Johal (2016 - Present)

Hello, I am Warrant Officer Johal, I have been in the Royal Canadian Army Cadet program for five years. I am beyond grateful for all the experiences that helped shape me into the person I am today. Cadet's is a fantastic program that teaches you many life skills, ranging from social skills to camp skills. When I first joined at the age of twelve, I didn't know anyone and had pretty much no expectations. After joining a few teams and going on field training exercises, I quickly fell in love with the cadet program!

I've been a part of the orienteering, drill, band, and biathlon teams! I had the chance to attend General Training in the summer of 2017, Basic Expedition in 2018, and go on a year-end trip in 2018, all experiences I wouldn't trade for the world. I've had many memorable experiences; however, my favourite memories would have to be at the Orienteering and Band competitions and our seasonal field training exercises where I was able to show my skills as a leader and have some friendly competition.

In my fifth year of cadets and first year of being a master cadet, I was promoted to the rank of Warrant Officer and got the opportunity to become a gold star instructor. I felt very proud to share the many lessons I had learned from my seniors and instructors with the younger cadets. Joining cadets taught me many things and helped me form bonds with the most amazing people. The past five years of my life are the years I wouldn't change for anything, and I can't wait to learn more and create some amazing memories.

Corporal Gill

Hello, I am Corporal Gill. Since joining the 557 Lorne Scots Army Cadet program, I have done many things that I probably would have never done or gotten the chance to do. From the poppy fundraiser to learning how to use an air rifle, being a cadet is always something to enjoy and love with endless events to participate in. I have gone on 2 field training exercises (one in winter and the other in fall ), taken part in a car wash, poppy fundraising, learned about the air rifle, and much more. Moreover, I met many other cadets who are all unique and individual with their own stories to tell. These activities helped build my character as I met different people and learned how to deal with them.

Throughout the program, I was given endless opportunities to grow and expand on my future. Right from the beginning, I did different things that could help in my career. I am going to start high school next year, and some events such as the poppy fundraiser in this program can allocate for some of my volunteer hours. With that, I will be able to focus on my grades and not have to worry about where and how I could gain my volunteer hours. Cadets can benefit long term as well. While applying to universities, this can be added to my resume for it to look better.

Another thing to take out from the cadet program is all the good leadership traits that are instilled in you throughout. Whether it's from lessons during the classes or the events which make you have to meet and talk to people, you learn to be a leader.

In conclusion, the 557 Lorne Scots Army Cadet Program is something that is very beneficial for the future and helps me become better as a person. This program is something to continue forward with and take on for the years to come.