On the Cadet training day following Remembrance Day, there is always a difference in the Corps. Even though we did not have the opportunity to march downtown this year, the Corps displayed a level of steadiness and determination on parade that would be the envy of many military units. Having gone through the Remembrance Day Service there is a new energy in the Corps. They had passed the big test. On the opening march past for this week, the arms were a little higher, the sword drill had more snap to it and the Cadets were moving as one unit. Once the drill ended the business of training got underway.
Leadership is defined as “the art of influencing human behaviour to accomplish a task in the manner desired by the leader”. Fine words but sometimes easier stated than executed. I have been influencing human behaviour of soldiers and cadets for the last 44 years. I feel that I have it down to a fine science. It is quite refreshing when I see the skill of leadership being practised successfully by a pair of teenagers. This was a particularly busy week in the 254, and the lectures were assigned and ready to go. Suddenly a Platoon Warrant Officer told me that the Sergeant scheduled to teach the stoves and lanterns lecture was not available. Now, when you speak of a stove and lantern, like any other tool, the first thing you think of is safety. This is not just a subject that you can pick up and teach without some prior knowledge. The week before Sgt Luke Fawson and Sgt Eric Sweetapple had given the same lecture. Let’s try it again I thought. I got both of their attentions and told them my dilemma. True to form, Luke and Eric simply asked which platoon needed the instruction. I gave them the number; they gathered the kit together and taught a flawless lecture. Now I can walk into any platoon in the Corps and teach the material I know and gain their attention. However, now I had two young Sgts, unfamiliar with their audience (look for the friendly face may not have applied here) who carried on and employed the art of leadership. Days like this make me proud to be the Commanding Officer. There is boundless professionalism in our Corps. What a great day to be a member of the 254.
On Wednesday morning, I had the great pleasure of addressing the Women’s Connection at the New Minas Baptist Church. This was a team effort. I was accompanied by our own Regimental Sergeant Major, Chief Warrant Officer Sarah Hilborn and a fine Alumni and former Cadet Warrant Officer, Ben Fleckenstein (2015-20). Our Leadership Trifecta spoke in detail about the Canadian Cadet Organization and how the programme is conducted at King’s-Edgehill School. Ben, decked out in full Highland Ceremonial Dress complete with Claymore Sword, served as Sarah’s model as she described the uniform and traditions behind it. Sarah then went on to describe her role as the RSM of the Corps, highlighting her responsibilities as part of the Command Team.