As of May 9, the 2887 Rocky Mountain Rangers (2887 RMR) Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps will have a new face barking commands from now on.
“[I’m] proud and nervous in equal measures,” said the new Cadet Sgt. Major of the Cadet Corps, 16-year-old Mathew Wiebe. “I’m nervous because the officers always give me this look like if I mess up they’re going to do something. I’m very proud because I’ve been here for four and a half years now and I’ve watched most of these cadets from the beginning.”
Wiebe takes over from David Beck, who has aged out after turning 19 (on May 11).
“The Sgt. Major sets the tone for the corps,” said Captain Shawn Dulmage. “If you have a good Sgt. Major, you have a good, strong corps. If you have a weak Sgt. Major, things fall apart.”
Wiebe is now the highest-ranking cadet and the last line of authority before the adults in the corps, such as Dulmage. The 16-year-old (who turns 17 on June 6, the anniversary of D-Day) is also the only cadet who has direct access to the corps’ commanding officer, Dulmage.
The 2287 RMR is also looking for new recruits.
“We’d like to encourage all the kids to come out and anybody who is interested – they have to be (at least) 12,” said Dulmage, adding there are no costs for parents.
The Cadet Corps is not actually a branch of the Canadian Armed Forces (the instructors are though). Only two per cent of cadets to come through the 2887 Rocky Mountain Rangers Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps actually go on to join.
Around 30 kids are in the Corps right now, but according to Dulmage, there was around 120 in the corps at one point.
“They were even running a satellite corps in Clinton,” he said.