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New Glasgow teenager sees Cadet program as rife with possibilities

New Glasgow cadet Aaron Day.
New Glasgow cadet Aaron Day. - Contributed

NEW GLASGOW – 

Aaron Day is having a summer most teenagers don’t have.

The New Glasgow Army Cadet (219 Nova Scotia Highlanders Corps), Master Warrant Officer (MWO) Day has been chosen for the prestigious role of Company Sergeant Major (CSM) for the Military Basic Parachutist Course (B Para).

He is spending the summer in this position at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Trenton, furthering his leadership skills and helping those under him to become their best selves.

Currently, Aaron is a Master Warrant Officer without profile, which means he helps out at the Cadet Training Centre as a floater until the Para Cadets arrive.

Day said that as a course it is a huge change of pace compared to other summer training. Other than being both physically and mentally challenging, it is a Regular Forces program, and the cadets are trained as such.

“Mental fortitude is a major player in B Para, so if you can push past what your body thinks it can do, your mind will take you a lot of places,” says Day, who is from New Glasgow and is the son of Allan and Maricel Day.

Leadership is not only about taking charge, he said, but also about inspiring those beneath him and working hard to achieve a common goal. Although the qualities of a leader may vary, problem solving, efficiency, and maturity are all essentials. In order to obtain a position such as his, it is usually tradition that the responsibility falls to the top para cadet from the year prior: Day was the Top Candidate in the summer of 2018.

His advice is to focus on getting the best out of one’s abilities.

“If you specifically focus on becoming the best version of yourself while helping those around you, honours like top cadet will follow.”

When he turns 19 later this year, Day will age out of Cadets, but hopes to get involved with the Reserves at Camp Aldershot, which is in the Annapolis Valley and close to Acadia.

LIFE­–CHANGING DECISION

Day joined the Cadets about six years ago.

“I wouldn’t be the person that I am today without it,” says the 18-year-old, who will study kinesiology at Acadia University, starting in September. “Cadets has provided me with a ridiculous number of opportunities.”

Such as jumping out of airplanes (he’s jumped five times in the parachutist program), or paddling and hiking through a national park in Chile, or ascending to leadership positions with the cadet program.

“I hugely, hugely owe Cadets.”

CADET TRAINING CENTRE

Trenton Cadet Training Centre (CTC) strives to offer programs to youth aged 12 to 18 that are challenging and will help them acquire new learning experiences. It strives to foster and encourage team spirit, mutual assistance, comradeship and physical fitness in a safe and fulfilling climate. Each summer, approximately 1,000 course cadets, 90 staff cadets and 120 adult staff from all across Ontario attend Trenton CTC where a broad array of course ranging from introductory to advanced courses specializing in basic aviation technology and aerospace, music as well as leadership and ceremonial instructor courses.

The cadet program is open to all youth between the ages of 12-18.

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