The Cadet Corps is seeking new recruits.
Enrollment is open through Sept. 28 for all government schools, and the new training system starts on Oct. 6.
The four-year program includes various camps and activities, such as first aid, survival training, scuba diving, sailing, music and navigation.
The program is designed for male and female high school students between the ages of 12 and 17. According to organizers, the program teaches the value of citizenship, leadership, service to the community and personal responsibility, and gives members a sense of accomplishment while instilling self-esteem, teamwork and self-discipline.
More than 3,000 young people have participated in the program since it began in 2002. Youth Minister Osbourne Bodden recently met with the Cayman Islands Cadet Corps Committee and encouraged them to meet, and exceed, the high standards set over the years.
In a press statement released this week, Mr. Bodden said, “Perhaps at no time in our history is such an organization more needed, to provide our young men and women with positive guidance and modelling in important developmental areas such as personal responsibility, civics, discipline and national pride.
“My vision is for the Cadets to grow in size with support [from] the Ministry responsible for Education, through the schools, and for it to develop marine and aerial units, and become a body of disciplined youths that we can reliably use to recruit for our uniformed services. To this end, we will be working towards them having their own compound and training center in 2016/17.”
In other Cadet news, former High Court Judge Andre Mon Désir has been elected chairman of the Cadet Corps Committee, with Annita Cornish serving as deputy chairman. Other members are: Bobeth O’Garro, lieutenant colonel; Robert Sutherland, training officer lieutenant commander; Teresita Ebanks, second lieutenant; and Joel Francis, assistant chief officer for youth and sports.
Mr. Mon Désir said he considered it a great honor to serve as chairman. “As a former Cadet and senior military officer myself, I know firsthand the value of being in an organization such as this,” he said.
He added that among the many benefits to young people that the Corps has to offer are a wide range of life skills, such as the ability to plan, command and organize tasks; to make decisions under pressure; and to work as effective team players – as well as independently.
“Wearing the uniform becomes a tremendous honor; and the responsibility that goes along with it, a great source of humility,” he said.
For more information on the Cadets program, visit www.cicadetcorps.ky.