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'Just try it,' air cadet says to peers

August 10, 2016 12:04 P.M.
Cadet Gabrielle Israel-Armand takes a moment in the forest after testing herself on the range as part of her General Training Course at Albert Head Cadet Training Centre. (Capt. Angela Sargent)

Cadets is completely underrated, says a Brock Middle School student spending her summer at Albert Head Cadet Training Centre (CTC) in Victoria.

Cadet Cpl. Gabrielle Israel-Armand, 12, belongs to the 204 Black Maria Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron (RCACS) in Kamloops. She’s on a two-week general training course that gives cadets a taste of many aspects of the cadet program. Like the program itself, the course is free.

“What do I love the most – oh the food – the food is great,” Gabrielle laughed. “But really it is fun getting to live in a structured environment. Here they help you build on what you know then you suddenly know so much more and learn lots of new things.” 

Gabrielle has been a cadet for just a year with 204 RCACS. This is not the first time she has enjoyed fun activities with cadets. She has been on two field training exercises (FTXs) and loved being in a completely different environment with people who are not around her every day.

“I learned some new things and my friends were amazed. I explained to them how to make a fire by gathering the kindling and the wood then building it just so. They said they would just do it the easy way and light a pile of wood. The do not realize it would not burn that way!” 

She grew pensive:  “You know, cadets is completely underrated. People think it is just marching around in hot uniforms, but they don’t see all the cool stuff that we do, like flying and range and FTXs. It is really, really fun – just try it, it is so much more.”

More than 3,400 Sea, Army and Air Cadets are participating in summer training activities across B.C. this summer. Other cadets have had the opportunity to travel across the country and even overseas. To find out more about the program visit or follow us on Twitter @BC_Cadets.

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