“Once a person has passed through Cadets you will know, that person will stand out from among the rest,” Sub Lieutenant of the Trinidad and Tobago Cadet Force Dave Elliot said as he proudly assisted in leading the latest batch of recruits celebrating the organisation’s 60th anniversary in Tobago recently.
The Cadet Force, a military-based voluntary youth organisation, targets male and female students from secondary schools.
It aims to train and inspire young men and women to be model citizens through instilling qualities such as discipline, loyalty and duty.
“Cadets are taught to be proud, alert, put their shirt in their pants, comb their hair and cut their nails, as part of their personal regimen to take care of their appearance,” Elliot told Tobago Today.
He noted that cadets carry themselves with utmost pride; don’t walk and slouch, crawl or bounce and are trained to respect authority and the fundamentals of teamwork.
That training adds to their personal development and prepares them to face life’s challenges.
Elliot, who has over 20 years of service with Cadet Force, spoke with pride and exhilaration about the entire cadet team, especially the marine crew he leads which holds meetings at the Roxborough Secondary School.
“The Trinidad and Tobago Cadet Force has sub-sections which include the Naval Section, Air Guard, Medics Messing and Infantry. My team at Roxborough are well-disciplined and always eager to learn and be part of the group.”
Noting that cadets’ training is patterned after basic military practice and discipline, placing emphasis on drills, field craft such as hiking and camping, weapons training, skill at arms and map reading, Elliot said the entire training has a specific purpose.
“The key to all of these drills is ultimately to produce a cadet or recruit that is proud, obedient and alert - basis of teamwork,” Elliot said.
“The aim of these drills is to heighten awareness. Recruits must always be ready. When I stand and call their name they need to be alert, hear and respond. Another belief we live by is complying and then complaining, even as senior officers we have to adhere to these rules.”
He said the Cadet Force continues to thrive in Tobago, as seniors give of their time and energy to see the organisation grow from strength to strength.