Cadets visited by NZ commandant

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Challenges solved . . . City of Dunedin Cadet Unit cadet Hunter MacDade (14) works with Aaron Stoddart (15) of Lawrence, to assemble objects during one of the team building exercises at the combined cadet units training night held in Dunedin last week. Stoddart said he was inspired by his family to join cadets and has found his training to be a lot of faun so far. PHOTO: JOHN COSGROVE

JOHN.COSGROVE
@cluthaleader.co.nz

Proudly showing their commitment to serving their country and becoming better citizens in the spirit their forefathers did as Anzacs, cadets from five New Zealand Cadet Force units in Otago gathered at the Kensington Army Hall in Dunedin recently to undertake a review by the national commandant of the cadet forces.
Showing off their skills at leadership challenges and a round robin of fun team activities that evening were more than 150 cadets and officers from 42 Squadron Air Training Corps (ATC) of Dunedin, 26 Squadron ATC of Oamaru, training ships (TS) Nimrod and Waireka of Dunedin, and The City of Dunedin Cadet Unit.
Area support officer for Otago Squadron Leader Joni Simpson said it was an honour to have the new acting Commandant Squadron Leader Bruce Sinclair come and visit them.
“He’s an ex-Otago Boys and Dunedin ATC squadron member and he was there to review how our cadets were going, what their training was like and to talk with officers and support committee members about the exciting future of New Zealand cadet forces,” she said. Sqn Ldr Sinclair said having all the cadet units in Dunedin and Oamaru come together for a night made it easier to review how the cadets were faring and to listen to or address any concerns or queries the officers or parent support groups were having.
“Cadets right now are very exciting and growing.
‘‘The latest figures I looked at a week ago showed we are sitting at

Will it work? . . . Led by Dunedin City Cadet Unit cadet Lance Corporal Lee Heppel-Pukehike (17) of Lawrence, (middle with glasses) this team of army and ATC cadets try and suspend a box using only what was on hand at a combined cadet unit training night held in Dunedin last week. LCPL Heppel-Pukehike said he has enjoyed the three years he has been at The City of Dunedin Cadet Unit and is looking to a possible future career in the NZ Army. PHOTO: JOHN COSGROVE

around 3900 cadets in New Zealand.
‘‘That’s a bit of increase for us and I understand that for some units it’s a tight fit providing the training for them all.
“Covid has had a bit to do with that as people were isolated and now they wanting to do something adventurous.
‘‘A lot of the units are experiencing big growth this year and I suspect that it’s one of the main reasons.
“We are about producing better citizens for the country and also getting the cadets to challenge themselves, getting them outside their comfort zones and pushing the boundaries a little bit, and it’s quite rewarding at the end to see cadets who try something new and they succeed.
‘‘Then they build on that and succeed even further and grow well because of it.
‘‘They leave us after six or seven years much better people and a lot more confident in life,” he said.

Hows things? . . . The new acting Commandant Squadron Leader Bruce Sinclair (right) of Wellington, talks with members of the Waitaki Boys High School kapa haka group who are also members of 26 Squadron ATC of Oamaru after they had welcomed him to the combined cadet units training night in Dunedin last week. The cadets are (from left) Joey Cropley (15), Preston Repia-King (15) and Tony Poni (13). PHOTO: JOHN COSGROVE