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Marching on the Bay

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Repulse Bay (Mar 09/05) - The drill team of Repulse Bay's 3055 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps captured third spot in the 2005 Northern Region Cadet Drill Competition in Yellowknife this past month.

Yellowknife drill teams took the top two spots.

The Repulse team has a strong history at the competition, including a three-year reign as drill champs at the turn of the century.

Civilian instructor (CI) Leonie Aissaoui said although she's a bit disappointed by the slip in the standings, it wasn't totally unexpected considering there are more teams competing in the event than in years past.

"Really, third place wasn't all that bad considering the fact five of our seven cadets who took part were first-year cadets," said Aissaoui.

"Cadets must either become CIs or drop out of the program when they reach their 18th birthday.

"That turnover can make it difficult to maintain high standards for the drill team in small communities."

A drill team has to be comprised of seven cadets with a total of no more than 12 years in the program combined.

Aissaoui said in the past, teams would enter zero for cadets with less than a year's experience.

Teams must now mark at least one year for all cadets, even if they've only been in the program a week.

"The captain of our squad this year already has five years in as a cadet.

"We made that decision because we were late in starting our practice and needed someone who knew all the commands well.

"Another cadet is in her second year and the other five are all first-year cadets."

Aissaoui said the cadet program is still flourishing on the Bay with 34 members currently taking part.

It is the only cadet corps still being run by a CI.

A corps now requires a commanding officer (CO) with officer training to lead the program due to insurance concerns.

"We were given a bit of time to comply and Michael Putulik's paperwork is underway.

"Michael has great leadership abilities and the other kids really listen to him.

"He will make a great CO, even though he will have to take more courses to become an officer with rank."