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Local girl proud to be a member of Walden Irish Regiment

Northern Life, Sudbury, ON 28 May 2007 by Keith Lacey

 


Megan Jones, Master Warrant Officer for the 2964 Walden Irish Regiment Army Cadets, leads a march of 30 cadets during corps's Annual Review Sunday afternoon at T.M. Davies Community Centre in Walden. Photo by Keith Lacey
 

 

Megan Jones is a confident, bright, articulate young woman who credits much of her early success in life to her military training.

Jones is a proud member of the 2964 Walden Irish Regiment Royal Canadian Army Cadets, where she's moved up the ranks to become a Master Warrant Officer.

Jones, 17,  was front and centre Sunday at T.M. Davies Community Centre in Walden as 30 cadets with the Walden Irish Regiment held their Annual Review, which included a march past, awards presentation, live demonstrations and static displays.

"My military training has played a huge role in my life, just huge," said Jones. "I've met most of my best friends through my training here and I couldn't imagine my life without it."

Jones said there's no negatives, as far as she's concerned, to becoming a cadet.

"I like the structure it brings to your life, I like the kind of people who are attracted to becoming a cadet and I like the actual people who have signed on and become good friends," she said.

Jones has been a cadet for five years and says being a member of the Walden Irish Regiment has allowed her to travel all across Canada.

Jones is an accomplished sharpshooter who has qualified to become one of 21 members of the Cadet National Rifle Team, which will leave for Ottawa in late June before taking off to England for an international competition.

"We'll be competing against other cadet teams from all around the world...it should be a fantastic experience," she said.

The Annual Review is a big deal for all cadets as they put in hundreds of hours of practice and preparation for the big day, said Jones.

"You want everything to run smoothly and make the people who show up to support you think you know what you're doing," she said smiling.

Jones said her training over the past five years will influence the rest of her life.

"I want a career either in policing or maybe the military...definitely something in law enforcement," she said.

Captain Sheri Penney said the 28th Annual Review of the Walden Irish Regiment caps off months of hard work by all the cadets.

"We do different events from the time the season starts in September like biathlon, leadership training, drill with arms, marksmanship and public speaking, but preparing for the Annual Review is the biggest event of the year," she said.

"It's a big deal to all the cadets. They want to do well in front of their friends and family."

Becoming an army cadet instills discipline, teamwork, the ability to get along with others, friendship and camaraderie, which most would consider all very positive traits, said Penney.

"Most cadets do well in life and in the workforce," she said. "The qualities they need to succeed in the cadets bode well for when they go to school and enter the workforce...you get hard-working, dedicated employees and young people who tend to become community-minded citizens."

Other programs offered as part of the Walden Irish Regiment include pipes and drums, radio communications, first aid and CPR, wilderness training, scuba diving, canoe rescue and training, hunter safety and photography.