Airdrie Army Cadet earns top citizenship award
Cadet Warrant Officer Brock Yates of Airdrie was awarded the Blayne Materi Citizenship Award at the final parade and sunset ceremony at Vernon Army Cadet Summer Training Centre on Aug. 16.
The award is presented annually by the Materi family of Creston, B.C. in memory of Cadet Master Warrant Officer Blayne Materi, a VACSTC Staff Cadet who died in June 1995 of injuries sustained in a motor vehicle collision.
The award recognizes a cadet who has participated in or supported activities with the local community, who has taken a personal interest in the well being and morale of his cadets, and who respects and uses authority properly and maintains outstanding personal conduct.
“I am obviously proud of him for achieving this prestigious award,” said Commanding Officer of the Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps Cpt. Tanya Mark.
She described Yates as a quiet leader who gets the job done.
“He is very dedicated and very respected and a good instructor,” she added.
Yates, 17, has been a member of 3016 RCACC Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps in Airdrie for seven years.
“Being a cadet teaches you leadership skills that help in life, it teaches you confidence and you meet lifelong friends,” Yates said of his experience.
He added he was pleased and surprised to receive the award.
“Cadets is an awesome program and I am glad I stuck with it as long as I did,” he said.
“I made great friends and had some great life experiences.”
Yates said he travelled to England, France, the Netherlands and Belgium in his time as a cadet and he reached the highest level of Regimental Sergeant Major.
He recently started working full time at Modus Structures Inc. but hopes to go on to a military or law enforcement career.
He was chosen from about 200 cadets for the honour and is the first cadet from Airdrie to receive the award since it was administered in 1996, according to Mark.
“It shows that he has been a good citizen and has taken the time to help others and be a leader,” said Mark.
During the summer, 1,200 army, air and sea cadets from Western Canada spent up to six weeks in the Okanagan Valley centre, expanding the training they receive at their home corps, developing new skills and forming friendships.