Airdrie army cadets to swear in new commanding officer
After three very successful years as commanding officer of Airdrie’s Army Cadets of 3016 Calgary Highlanders, Capt. Tanya Mark will pass the torch to Capt. Kevin A Rycroft on Sept. 18.
However, Mark won’t be leaving the Cadet Corps, she will be taking on the role of training officer, which involves working with the cadets in the classroom and helping them become leaders by teaching the senior cadets how to lesson plan and share their knowledge.
“Capt. Rycroft and I work hand-in-hand together anyway,” Mark said of the new roles. “It will be fun.”
When Mark took command of the Cadet Corps three years ago, the Airdrie group had about 24 cadets. Under her direction, the group peaked with about 90 cadets and now routinely parades with around 65 cadets.
Mark said she increased the cadet group by setting out to show them how a successful Cadet Corps should be run and, “show the cadets how fun the program is.”
She added a drill team, which won Top Army Cadet Drill Team in all of Alberta last spring. She oversaw the formation of the pipes and drum band, marksmanship team and the biathlon program.
Under Mark’s leadership the group won Top Urban Army Cadet Corps twice in Alberta.
“I want to continue on with what Tanya’s already started,” Rycroft said.
Rycroft, currently a training officer, met Mark in 2001 when they were both part of the 2554 Royal Canadian Army Cadets in Calgary and followed her to Airdrie when she made the move. Prior to joining the Cadet Corps, Rycroft worked as a correctional officer at the Calgary Young Offenders Centre.
“I was starting to view all teens in the same light,” he said.
Rycroft said he wanted a change from working with young offenders and joined the Cadet Corps seven years ago.
As commander he said he wants to continue enforcing and improving the band and sharing the history of the Airdrie Cadet Corps with the cadets.
“This Cadet Corps has been nomadic in Airdrie,” he said, adding the group has been moved to several locations over the years including Woodside Golf Course, GoldenRod Community Hall and now Ralph McCall School.
“You can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve come from,” he said, adding he is looking forward to the new challenges that come with the commanding officer role.
Mark said she is looking forward to less stress in the training officer role.
“It will be good because I get to work more one-on-one with the cadets. I look forward to actually teaching the cadets and being in the classroom,” Mark said.
She said she will miss the title of commanding officer because it has become linked with her name.
“I’ll miss being in charge because that’s my personality,” she said.
The change of command ceremony will take place at Ralph McCall School’s gymnasium at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 18.
The public is welcome.