Rebuilding the corps

Avalon North army cadets witness change of command numbers growing

Nicholas Mercer
Published on February 6, 2013
Capt. Joy Carroll (left), Maj. Danny Walsh (centre) and Lt. Melanie Snow take part in the change of command ceremony for 2372 Avalon North army cadets on Jan. 29 at Amalgamated Academy in Bay Roberts. Snow has assumed the duties of commanding officer from Carroll.
Photo by Nicholas Mercer/The Compass

Editor's note: This article first appeared in the Feb. 5 print edition of The Compass.

Capt. Joy Carroll had a vision for the 2372 Avalon North army cadet corps, and it revolved around a renewed, constant effort in recruiting new members to the then-struggling corps.

In a time when the cadet movement across the country was having trouble getting young people to sign up, Capt. Carroll's efforts were a breath of fresh air.

Walking into the gymnasium at Amalgamated Academy in Bay Roberts last week, it is not hard to see that her efforts were not in vain.

She has been the commanding officer with 2372 for the two-and-a-half years. During her tenure, the corps has seen a parade that was once comprised of 26 members rise to be 48 strong. That is a 47 per cent increase.

"Without them, we wouldn't have a cadet corps," she said. "I applaud you for your effort and dedication to cadets."

On Jan. 29, in front of her cadets, parents and fellow officers, Capt. Carroll relinquished her position as the commanding officer at 2372. Those on parade this night put forth an honourable effort in recognizing the outgoing CO, and welcoming her successor, Lt. Melanie Snow.

Thanking parents

Capt. Carroll made special effort to recognize the parents of the cadets under her command. As it is with other community groups, parents are mostly responsible for getting cadets to and from the events.

She applauded the parents for the time and effort put in to make sure all cadets were on time.

"Thank you ... especially for the support you give your child for being in cadets," she said.

Ensuring that the corps had a strong membership was not the only goal set Capt. Carroll set for herself.

The departing CO always wanted to establish a strong, young cadet instructors cadre, as well as re-establish the corps presence in the community.

"We needed the officers and we needed them in the area," she said.

Capt. Carroll said that while it was important for the officers to be interested, and have some cadet background, it was even more important for them to be from the region.

"It was important for them to be interested and have their family life here," she said. "Those would be the ones who would be committed.

"We did a fabulous job with that. They're young and they're outstanding."

The last two years have seen a return of the corps into public consciousness. They've been seen at Remembrance Day ceremonies, Christmas parades, seniors events and various other public gatherings.

"They've done outstanding work for the Legion, serving suppers and helping out with everything," said Capt. Carroll.

New officer

Lt. Snow is the woman to take over as the commanding officer. She has been involved with the cadet movement since joining the 2880 Clarke's Beach army cadets in 1984. After completing the program, Lt. Snow joined the corps as a civilian instructor in 1998, and enrolled as a cadet instructor cadre officer a year later.

Since that time, Lt. Snow has progressed through the organization and has held various administrative positions in both 2880 and 2372. Her son William is currently a cadet with 2372, while her daughter Rebecca is with the Vicker's Vimy Navy League in Brigus.

Lt. Snow said she holds Capt. Carroll in high regard.

"(Capt. Carroll) gave me the love to take over this corps and continue on after her," she said. "She bred cadets into me."

Lt. Snow said she looks forward to continuing on the work started by her predecessor.

"We have some great things coming up," she said.

Cadets words

Warrant Officer Taylor Hutchings said she "really enjoyed" having Capt. Carroll as her commanding officer for the past two-plus years.

"Capt. Carroll was really good. She was amazing," said Hutchings. "I'm really excited to see Lt. Snow come in as well, because I know she is going to do a great job as well."