Burns Lake resident Eric Williams has been promoted to acting Lieutenant by Captain Melissa Calcagno, Zone Training Officer for Prince George West.
Williams enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces in 2019 as a member of the Cadet Organizations Administration and Training Service (COATS), a sub-component of the Reserve Force. He was appointed as the Commanding Officer of 3080 1 Combat Engineer Regiment Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps in 2021. Eric was previously an air cadet in Englehart Ontario and now has a son in the army cadet corps in Burns Lake.
Williams said, “I am honoured to be considered for this promotion. It was not expected, as due to Covid, there has been many delays in not only training but in person activities. I look forward to completing more training in order to facilitate and enhance the program for our youth here in Burns Lake.”
In addition to commanding the Burns Lake cadet corps, Lieutenant Williams works full time, he is a volunteer fire-fighter and he also runs his own electrical business.
“Pre-Covid we had a manning of 18 cadets, but with the lack of in person activities over the last two years our numbers have diminished. We are currently sitting with six cadets on strength, and are feeling encouraged that with the resumption of in person activities our numbers will grow,” said Williams. “The aim of the Cadet Program is to develop in youth ages 12-18 the attributes of good citizenship, leadership, and promote physical fitness. This is accomplished utilizing many team building and leadership activities. Cadets learn navigation and other outdoors activities such as camping, canoeing, and trekking, including survival skills, first aid, maps, compass and GPS technology. Typically over the cadet year we try to conduct at least two overnight camping trips as well as several day hikes, and marksmanship activities using pellet rifles. Cadets are encouraged to participate in community service activities over the course of their tenure with the program. It is important to note that cadets are NOT members of the Canadian Armed Forces, nor are they expected to join the military. The program focuses on transferable life skills that can be used in any career path a cadet may decide to pursue.”
The Burns Lake cadets meet Wednesday evening and the majority of training is held at the Tweedsmuir Rod and Gun club. There is no cost for associated with joining the cadet program in Burns Lake. The Cadet Program is funded by the Department of National Defence in partnership with Cadet Leagues of Canada. Youth between the ages of 12 and 18 that are interested in joining cadets are invited to visit the corps on a training night.
The cadets corps are currently seeking additional qualified adults to support cadet corps in Burns Lake as volunteers and potentially paid instructors. The cadets meet weekly from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Tweedsmuir Rod and Gun Club. Any adults that are interested in supporting the cadet corps can contact Captain Melissa Calcagno at 250-552-3990 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop in to see Lieutenant Williams on a Wednesday night at the rod and gun club.