Air cadet squadron holds annual ceremonial review

During the annual ceremonial review held at the Kamsack Comprehensive Institute on May 15, the formal inspection and march past the reviewing party was introduced by emcee Becki Pattison.

Members of the reviewing party included: Maj. Tami Marchinko, reviewing officer; 2Lt. Karen Tourangeau, commanding officer (CO); Capt. Merv Ozirny (ret’d), president of the Air Cadet League of Canada; WO2 Cade Henry-Martino, flight commander; WO1 Keanna Romaniuk, cadet parade commander, and Linda Griffitts of the Kamsack Legion (sponsoring organization.)

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Pattison introduced Marchinko (reviewing officer) and read her biography for the assembly.

The squadron staff, consisting of: 2Lt. Karen Tourangeau as CO (commanding officer), SO (supply officer), RSO (range safety officer), and Karen Bodnaryk as CI (civilian instructor), TO (training officer) and UCCMA (unit cadet conflict management advisor), was introduced.

Pattison gave a special thank you to: Kelly Hilton, chair of the civilian committee; the Royal Canadian Legion, sponsoring organization, and the board of education, principals and caretakers of the Kamsack Comprehensive Institute (KCI) “for the valued privilege of access to this wonderful facility.”

After the march past, Marchinko handed out promotions, Tourangeau presented proficiency badges, and Ozirny awarded the air cadet long service medals.

Reviewing officer Marchinko presented the address to the cadet squadron. “I can tell by the smiles on your faces this evening how much you, as members of the squadron, enjoy the cadet program,” she said. “This evening is only possible because of all the support of staff, parents and the community.

“Being here tonight brings back all the memories of when I was a cadet with the Kamsack squadron,” she said. “It is such an overpowering feeling of satisfaction to be the reviewing officer tonight and to witness the achievements of each and every one of the cadets.”

Upon completion of the review, everyone departed to the Legion for the banquet and awards presentations.

Karen Bodnaryk was emcee for the air cadet annual ceremonial review awards ceremony held in the Legion Hall, and welcomed everyone to the event.

Former Kamsack RCMP officer 2Lt. Jonathan Neima of Powerview, Man., former TO of the Kamsack squadron, his wife Lisa and three children Jacob, Anna and David were among the guests introduced by Bodnaryk. Also: Capt. Terry Eritz, CO of Yorkton squadron, and Capt. Greg Apland (ret’d), former 633 CO.

A special introduction of the Old Dog Run riders was made and they were acknowledged for the funds raised by last year’s run, when “riders rode from Kamsack to Yorkton and back on the hottest day of the year,” Bodnaryk said. “They gathered pledges and our cadets gathered pledges for a total of $8,606. We were overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity. 

“But then came the tears when it was announced that an anonymous donor was going to match the pledges. 

“Joe Kozakewich and Tom Campbell were both riders, and Deb Kozakewich and Vi Gardner followed in a truck with food and water, and also had pump sprayers full of water to spray them down to cool them off. 

“We also have to acknowledge Diane Larson who mans our concession booth on Saturdays at bingo. Another great supporter is Irene Dumont who comes out to help us in the kitchen whenever we need her.”

The civilian committee executive consists of: Kelly Hilton, chair; Christie DeBruyn, vice-chair; Brenda Raffard, secretary, and Becki Patterson, treasurer.

The head table was introduced and included: Kelly Hilton, Linda Griffitts, Nancy and Russ Brunt, Major Tami Marchinko, Merv Ozirny, 2Lt. Karen Tourangeau, Jacob Neima and Karen Bodnaryk (CI.)

Beginning the award presentations, the first award sponsored by Lori Rauckman in memory of her brother Jimmy Koroluk, was for 100 per cent attendance, presented to FCpl. Sage Tourangeau by 2Lt. Karen Tourangeau. FCpl. Tourangeau also received top second year, sponsored by Leland Campbell LLP and presented by Tom Campbell, and the citizenship award, sponsored by the Legion and presented by Linda Griffitts.

The citizenship award is presented to the cadet who is always willing to help out and who attends the majority of the functions the squadron participates in. He or she is someone who promotes a positive image of cadets and the squadron at all times especially when exposed to the community, it was said. 

Additional awards were presented to:

Cpl. Murdoch Martinuik, top first year, sponsored by the Legion and presented by Jim Woodward

Cpl. Mary-Jo Keewatin-Marion, most improved first year, sponsored by Shining Armour Auto and presented by Mike Guillet

FCpl. Teanna Raffard, most improved second year, sponsored by Isla Rink and presented by Norma Woodward

FSgt. Megan Raffard, most proficient senior cadet, sponsored by Duck Mountain Ambulance Care and presented by James Pollock

Sgt. Tara Taylor, most improved senior cadet, sponsored by Dr. Murray Davies and presented by Brenda Raffard

FCpl. Gerri Basaraba, physical training esprit de corps, sponsored by the Kamsack RCMP and presented by Cst. Justin Lynk

Cpl. Brooke Taylor, most improved physical training, sponsored by the Affinity Credit Union and presented by Joe Kozakewich

Cpl. Talisha Pelly, Kamsack cadet team curler, sponsored by Karen Bodnaryk and presented by Karen Bodnaryk

FCpl. Boston Guillet and Cpl. Brooke Taylor, junior marksman, sponsored by the Kamsack Wildlife Federation and presented by Leanne Green

WO2 Cade Henry-Martino, senior marksman, sponsored by the Kamsack Wildlife Federation and presented by Leanne Green

FSgt. Aidan Broda, special merit award, sponsored by Maj. Tami Marchinko (nee Bodnaryk) and presented by Maj. Tami Marchinko

WO1 Keanna Romaniuk, top drill, dress and deportment, sponsored by Andrychuk Funeral Home and presented by Lori Lou Dungen.

Capt. Ozirny, brought greetings, saying, “What we saw of the 17 cadets on parade tonight was great; cadets you knocked it out of the park.

“It is my pleasure to present the Captain Merv Ozirny Shield award which reads as follows: ‘Awarded annually to a #633 Kamsack Squadron Air Cadet who’s been judged the most helpful, supportive and friendly over the course of the year and chosen by his or her peers.’

“There is no greater achievement than being recognized and celebrated by your peers,” he said as he presented the award to FCpl. Boston Guillet.

Continuing, he said, “There’s a special honour that I have tonight. The national president of the Air Cadet League of Canada has struck in his or her recognition, a limited number of coins called ‘Challenge Coins,’ and these are given out to people who have assisted the president’s accomplishments with the League.

“You have an amazing situation here in Kamsack. You have two people who are doing the work that’s normally done by five officers.

“I wish that even just one person here tonight would step forward to assist, for that would be an increase in strength of 50 per cent.

“I’ve worked with Karen over a number of years, and she is the glue that holds #633 Kamsack squadron together. I’m proud to acknowledge her contributions and dedication to the Air Cadet League and I am pleased to present her with the President’s Challenge coin,” he concluded as he presented the coin to Karen Bodnaryk.

The squadron’s two graduating cadets, WO2 Cade Henry-Martino and WO1 Keanna Romaniuk, were presented with wrist watches, after which the video tribute to the graduates was played.

Linda Griffitts, third vice-president of the Legion spoke to the cadets on behalf of the sponsoring organization. “On behalf of the Royal Canadian Legion, I would like to thank the cadets for the help and dedication they give to us: setting up for Remembrance Day, clean-up for Decoration Day, setting up at the cemetery, bingos and poppy sales, just to name a few. Wishing safe travels for those leaving for the Europe trip at the end of May,” she concluded.

Hilton, civilian chair, presented her remarks.

Next, 2Lt. Karen Tourangeau delivered the commanding officer’s address. “This past year has been a busy one. We had a goal to achieve, and we did it.

“I’d like to give a huge thank you to the Old Dog Run that helped us out. The riders braved that blazing heat during the bike run to Yorkton and back.

“Thank you to the parent committee for another job well done. To the cadets, I hope you had fun and learned a little bit more this year,” she concluded.

“I am honoured to be back where my cadet and CIC (Cadet Instructors Cadre) journey began almost 35 years ago,” began Maj. Marchinko in her address to the cadets. “That 35 years has taken me on at least nine cadet squadron trips to three different provinces and three different states. It has taken me on an international exchange with stops in two different countries, in a group representing 10 different countries.”

Continuing, she said she had been forced to step outside her comfort zone and challenge herself, all the while being offered opportunities to learn, coach, mentor, lead and make new friendships.

“Regardless of where these cadets will go after they graduate, they will be walking away with some strong life skills; planning, organizing, instructing, public speaking, leading and coaching, to name a few, and a deeply ingrained sense of responsibility and community.

“I often get asked by parents and others why I continue to give up so much of my time with my own family to spend it with other people’s children. Just look at these cadets and think about how much they have achieved and experienced; think about their joy when they accomplish a goal. That’s why I do this. That expression of joy, that developing confidence and helping them along to success.

“Congratulations cadets, and soak up all the experiences on your trip overseas and at summer camp for you never know where they will take you,” she concluded.

WO1 Romaniuk and WO2 Henry-Martino made a special presentation of a clock to Marchinko for her participation in the review ceremony, after which the event was brought to a conclusion.

The cadet squadron will be leaving for a tour overseas which will include parts of England and France and they will travel to Normandy on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings and the Battle of Normandy, following in the footsteps of thousands of men and women who came before them.