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RECENTLY YOU MAY have noticed some of the incredible imagery, writing and new media posts across the CCO being credited to Cadet Correspondents. This new powerhouse addition to the public affairs (PA) function is a result of empowering youth to tell their own stories on official platforms, enabling them to produce content that resonates with our target audience, all while developing a valuable life skill and building a portfolio they can take with them when they leave the program.

"Cadets leading cadets is really what this program is about, and having the ability to tell the story of the Cadet Program from our own point of view is what makes this so special," says P01 Jack Wong from RCSCC Captain Vancouver in Vancouver, B.C.

Cadet Correspondents attend a workshop that introduces them to the regulations, guidance and best practices of the branch, as well as basic PA and imagery skills such as photography, videography, interviewing and writing effectively for both traditional and social media. Since starting the Cadet Correspondent initiative, more than 300 cadets across the country have attended a workshop, and the vision is that eventually every corps and squadron will have at least one Cadet Correspondent. These cadets can draft media products and capture both still and video imagery to be used at the local, regional and national level, all under the guidance of CAF Unit Public Affairs Representatives and Public Affairs Officers (PAO).

In some communities, such as Sidney, B.C., Cadet Correspondents have already established relationships with local media outlets and regularly contribute directly to their home-town newspaper, telling stories about their friends and experiences you can't get anywhere else.

"Being a Cadet Correspondent has provided me an opportunity to turn my passion for photography into something that I can use to promote the Cadet Program and showcase what makes us such a unique youth program," says Flight Sergeant Keon Santos of 655 RCACS in Richmond, B.C.

Seeing their name in print and on photo credits is just one benefit of being a Cadet Correspondent. These cadets also develop a skill set in the Adobe Creative suite, familiarity with high end camera and production equipment, experience liaising with senior staff, experience delivering tactical products on schedule, and they create portfolio that they can take with them into any chosen career. Cadet Correspondents are also introduced to the Canadian Forces' PAO and Image Tech trades. In fact, Cadet Correspondents may have even more Canadian Forces' familiarization opportunities and experiences than most cadets, and they are often able to assist public affairs activities outside of their element.

"Cadet Correspondent is a really unique position because we get to go everywhere and see a little bit of everything. I love being able to capture the enjoyment cadets get from their experiences and to be able to share their stories with the public and their friends and families back home," says P01 Aden Kane from HMCS Quadra in Comox, B.C.

In the end, this initiative is all about helping raise awareness of the program and ensuring other youth take the opportunity to have the same life-changing experience that they have had.

Capt Cheryl Major, Public Affairs Officer, Regional Cadet Support Unit (Pacific)

Caption: ABOVE RIGHT: Petty Officer 2nd Class Angelo Fabris from 5 Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps RAINBOW, takes part in the Victoria Ceremony of the Flags parade in Victoria, B. C., as a member of the Honour Guard in August 2018. (CADET CORRESPONDENT BRANDON UN)

Caption: ABOVE LEFT: Cadets participate in fun water activities during a sports days white attending Connaught Cadet Training Centre during the summer of 2018. (CADET CORRESPONDENT SUSAN CHARCHUK)

Caption: ABOVE RIGHT: Cadet Evelyn Wrobel from 2919 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps in Barrie, Ontario participates in the Cadet Serial Basic Canadian Forces Parachutist Course at Canadian Forces Base Trenton during the summer of 2018. (CADET CORRESPONDENT ETHAN WHITE)

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Title Annotation:CADET CORNER
Author:Major, Cheryl
Publication:Esprit de Corps
Date:Aug 1, 2019
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