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October 29th, 2014 ~ Vol. 84 No. 42
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Cadets: 100 years in Crowsnest Pass,
105 years in Pincher Creek
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Source unknown
3 cadets in historical uniforms of the Royal Canadian Sea, Army and Air Cadets stand in front of 859 Crowsnest Squadron outside the Coleman Legion for Remembrance Day, 1978.
Captain Daniel Desrosier
Cadets established a presence in the Crowsnest Pass 100 years ago in October 1914 with the formation of 535 Army Cadet Corps. The army cadet program has been in existence since 1861, even before the confederation of Canada in 1867. The cadet program became more organized after 1904 and was often associated directly with a school. In fact, Pincher Creek had established 210 Pincher Creek Public School Army Cadet Corps 5 years earlier in June 1909. Although cadets are not members of the military, they were instructed in parade square drill movements and rifle marksmanship.
Interest in cadet training has had its ups and downs over the years. Cadet corps and squadrons were established and closed over time. Air cadet squadrons began in Canada starting in 1941, and three air cadet squadrons were quickly established in the Crowsnest Pass: Coleman, Turtle Mountain (Blairmore), and Hillcrest/ Bellevue. Following the Second World War interest waned and all three were closed by the early 1950s. The army cadet program continued in the Crowsnest Pass until 1971, but closed soon after the loss of the Royal Canadian Electrical & Mechanical Engineers militia unit in Coleman. Pincher Creek retained its army cadet corps until 1988.
continued below...


In 1978, air cadets returned in the form of 859 “Crowsnest” Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron, with 72 recruits attending the first training night. It has served the communities of Crowsnest Pass and Pincher Creek since. Over this time it has seen cadets graduate from flying scholarships to attain their pilot license, attend various summer training courses across Canada, and even attend an international cadet exchange.
The 859 Crowsnest Squadron trains every Monday night at the Elks Hall in Blairmore from 6:45 PM to 9:15 PM, September through June for youth aged 12–18 years old. New recruits are always welcome. There is no cost to join and uniforms are provided free of charge. Pincher Creek youth have the option of van transportation from the Pincher Creek Legion to the Elks Hall in Blairmore each week.
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October 29th ~ Vol. 84 No. 42
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