Special to the Nor’wester
Local Air Cadet Johnathan Lander of Beachside was recently awarded a very prestigious award while attending a six week Survival Instructor Course at the military base in Greenwood, Nova Scotia. Johnathan is a Flight Corporal with the 837 Air Cadets of Springdale and has been a member of the squadron for almost 3 years.
While at camp he was awarded the ANAVETS Cadet Medal of Merit, which is an award that recognizes excellence achieved by cadets during their summer training, and is awarded to the top cadet on each Cadet Leaders Instructors Course for outstanding achievement in leadership, physical fitness, dress and deportment. Johnathan’s medal was one of only 16 medals awarded nationwide to cadets who attend the Army, Navy, or Air Force Cadet Summer Training Centres across Canada. It is presented by the Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans in Canada (ANAVETS), a national association celebrating 167 years of existence, and is Canada’s oldest veteran’s association.
As part of the course Johnathan had to learn basic and advanced survival skills which included building fires and shelters, survival rescue signals, finding food for survival and emergency radio terminology. As part of his final exam he was sent to a wooded area for three days on his own with basically just a knife and one ration pack. He was given a list of things he had to accomplish and he had to learn how to survive on his own. This entailed making water collection devices, food collection devices such as snares, makeshift fishing gear and of course a shelter for sleeping. I asked Johnathan if he was scared being on his own for three days and he said he wasn’t scared and he focused on the list of things he needed to do to pass the course. Johnathan received the highest marks on all his evaluations throughout his six week Survival Instructor Training course.
Johnathan was very excited and proud to have received such a special medal but he said, “I knew there were other cadets that deserved it as much as me; my friend and I were running neck and neck so I kind of felt bad that he didn’t receive the medal”. His parents, James and Kelly Lander are very proud of their son. They didn’t actually know the details of the medal he received until they went to pick him up at the bus stop when he returned. One of his Cadet leaders there informed them that their son had received a very prestigious medal while away at camp.
Johnathan thoroughly enjoys his time as a member with the Air Cadets. He enjoys the life skills training, the discipline and respect that are all part of being an Air Cadet.