Cadet Corps celebrate 20 years of service to the Cayman Islands | Loop Cayman Islands

The content originally appeared on: Cayman Compass

The commencement of the celebration of 20 years of service of the Cadet Corps to the Cayman Islands was signaled by the coming together of various officials during an early morning church service at the New Testament Church of God, George Town on Sunday, May 1.

For members of the public who are not familiar with the programme, the Cayman Islands Cadet Corps (CICC) programme is based on the British ACF 4-star progressive training system, which aims to help programme participants to develop employable skills, which allow them to gain employment in various uniformed services. These include the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, Cayman Islands Coast Guard, Cayman Islands Fire Service, Customs and Border Control, Cayman Islands Regiment, and Hazard Management Cayman Islands.

In addition to preparing Caymanian youth for various employment opportunities, there are critical skills cultivated within the CICC, such as problem-solving, civic-mindedness, giving national service, time management, and respect for self and others.

The CICC programme has seen much success over the past twenty years, with 1,000 children passing through the organisation with detachments from Clifton Hunter High School, John Gray High School, Triple C School, Layman E. Scott High School. Further, the CICC programme has grown from forty-two (42) in 2002 to over two hundred (200) Cadets over the past 20 years, producing several well-rounded citizens in our society who benefited from participation in the organisation.

Speaking to CICC’s service to Cayman over the last 20 years Lt. Col. Errol Brathwaite said:

Over the years CICC has continued to provide a national service to the Cayman Islands in our support during national emergencies such as Hurricane Ivan, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the National elections in previous years. As our motto suggests, ‘Leading the way… Who endures wins since our inception in 2002 CICC has been leading the way in our support of Caymans youth community and for many generations to come. Now celebrating our 20th Anniversary, as an organisation, we are proud of the foundation and developmental impact set in place by our founders over the years.

Minister of Home Affairs, Sabrina Turner, who attended the 20th anniversary church service also remarked on the benefits of the Cadet Corps and their service to the Cayman Islands.

Turner said:

Being a member of the Cadet Corps is critical in developing good character, building values and helping our children to develop relevant life skills.

This is the testimony of several young people who have been a part of the programme. This also aligns with the Ministry’s priority of building a safer, stronger, inclusive, and resilient community. As the CICC celebrates its twentieth anniversary, we can be proud of our achievements.

Also acknowledging the contributions of the Cadet Corps, Governor Martyn Roper noted that “the CICC has played a pivotal role in equipping cadets and adult volunteers alike with several life skills for success.”

I was delighted to host a dinner at Government House for Lt Col. O’Garro recently to thank her for her outstanding service and dedication to the Cayman Islands Cadet Corps for the last 20 years. Her commitment to youth development coupled with her tenacity, have no doubt guaranteed success in building a vibrant and strong Cayman Islands Cadet Corps. Most recently, I was pleased that Lord Lancaster was able to watch the Cadets on parade during his recent visit to Cayman. He has promised to explore how the UK might be able to support the Cadets further.

Governor Roper added.

In celebration of 20 years of service, CICC will be hosting a series of activities to commemorate throughout the year such as an Anniversary Parade and Medal Presentation, Caribbean Cadet Knowledge Challenge, and the 20th Anniversary Summer Camp to name a few.

In honour of CICC’s 20 years of service, Premier Wayne Panton said:

I am delighted to be able to extend my hearty congratulations to the Cayman Islands Cadet Corps as they celebrate 20 years of service to our communities and country. I have seen the positive influence it has had in the lives of our young people, instilling discipline and developing leadership and other skills. And so it is that the Cadet Corps has proven itself to be a valuable community organisation since its inception in 2002 and we look forward to seeing it grow from strength to strength in the years to come.

Other info on the CICC

The first training session of the CICC, held at the Civic Centre in North Side in 2002, paved the way for others to follow. Since its inception CICC has impacted the community with many firsts within Cayman and across the region. CICC was the first institution to offer the BTEC Level 2 Vocational Qualification in the Cayman Islands in 2004. CICC’s Lt. Col. O’Garro was the 1st Female Commandant for the Cadet Corps in the Region and 1st Female leading a Cadet Corps in the Region to hold the Rank of Lt Col.

CICC expanded its operations in 2008 launching its Cayman Brac detachment. In 2010 CICC launched its Marine Detachment which later saw Cayman youth visiting the Royal Marine Ship “Bristol” for an instructor’s course on map and compass reading and fieldcraft in 2012, and developing skills at the core of Cayman’s rich maritime culture and heritage.

Among other notable contributions, CICC hosted the Caribbean Cadet Commandants Conference and Caribbean Cadet Camp in 2012 with groups from individual Caribbean territories and the United Kingdom further solidifying its contribution to the Cayman Islands economy through “Cadet Tourism.”