Brendan Kergin, News Editor Ω
Tears and hugs are not generally associated with military events, but with the transfer of command of a local cadet corps came a few emotions.
TRU’s own Nicole Totten — or as the cadets know her Lieutenant Totten — is the new commanding officer of the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets Corps (RCSCC) 137 Kamloops.
“It is a scary thing, but I have a lot of people behind me.
“It’s an emotional thing,” said Lt. Totten.
The ceremony passed command of the group of about 30 young cadets from Lieutenant Commander Bernice Debert, commander of the corps since 2007.
“Nicole is a very very good person and she’s great with the youth,” said LCdr. Debert. “She’ll do fine.”
Totten has been a student at TRU for a few years, and will be graduating this year with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.
This is in addition to a BA in Fine Arts she’s already earned.
After graduation she expects to continue with cadets, especially as command of the corps is a three-year minimum term.
Cadets has been a big part of Totten’s life, starting with the sea cadets in 1996.
“She’s been going to Quadra-Comox every year since she started except one,” says her father, proud of his daughter’s achievement.
“We’re very proud of her, everybody is. Even our church members.”
“At Quadra all the cadets love having her there.
“She takes time to talk to the cadets.
“They really look up to her.”
The ceremony started in the Kamloops Alliance Church gymnasium with classic military formalities such as a March on Colours and inspection of the cadets by higher officers.
Once the signing over of command was finished, the tone changed and speeches and gifts were given to Debert and others involved with the local sea cadets.
“Most cadets will only witness this once,” spoke LCdr. Martin Head.
“I would be remiss to mention how well you’ve done tonight.
“Nicole you have my full support.”
When it came Lt. Totten’s turn to speak, she only got a few words out but it was clear how she felt about the new role she would be playing.
In a reverse of norms, most of the crowd sat on the stage, observing from above as the cadets marched below and the officers fulfilled their duties.
The corps has grown substantially in the last few years since LCdr. Debert had taken over.
LCdr. Debert, like Lt. Totten, is staying with cadets.
She will stay involved with RCSCC 137 Kamloops on the side as she becomes Area Cadet Instructor Cadre Officer for the interior region.
Lt. Totten said, “I’m really proud of the cadets, they did awesome, too.”