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Gold Star approval

A total of nine Kivalliq cadets, five from Naujaat and four from Rankin Inlet, took part in their Gold Star training in Manitoba this past month.

Nuajaat cadet corps commanding officer Capt. Lloyd Francis, from left, and cadets Chief Warrant Officer Terance Mapsalak, Sgt. Ernie Inaksajak, Sgt. Ron Sivanertok, Sgt. Lou Kopak, Master Cpl. Jonah Allaniaq and Master Cpl. Beatrice Kaunak find a unique way to stay dry from the rain during Gold Star training in Manitoba this past month. photo courtesy of 3055 RCACC

Attending the training course from Naujaat were Sgt. Ernie Inaksajak, Sgt. Ron Sivanertok, Sgt. Lou Kopak, Master Cpl. Jonah Allaniaq and Master Cpl. Beatrice Kaunak, while Rankin Inlet was represented by Sgt. Lexie Anawak, Sgt. Jean-Marie Aokaut, Master Cpl. Tyrese Sammurtok and Sgt. Pilakapsi Tatty.

The Kivalliq cadets were joined by four from Arctic Bay and seven from Morris, Man.

Naujaat Chief Warrant Officer Terance Mapsalak was also able attend as a staff cadet, helping him further develop his leadership and organizational skills.

3055 RCACC Naujaat commanding officer Capt. Lloyd Francis said the main goal of Gold Star training is to give cadets leadership opportunities.

He said that meant each cadet had to take a turn being leader for a segment of the day.

“The weather was a bit of issue, being so rainy, so we didn't get to do as much as we wanted to, but we were able to do a familiarization course with canoeing, and complete close to 10 km along the Mantario Hiking Trail in Whiteshell Provincial Park, which is on the Manitoba-Ontario border,” said Francis.

“The cadets were in two groups of ten. Each cadet took an hour or two in charge of their group either setting-up or taking-down camp, or making lunch or supper using rations and camping stoves.

“The cadets used maps and a compass while on the trail, which is good practical experience for our cadets even though a compass is something they never use up here because they don't work this far up North.

“Overall it was a great weekend, even though we lost all of the final day to weather.”

Francis said the Gold Star training is pass or fail and is usually held at the beginning of a cadet's fourth year in the program.

He said cadets need to pass their Gold Star training in order to move onto the level of master cadet.

“Usually everyone passes it, as long as they try their best, and, if they need a little guidance along the way, there's someone there to help them, whether that's me, another staff member at the expedition centre, or a staff cadet.

“All the cadets who participated in this course passed their Gold Star training.

“The Naujaat cadets were all very excited to do the training, and, even though the rain put a bit of a damper on things, I was really impressed that they got through everything and nobody complained about the weather.

“Everyone learned something during the training and they all had a lot of fun.”