My name is Dilan Yildirim, I am 15 years old and my rank is Petty Officer Second Class. I have been a cadet for almost three years now. I started off as an Air Cadet at the age of 13 and signed up a year later to become a member of RCSCC Defiant after moving to Kemptville. My goals in the future are to study abroad, and travel as much as I can. I joined the program for the marksmanship training and the summer courses, but I have learned it offers much more than that.
Although I have only attended one cadet summer camp, it is definitely one of the most memorable experiences I have had as a cadet so far. It was a two week long General Training course in Bagotville, QC. There, I made many long-lasting friendships. I got the chance to do things I had never done before. My favourite memories from camp include spending time outdoors with my friends after a long day, practising drill with them, getting our barracks ready, and gliding for the first time.
Marksmanship is one of the aspects of this program that interested me the most. I was so excited when I took part in the trials and found out I made the team. It is my favourite sport. Although I tend to do better in practises than in competitions, I look back and cherish those moments spent with my teammates, and the excitement.
What I now love the most about cadets is getting to meet new people and having so many one-of-a-kind opportunities. The words I would use to describe my experience as a cadet would be: “fun, unique experiences, and adventure”. What I would say as a word of advice to new cadets, is to keep your eyes open for all the opportunities offered by the corps and by the program.
Note: This is Petty Officer Yildirim’s fourth Navy League article. It underscores the value of the Cadet Program in Canada as she relates her experiences as an Air Cadet with 706 Snowy Owl, where she truly enjoyed the program, just as she now does with the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps DEFIANT program here in Kemptville. Dilan has been studying on a Cadet Correspondents Course to learn new skills and, it must be remembered, she is 15 years old and is writing in her second language! This a cadet with a great future.