A new officer has stepped forward to take command of South Muskoka’s army cadet corps.
Warrant Officer Logan Pepper can barely contain his excitement as Parry Sound - Muskoka MP Tony Clement pins the Lord Strathcona Medal to his chest during the Muskoka Pioneers' annual parade on Saturday, June 2. (Photo by Louis Tam)
Capt. Lorne Sculthorp officially took his new posting as commanding officer of the Muskoka Pioneers - 2250 Royal Canadian Army Cadets during a change of command ceremony on Saturday, June 2, after the unit’s annual parade at the Bracebridge Fairgrounds. Sculthorp is filling the boots of Capt. Derrick Hammond, who stepped down after leading the unit for three years.
In his farewell speech to the Pioneers, Hammond thanked cadets, their parents and volunteers for helping the unit grow substantially under his command.
“Over the past three years, we have broadened the exposure to the army cadet program across Muskoka and have been rewarded by an almost doubling of our cadet population, which is an amazing feat in itself,” he said.
Hammond, who is moving on to become an instructor at various expedition training centres, credits Sculthorp with introducing him to the cadet program. A native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Hammond has a background in land use planning and is an avid outdoorsman who has hiked throughout Ontario, Newfoundland, British Columbia, Nunavut and Tasmania, Australia.
Under Hammond’s command, the Pioneers were nominated for the Bracebridge Examiner’s Youth Achievement Award for their volunteer activities in the community.
Hammond’s accomplishments were lauded by Sculthorp, who promised to carry on his legacy with the Pioneers.
“What can our cadets expect from me over the next three years as the new commanding officer? Simply put, I promise to lead our dedicated team of officers, liaise with our sponsoring legions, support committee and affiliated unit to provide the best experience possible,” he said.
A former member of the Royal Canadian Air Force, Sculthorp is currently an assistant manager at Muskoka Airport and has a background in the electronics industry. It is the second time Sculthorp has served as an officer with the Pioneers.
He was first introduced to the unit in 1995 when his child expressed interest in joining. He went on to hold a number of positions with the unit, including that of commanding officer.
Parry Sound-Muskoka MP Tony Clement, Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith, Bracebridge Coun. Steve Clement, Gravenhurst Coun. Rosemary King and Gravenhurst Mayor Paisley Donaldson attended the unit’s annual parade and took part in an opening inspection of its ranks. Together with military dignitaries, they also handed out a number of honours and medals to high-achieving cadets.