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Character formation in Sea Cadets Corps

I refer to John Mizzi’s letter Scout Movement and the Sea Cadets (August 22).

Mr Mizzi is quite correct when he states that the Sea Cadet Corps and the Scout Movement are not equivalent. While I am certain that Mr Mizzi is well informed about the scouts I do feel that I must point out that the Sea Cadet Corps is not a pre-service organisation and neither does membership imply that one has to join the armed forces. The corps exists to give character formation through disciplined training.

The corps enrols youngsters, male and female from the ages of 10 until they are 18, with some remaining on to become NCOs and officers of the unit.

Training ship St Paul, under which name the Malta GC Unit goes by, has three sections;  the junior section for children aged 10 to 12, Sea Cadets Division for those aged 12 to 18 and the Royal Marines Cadets who are recruited from the ages of 13 to 18.

All cadets follow disciplined training which includes seamanship, navigation and chartwork, sailing and other waterborne activities, adventure training, field craft, drill and rifle drill, cookery and stewardship, first aid, meteorology, discipline and above all leadership training.

Every year most of the ship’s company travel to the UK to participate in district and/or area camps and qualifier courses. In August last year, 27 cadets returned to Malta with 162 qualifications in just two weeks.

The Malta GC Unit will this year endeavour to embark on flying training so as to provide opportunities for its young members to learn how to fly from an early age.

Most cadets that join are obviously attracted to a military career and some do end up joining the Armed Forces of Malta, which asset of this country the Malta GC Unit is proud to be affiliated to and honoured to have its commander, brigadier Martin Xuereb as an honorary president of the unit.

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