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Vanderhoof Change of Command ceremony honours past, present leadership

899 Vanderhoof Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron welomes new commanding officer
Captain McRobert presents Lieutenant Wlasitz with her promotion to captain during a Change of Command ceremony held last month. (Photo submitted)

Submitted by 899 Vanderhoof RCACS / Cadets and Junior Cadet Rangers

The 899 Vanderhoof Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron held a Change of Command ceremony on Thursday, October 26 where a new commanding officer, Captain Anita Wlasitz, was officially installed as the commander of the Squadron.

Captain Brad McRobert, commanding officer since October 2018, has relinquished his command having completed a five-year term of service. Within this term Capt. McRobert has successfully navigated the squadron through the challenging times of a Covid environment while retaining many enthusiastic cadets.

Capt. McRobert is a dedicated long-service officer who began his cadet career as a cadet himself, then at 19 enrolled in the military reserves as an officer within the cadet instructor Cadre (CIC). He has served as an officer in many rolls and in many different capacities specializing in army expedition.

Capt. McRobert leaves the squadron with a new canoe trailer carrying eight brand new Hellman canoes, a mobile classroom trailer, a full stock of expedition equipment and more. This is due to his tireless efforts to enable our community’s cadets to have a safe, challenging, and lifelong love of all things outdoors. Capt. McRobert leaves our squadron however will continue his service within northern B.C. as an area elemental advisor.

Captain Wlasitz, a longtime Vanderhoof resident, has been a reserve officer with the cadet organization since 2018 and was promoted from lieutenant to captain at the ceremony just prior to her assuming her new command. Captain Wlasitz has been training officer at the Squadron for several years and more recently deputy commanding officer as the command of the squadron transitioned to her leadership.

Several senior cadets were also presented with awards for their long-term dedication to the air cadet program. Captain McRobert presented Flight Sergeant Hayden Teichroeb and Sergeant Andrew Cockerill with four-year Air Cadet League service medals as his last official duty as outgoing commanding officer. Warrant Officer Hannah Kalyn was also recognized as a recent graduate of both glider and power flying scholarship courses in 2022/23.

899 Vanderhoof Air Cadet Squadron serves Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake, Fort St. James and surrounding areas. The Squadron meets every Thursday evening September to June from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Gospel Chapel in Vanderhoof. The cadet program is free youths ages 12-18 to join and all uniforms, equipment and instruction are provided.