One of the requirements of our high school program was to experience cadet training. It was required of all the boys. At Jarvis Collegiate it was the Army Cadets. At another school like Danforth Tech it was Air Force Cadets and I am sure another high school had a Navy Cadets program. It was a good program as it focused on discipline, marching and maintaining a uniform.
When we got the call we went down to the boy’s gym and picked up our uniforms from the quarter-master store. We were issued a pair of army boots, a shirt, a tie, pants, a jacket and a beret. These we had to wear on “army days”. I remember taking public transit to school wearing my uniform.
Our inspections included our posture, how well we maintained and wore our uniforms, and how we addressed the superiors. Speaking of superiors, Mr. Allen, one of our senior teachers, was commander-general of the “Jarvis Army”. Each class had a squadron leader. At any time we could be called out for improper dress code. Our boots had to be polished, as had to be the buttons on our uniform. We had to respond to commands with military respect.
Drills included forward march, right turn, left turn and halt. Most of our drills were in the boys gymnasium but sometimes we marched through the school halls and the girls looked out from the classrooms. They were exempt from this activity. Sometimes we marched in the field outside. It was a whole school affair.
Some lucky guys worked in the signal corps and gun brigade. They were considered the elite of the groups. Those guys interested in radio communication were selected for this group.
In all, it was a positive experience.
June 11, 2015