Last month Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class Ken White of Penhold, received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his years of dedicated service to his community at a ceremony held in Calgary.
This commemorative medal was created to mark the 2012 celebrations of the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada. The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal is a way for Canada to honour Her Majesty for her service to this country. At the same time, it serves to honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians.
White was specifically celebrated for his “Exceptional service and dedication to the Cadet Program in the North from August 2007 to April 2012, bringing credit to the program and the unit in the local community.”
This award recognizes service, whether it is service to military or community. “I did a little bit of both. Service to country and service to community,” said White.
After living in Halifax White was posted to Yellowknife. He did four years there followed by five years in Whitehorse.
He was the logistics officer in Whitehorse camp and he supported all three territories, The Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, with materials and supplies such as camping equipment, weapons and ammunition. He also took care of the financial side of the house for the original Cadet Support Unit North.
“I coordinated a lot of events there and I ensured that the community got involved with the program. I ensured that the mayor and the commissionaire attended all of the ceremonies that the cadets had, whether it be a graduation parade.”
White has a long history when it comes to military service. He started off as a sea cadet when he was younger. His father was in the Navy for 30 years and White admits that part of the reason he joined the cadets was because of his family background being in the military.
Then, before he went to the reserves, White served in the regular forces in the Navy. He joined in 1975 when he had just turned 19.
Now, many years later White has 38 years of service to date, 29 of which were served as a sailor and he did 17 years at sea. The remaining years were spent in the Arctic where he worked with the cadet program. He now works with the cadet program in Penhold.
“I was attracted to the cadet program as a reservist because it’s a good program and I like working with kids,” said White.
With his work, because most of it is logistics, he doesn’t get to work directly with the kids however he knows that he still impacts the cadets. “What I do supports all of their programs,” he said. “I provide them with the materials they require to run events such as biathlons, marksmanship and drill competitions. I also provide the support here at the cadet camp over the summer. The cadet camp opens up in June and runs until August. At any given time we have about 800 cadets on the grounds here. We provide all the support for the kids for those three months. Feeding, uniforms, training aides, anything they need.”
From the efforts and hard work of White, the cadet program will continues to flourish.
The mission of the cadet program is to contribute to the development and preparation of youth for the transition to adulthood, enabling them to meet the challenges of modern society, through a dynamic, community-based program. For more information on this program visit www.cadets.ca.