History

On March 9, 1954, Brig. J. Bennett of Army Headquarters announced that Lt. Fraser Neal would command 2515 St. John’s Army Cadet Corps. It would be the first corps in Newfoundland to be independant of both religious and educational affiliation.

The sponsoring committee, the Stoker’s Group and Lt. Neal found accommodations in RCMP Building #5 on Kennas Hill. In September 1956, Lt. Neal had secured an area in Headquarters at BuckMasters field. Lt. Neal turned over command to Lt. J. Alston in 1957 and the corps changed its affiliation from Army Headquarters to the 166th Newfoundland Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery.

In September 1963, 2515 learned that it would be moved from Buckmaster’s field to the newly vacated US Air Force Base at Fort Pepperel. The corps welcomed this move to Building 313; the construction of the Drill Hall in 1966 provided much needed parade space to accompany the existing training space.

In 1973, 2515 was invited by National Defense Headquarters to enroll female cadets on a trial basis. The tremendous success of this undertaking was instrumental in the passing of Bill C-16 in 1975, which gave Royal Assent to the admission of females to the Cadet Movement.

In 1977 the band was selected to represent the Atlantic Region at Banff National Army Cadet Camp as the resident band for the summer. The band performed in many cities across the western provinces and captured second place in the Calgary Stampede Parade.

In 1986 the new CO, Capt. J. Lynch, who joined 2515 RCACC in September of 1967, was the first member of the corps to join as a basic Cadet and rise to the rank of Major and CO.

In January 1989, Capt. J. Browne passed on command to the first female CO of the unit, Capt. P. St. Croix. In October 1992, Capt. St. Croix handed the command over to Capt. W. Martin.

After 39 years of sponsorship, the Stoker’s Group requested that the corps seek new sponsorship. In December 1994, 2515 signed with Branch 1, Royal Canadian Legion for new sponsorship of the corps.

In June of 1996, Major Martin passed command of the cadet unit to Capt. D. Dinn, who served as a member of the corps since 1982. Under Major Dinn’s command the corps re-established its feeder unit in the Goulds to revitalize numbers and interest. In September 2002, Major Dinn passed command to Capt. J. Halfyard. Under Capt. Halfyard’s command, the corps made invaluable inroads in Optional programming such as Biathlon, Marksmanship, Band, and Precision Drill.

In September of 2005, Capt Halfyard passed command to Capt S. Conway. During this time, a new format for the Annual Ceremonial Review was instituted, one where cadets participated in a Graduation Parade, a Skill at Arms Challenge (later the Adventure Challenge Race and then the Expedition) and a Parent / Cadet Dinner. In June 2009, Capt Gary Dawson, a former cadet of the unit, assumed command of the corps. Throughout Capt Dawson’s term, 2515 has solidified its place as one of the premier cadet units in Newfoundland and Labrador, capturing numerous provincial championships in Biathlon, Marksmanship and Orienteering.

The spring of 2014 saw the corps move from Building 312 in Pleasantville to our current home in the LCdr W. Anthony Paddon Building under the command of Capt Adam Gale as part of the consolidation of CFS St. John’s. Since changing locations, the corps has experienced a resurgence is presently at triple the strength compared to before the move. In April 2015, Capt Barry Power became Commanding Officer of the corps.

2515 St. John’s Army Cadet Corps has a vast and immeasurable history of community service and military excellence in this region. The aims of the program are as strong today as they were first introduced in March of 1954.

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