BARRINGTON, N.S. – The ceremonial review for the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps (RCSCC) 327 Unicorn on June 2 was a bittersweet affair, as cadets bid Bravo Zulu and farewell to the corps’ commanding officer since 2003 – Lt (N) Allan Brannen and his wife S Lt Martha Brannen who have worked tirelessly over the years to build the Barrington based group into one of the top Sea Cadet corps in the province.
Gifts were presented, words of thanks given, fond memories recalled and a special display by the 327 Unicorn band “dedicated with appreciation to ‘SIR’” were among the accolades bestowed on the Brannens during the ceremony.
“To Allan, an enormous thank you. You have played a role in our lives that is unthinkable and unimaginable to others who have not have the distinct pleasure and honour to know you and work with you,” said reviewing officer S Lt Justin Cottreau who was a cadet with the 327 Unicorn corps from 2007 to 2012.
“If there’s one thing you have taught me it is you should always choose quality over quantity and you sir are what we call a quality person,” continued Cottreau. “Words cannot describe what you mean to this corps… so many people have told me I would not be where I am today if not for you and Martha,” he said, telling her she is “one of a kind” and will “always have a special place in my heart and in the hearts of others.”
S Lt Justin Cottreau, who is now involved a training officer with the Cadet program in Newfoundland, had some sage words of advice for the 23 Cadets that make the 327 Unicorn Ship’s Company.
“If there is one thing I can tell you, please, please, please stay with it. There will be times you will wonder if it is worth it because you are just sick of being told what to do, or having to iron your uniform, or because you have too much school work, or because your friends aren’t in Cadets with you. I know I’ve been there,” he said. “But let me say one thing, there’s nothing in this world that will give you a greater sense of responsibility, maturity, loyalty, drive, courage and belonging. No other program compares.”
Numerous awards were given to the Cadets during the ceremonial review. The Cadets had a busy year participating in community events such as Remembrance Day ceremonies, the annual Christmas parade and they also hosting their first New Year’s Levee. The 327 Unicorn Cadets also captured first place overall for the third consecutive year in then Greenwood Challenge Cup and had the opportunity to tour the HMCS Ville de Quebec and experience sub simulator training.
Over the summer, 10 cadets from the corps have been selected for training sessions lasting two to six weeks, while six others were selected for staff positions at HMCS Acadia. The 327 Unicorn will resume regular programming in the fall, under the command of S Lt Doug Brannen
• Top First Year Male – Able Seaman (AB) Brent Crowell and AB Arman-John Ricard
• Most Improved Junior Cadet – Leading Seaman (LS) Noel Cameron
• Junior Fellowship Award - LS Taylor Atkinson
• Peer Award – Petty Officer 2nd Class (PO2) Derek McCarthy
• Leadership Award – Chief Perry Officer 2nd Class (CPO2) Grace Brannen
• Drill, Dress, & Deportment Award - PO2 Alexis Atwood
• Clifford Newell Memorial Junior Seamanship Award - LS Quristian Ross
• Clifford Newell Memorial Senior Seamanship Award - PO1 Megan Atwood
• Band Award - LS Cole Scott
• Citizenship Award - PO2 Kavindya Premachandra
• Esprit d’Corps - PO2 Derek McCarthy
• Four-year service medals: PO2 Alexis Atwood, PO2 Logan Nickerson and PO2 Natalia Nickerson. Five-year service bars: PO1 Megan Atwood, CPO2 Grace Brannen, PO1 Kyle Christie, PO1 Derek McCarthy, PO1 Dilanya Premachandra and PO1 Shane Wyatt. Six-year service bar: CPO2 Isaiah Perry.
• The Royal Canadian Legion Cadet Medal of Excellence, PO1 Dilanya Premachandra.
• The Lord Strathcona Trust Fund medal, CPO2 Grace Brannen. PO1 Lindsey Nickerson was presented with a gold bar that goes on her Navy League Medal of Excellence which represents her being the top cadet in mainland Nova Scotia.