Ask anyone who has ever held the rank of Corporal in the TTCF, and they will say that being a Corporal is not the most exciting rank to hold, but it ranks among the most rewarding. This is the rank where your leadership matures, and you get a true view of the impact of your portfolio on those you lead.
The Corporal is, among our cadets, the true middle manager. When the Sergeants go off into their own Mess, these are some of the faces of the intelligent Corporals who ensure order and keep a camp operational.
Never underestimate a Corporal. You may find yourself in a challenging situation thereafter. Even some Sergeants know of this and will reflect with a smile on their own days of the Corporal’s Club.
I remember once at an Annual Training Camp in Tobago in the nineties, CWO2 Julien, then the Company Sergeant Major of the Training Company which was also responsible for administering Star Exams, asking “…why do you Corporals believe you are running the camp?”
One of the quietest among us, a Corporal from the Pleasantville Secondary School Unit responded (outside of the earshot of CWO2 Julien) “You take [sic] real long to realise that. Don’t worry, I will save a room for you in my kingdom.”
We all laughed heartily, but by the next Annual Camp, we were all Sergeants, and would not dare entertain a Corporal uttering those words, but every Sergeant who has served as a Corporal knows the power of those two stripes.
Several of the co-conspirators now serve in adult capacities in the Trinidad and Tobago Cadet Force today. I will not call names to protect both the innocent and the guilty, but it must be known that every rank in the Cadet Force carries the burden of responsibility. That burden makes you stronger. Learning how to carry it makes you wiser.
We salute every Corporal who serves, and who has served for their contribution to the strength of the Cadet Force. Bravo Zulu!