Lt.-Col. Mason Stalker

Former Revelstoke cadet, now CO, returns home for ceremonial review

Lieut.-Col. Mason Stalker, commanding officer of the First Battalion PPCLI, was in Revelstoke for the cadet's ceremonial review on Sunday.

The Revelstoke Rocky Mountain Rangers Cadet Corps partnered with their colleagues in Enderby for their annual ceremonial review on Sunday.

Presiding over the ceremony was Lieutenant-Colonel Mason Stalker, the commanding officer of the First Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry.

Stalker was born in Bowmanville, Ont., but he grew up in Revelstoke and was a member of the cadets before starting a career in the military. He received the Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor General for his actions as a commanding officer in Afghanistan and was named CO of the PPCLI last August.

On Sunday, he oversaw the cadets ceremony at Mount Begbie Elementary before addressing the gathering of young cadets, their families and supporters. Here’s a few excerpts from his talk:

On the communities of Revelstoke & Enderby:

“Look at the community support here. The heart at the centre of the Enderby and Revelstoke corps is that sense of community. They’re little towns in the Interior, but they always exceed expectations.

“The beauty of those two communities is its people. Its people like you in the cadet corps who have persevered.

“When I look out here today, I see a rich history of service. What does that say to you? It says the service in this community, the sense of it is absolutely deep.”

On the Rocky Mountain Rangers colours:

“What colours are, is they’re something very important to a military unit. They’re a flag that has been consecrated. There has been a ceremony that makes these colours special to the units they belong to.

“I would argue that you are each part of that fabric. You are part of that fabric that makes up that colour, that flag, that special item we all focus on in the military. This isn’t a piece of cloth to the cadets. It certainly isn’t a piece of cloth to me and many of the members here.

“It represents service, it represents duty, and it represents some of the principles that we all learn here as cadets. You are part of this history. There are 117 years that are thread into that history? Is that not important? I think that’s wonderful.”

On being a commanding officer:

“I said very clearly and very deliberately that everything I know right now that made me get to be a commanding officer, I learned in cadets. I won’t tell too many people, but it isn’t rocket science to be a CO. To be a CO, it’s all about first principles. What are some of those principles? Teamwork. Selflessness — in other words putting others before yourself. Treating people with dignity and respect. Hard work. Discipline… There’s all these little things that come out of cadet training that you don’t realize until later.”

On staying with the cadets:

“There will be times where you go, ‘This isn’t for me. It’s too hard.’ I urge you to stay with the program. It is an absolutely wonderful program that you will only realize with things that come.”

Check out the gallery below for photos from the ceremony.

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