Authorized as 2881 (Scarborough) Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps on 30 March 1971, 2881 (Queen’s Own Rifles) Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps is a very successful and active unit that will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2021.
One of a large number of such units in Canada sponsored by the Canadian Forces and the civilian Army Cadet League of Canada.
Founded and co-sponsored by Lieutenant-Colonel George Wilfred (Rudy) Horwood, CD, ADC, MA (1923–1989) who had served with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada in World War II. The corps was originally affiliated with the Canadian Forces’ 25 (Toronto) Service Battalion and paraded wearing the accoutrements of the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps.
Since its inception, the cadet corps has found its “parade square” at a variety of locations including Sir Oliver Mowat Collegiate Institute, R.H. King Collegiate Institute, Cardinal Newman High School, Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 258’s Legion Village Home, Joseph Howe Senior Public School, and the Colonel C.O. Dalton, DSO and Colonel H.E. Dalton, DSO Armoury.
From the very beginning the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 258 has been a co-sponsor, taking over full sponsorship on 01 Jan 1978, and a strong supporter of the cadets and staff. Over the years the legion has provided an area for training and in 1975 made space for a surplus school portable building for the corps’ use.
Currently (2021) the legion has graciously allowed a leased industrial trailer on its property to be used as the corps’ administration and supply headquarters.
The Ladies Auxillary has always provided meals and other support for the cadets whenever asked.
Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 73 has become a true friend of the corps since 2011. Attending corps functions as honoured guests, presenting awards at annual ceremonial reviews, offering cadet employment in a military setting and financial support throughout the years are only a few examples of this friendship.
On 17 July 1972 the corps was re-designated as 2881 (Highland Creek) Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps and in 1989 re-designated again as 2881 (The Scarborough Rifles) Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps. On 18 Jan 2010 the corps assumed its direct title association with the Queen’s Own as its designation was changed to the current (2021) 2881 (Queen’s Own Rifles) Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps.
On 07 Sep 1979 The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada officially replaced 25 (Toronto) Service Battalion as the corps’ affiliated unit.
The cadets of 2881 (Queen’s Own Rifles) RCACC have enjoyed many training events, parades and experiences over the years. The cadet program offers annual Silver and Gold Star Expedition Centre Training, Bivouac, Cold Weather, Expedition and Navigation Field Training Exercises. Cadets participate in annual Central Ontario Area Air Rifle Marksmanship Competitions, Garrison Exercises, Band and Drill Competitions and Orienteering Competitions as well as an annual Queen’s Cup Sports Competition with cadets from two Queen’s York Rangers affiliated cadet corps.
Support for past and current local events and community services include the Altona Road Parades, Battle of Britain Parades, Cadets Caring for Canada Events, Canada Day Parades and Celebrations, Highland Creek Heritage Day Parades, Rededication Ceremony for Coronation Park, the Scarborough 2000 Parade, Scarborough Civic Remembrance Day Services, Victory in Europe Day Parades, West Hill Heritage Day Parades.
Cadets annually support the Royal Canadian Legion during its Poppy Campaigns, Services of Remembrance at Pine Hills Cemetery, Veteran’s Luncheons, Awards Dinners and Walk-A-Thons for Legion Village.
Cadets have continually participated in The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada regimental parades and anniversaries including Regimental Church/Service of Remembrance, Change of Command, Change of Regimental Sergeant Major, Change of Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel, and other special events including the Dedication of the QOR World War I Wall of Remembrance in 2018 and the annual Queen’s Own Rifles Day held at Casa Loma. On 09 July 2018 the corps, for the first time, hosted The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada Maple Leaf Club’s Annual Marksmanship Competition.
Seven cadets from 2881 RCACC have successfully completed the Canadian Forces Basic Parachutist Course.
• Cadet Warrant Officer Anthony Cristilli in 1985 (awarded BGen R.R. Romses Top Jumper Award)
• Cadet Warrant Officer Patrick Mesina in 1995
• Cadet Warrant Officer Christopher Abate in 2000
• Cadet Chief Warrant Officer Graham Humphrey in 2006
• Cadet Chief Warrant Officer Bryan Kerr in 2010
• Cadet Chief Warrant Officer Lorenzo Da Silva in 2013
• Cadet Master Warrant Officer Taranpal Chatha in 2019
Cadet Corporal D.S. Carter was the highest scoring cadet from 2881 (Scarborough) RCACC at summer camp and was presented to the Honourable Earl Rowe, President Army Cadet League of Canada (Ontario), former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario at Toronto City Hall in 1972.
Cadet Sergeant Amber-Denise Mahabir was awarded Platoon Top Candidate on the Army Cadet Leader Instructor Adventure Course at Cadet Summer Training Centre Blackdown in 2003.
Cadet Master Warrant Officer Christopher Langan was awarded Army Cadet Leader Instructor Drill and Ceremonial Course Top Candidate and appointed Cadet Regimental Sergeant Major for Final Parade at Cadet Summer Training Centre Blackdown in 2004.
Cadet Warrant Officer Imran Khan was appointed Flag Party Commander for the Final Parade of the Army Cadet Leadership & Challenge Course at National Army Cadet Summer Training Centre Rocky Mountain in 2007.
Cadet Irissa Murle placed Company Second Top Candidate on the Basic Army Cadet Course in 2007.
Cadet Timothy Vickers placed second on Battalion Sports Day and was also appointed Platoon Commander for Final Parade of the Army Cadet Leader Course at Army Cadet Summer Training Centre Vernon in 2007.
Cadet Warrant Officer Garry Balagantham was appointed Flag Party Commander for the Final Parade as a Staff Cadet on the Cadet Leader Instructor Drill & Ceremonial Course at Cadet Summer Training Centre Blackdown in 2009.
Cadet Master Corporal Michael Theodoeakis qualified Distinguished Marksman and placed 8th out of 56 candidates on the Basic Marksman Course at the National Cadet Summer Training Centre Connaught in 2010.
Cadet Master Corporal Rajeev Sowamber was awarded the Top Cadet of the Week Brassard during the Basic Leadership Army Drill and Ceremonial Course at Army Cadet Summer Training Centre Blackdown in 2011.
Cadet Master Warrant Officer Daniel Chow participated in the Maple Leaf Exchange headquartered out of National Army Cadet Summer Training Centre Connaught in 2012.
Cadet Sergeant Rajeev Sowamber was awarded the Colonel Commandant Coin during the Expedition Instructor Course at Army Cadet Summer Training Centre Blackdown in 2012.
Cadet Master Warrant Officer Rajeev Sowamber attended the Madawaska Wild Water Regional Army Cadet Expedition in 2014.
Cadet Master Corporal Justin Anger was awarded the Basic Fitness and Sports Course Silver Medallion at Cadet Summer Training Centre Blackdown in 2016.
Cadet Sergeant Dianne Periera was awarded the Basic Drill and Ceremonial Army Course Silver Medallion at Cadet Summer Training Centre Blackdown in 2016.
Cadet Master Warrant Officer Maya Royer attended the Madawaska Wild Water Regional Army Cadet Expedition in 2016.
Cadet Imran Sarder was awarded the Platoon’s Most Improved Shot on the Basic Marksmanship Course at National Army Cadet Summer Training Centre Connaught in 2018.
Cadet Rifleman Johnathan Smardenkas placed 10th overall in the Niagara Greater Toronto Area Zone 11 Air Rifle Marksmanship Junior Competition in 2018.
Many other 2881 RCACC cadets have been awarded the Lord Strathcona Trust Fund Medal, the Royal Canadian Legion Medal of Excellence and the Army Cadet League Army Cadet Service Medal (some including the 5th, 6th or 7th Year Bar and Maple Leaf).
Other notable dates in the history of the cadet corps include:
1973, 17-18 Mar – Aid to Civil Power Operation Sandbag. Thirty cadets from 2881 (Highland Creek) RCACC participated in efforts to stabilize the Lake Ontario shoreline in Pickering Township after severe storm damage.
1973, 29 Jun – Cadets from 2881 participated in the official opening of the Scarborough Civic Centre officiated by Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II.
1989, Aug – Largely through the efforts of the late Captain “Derm” Wilson, a former member of the Royal Green Jackets, a group of cadets visited England and were hosted by 2nd Battalion, The Queen’s Regiment (The Queen’s Own Buffs) which is allied with The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada. Cadets visited nearby British Army units and were able to practice navigation and field skills alongside members of the host regiment. Cadet Lieutenant Shaun Bridge, then senior cadet, was honoured by being asked to turn a page in The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada’s Book of Remembrance during a ceremony in the Warriors’ Chapel at Canterbury Cathedral.
1992, May – With support from Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 258, 2881 (The Scarborough Rifles) Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps again visited The Queen’s Regiment (The Queen’s Own Buffs) during its deployment to Minden, Germany. Hosted by Major Stephen Kilpatrick.
1992, 09 Sep – On the amalgamation of The Queen’s and The Royal Hampshire Regiments to form the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment Captains Kim O’Leary and Derm Wilson were honoured to be invited to attend this historical event in Canterbury, England. There they were presented to the new Regiment’s Colonel-in-Chief, Lady Diana the Princess of Wales.
1993, Jun/Jul – Fifteen cadets joined with cadets from 1888 (2 Field Engineer Regiment) RCACC for a trip to Washington, D.C. The cadets viewed the 3rd Infantry “Old Guard” at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and visited the Vietnam Memorial. On Canada Day, at the Canadian Embassy, the cadets were presented to General Jean de Chastelain, OC, CH, CMM, CD then Canada’s Ambassador to the U.S. and former Chief of the Canadian Defence Staff.
1993 – Exercise RED DAWN in Toronto’s Rouge Valley, cadets in four teams were fully operational for 40 hours. Training included a day and night reconnaissance competition to determine which team could observe other teams most frequently while itself avoiding observation. Organized by Civilian Instructor Volunteer Jim Lutz.
1994, Jun – Four cadets join The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada in Normandy, France to attend the “D-Day+50” remembrance services. The cadets were authorised to parade in uniform with the regiment during ceremonial parades.
2010, 24 Oct – Toronto Garrison Concert and Band Performance at Roy Thompson Hall.
2016, 04 Jun – 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Ridgeway Parade. All cadets and CIC officers on parade were issued a QOR Remembrance Coin presented by Lieutenant Colonel Sandi Banerjee, CD.
2016, 23-25 Sep – Four Cadet Master Corporals were attached to Queen’s Own Rifles’ infantry sections as they completed soldier skills training during Exercise Maroon Sword in CFB Borden.
2016, 11 Nov – The Cadet Regimental Sergeant Major was appointed Parade Commander during the Toronto Zoo’s Annual Remembrance Day Service. 2881 (Queen’s Own Rifles) RCACC now provides cadets to act as the Vigil Party and appointed Parade Commander annually.
2017, 24 Jan – Toronto Police Service, 43 Division Tour hosted by the Toronto Police Service Auxiliary
2017, 29 Jan – Cadet Appreciation Night – Markham Royals Hockey Game
2017, 31 Jan – First Aid Training conducted by Sergeant Allan Kiss, CD QOR Medical Detachment Commander.
2020, 12 Mar – In response to the outbreak of COVID-19 the National Cadet and Junior Cadet Ranger Support Group cancelled all cadet activities. This included local training, corps and squadron trips, cadet summer training and activities and in-person training for Cadet Instructors Cadre officers. Cadets were not penalized for missing the remainder of the 2019-2020 training year, and were credited as having the year’s training completed.
2020, 13 Oct – Online Virtual Training for the cadets begins.
From the first day of its founding the cadet corps has provided a strong foundation for three generations of young people. A number of former cadets have gone on to serve in the Canadian Forces, some with the Queen’s Own Rifles and others in the Regular Force. Many more cadets have gone on to successful careers in fields such as business, public service and education. They credit their time in the cadet corps for the leadership and organizational skills that assisted them in their success.