The Canadian Navy will add a few more good men and women to
its fleet this January when it sends another 79 recruits from
across the country to study at the Marine Institute.
The recruits were in St. John’s last month to attend orientation
sessions at the institute and to settle into their new accommodations
before they begin their studies in the winter semester. They’ll
join the approximately 115 navy cadets already on campus, not
including the officers or instructional personnel with the Canadian
Forces Naval Engineering School detachment.
The trend in increased navy enrolment is not new. In January
2003, the Department of National Defence (DND) sent 86 cadets
to the institute, responding to a demand for more highly training
technical personnel for the navy.
The relationship between DND and the Marine Institute has been
an enormous success for both organizations since its establishment
in 1992. With each passing year, more and more naval cadets
complete their technical training at the institute and continue
on to successful careers in the navy.
DND has depended on the Marine Institute to deliver high calibre
training to their cadets for almost a decade. The institute
offers two training programs to naval cadets — a Marine
Engineering Technical Training Plan (METTP) and a Naval Combat
Systems Technical Training Plan (NCSTTP) which has been accredited
by the Canadian Technology Accreditation Board. Both programs
take two years to complete and offer cadets a career which involves
taking care of some of the most advanced electronic equipment
in today’s navy. For example, a marine engineering technician
operates and maintains the marine systems onboard. The combat
systems technician is responsible for all shipboard armament
equipment as well as the care and custody of onboard ammunition,
explosives, shipboard communications and sensors.
DND is very successful in recruiting new naval cadets, especially
from this province. About 40 per cent of the new recruits are
Newfoundlanders and Labradorians with another 20 per cent each
from Ontario and Nova Scotia. DND offers one of the most attractive
education packages available. Free tuition, books and supplies
as well as salary while training, regular pay increases, 20
days of annual vacation and free medical/dental care. At the
end of two years of training, cadets start their career with
the navy and serve for at least three years.
The City of St. John’s also benefits. With attractive
salaries, tuition and accommodations, these new recruits will
bring almost $7 million directly and indirectly to businesses
in the region over the next two years
Lt.-Cmdr. Paul Alexander heads the detachment at the Marine
Institute. He pointed out that the Royal Canadian Navy has had
a presence at the Marine Institute for the past 10 years with
the number of trainees sent to the Marine Institute steadily
increasing over that period.
“The Navy is proud and pleased to send our trainees to
a world class facility such as the Marine Institute because
our trainees prove themselves strong and steadfast in their
coming careers,” he said.
Another 20 cadets will be starting their careers on Jan. 16
when the MI and DND hold a graduation ceremony at the Drill
Hall in Pleasantville. Rear Admiral Davidson, Commander Maritime
Atlantic, will oversee the ceremony.