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​Commanding Officer: Captain Joseph Mesh

Training Officer: Captain Elizabeth Connors

Administration / Supply Officer: Lieutenant Jessica White

Volunteer Instructors:

Second Lieutenant Alex Larade




You can join as soon as you are 12 years old and can stay until you reach your 19th birthday.

Start by emailing us at


If you decide to join cadets we require some information including a completed cadet application form and the following documents:

  • Copy of your Provincial Health Card

  • Proof of age (birth certificate)

  • Proof of permanent residence or visas that allow you to reside in Canada for an extended period of time (non-citizens only)



117 Preston / Westphal Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps is affiliated with and often observes the training of the Princess Louise Fusiliers. Our corps was formed by Captain Mark Johnson on January 15 1996 to provide positive opportunities for youth in the Preston, Westphal, and Lake Echo communities.  Captain Johnson was an Army Cadet from 1958 to 1961 until he joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1962.  Captain Johnson served his country in uniform for over 40 years.

117 Preston / Westphal RCACC is currently commanded by Captain Joseph Mesh. who assumed command from Captain Nicholas Hargreaves. Captain Hargreaves assumed command from our first female and first Mi'kmaq Commanding Officer, Danielle Hargreaves in 2019. Captain Danielle Hargreaves assumed command after the retirement of Captain Paul Todd in 2016. Learn more about the Commanding officer and his team in our "Staff Bios" section.

Our Unit’s Military Affiliation


Each army cadet corps has an affiliated unit. The affiliated unit has specific responsibilities to a cadet corps. 117 Preston/Westphal Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps is affiliated with the Princess Louise Fusiliers, an Army Reserve Unit based out of the Halifax Armouries. 

Because of this affiliation, cadets of our Corps are allowed to wear shoulder flashes, and cap brass as well as buttons, and (if earned) the hackle belonging to our affiliated unit.

Our Unit’s Official Sponsoring Body


When the cadet corps was first formed, two organizations decided to sponsor us: the IODE Annie Johnson Chapter and The Royal Canadian Legion Centennial Branch 160. In the role of sponsor, the Royal Canadian Legion made available training facilities at the Legion.  Over the past years, they have been essential in providing annual financial assistance, an area for weekend optional training, and property for our Cadet corps storage building. We truly could not do what we do without them.

Our Legacy


Over the 25 years of our existence, 117 RCACC has had its successes and struggles, but the interest and dedication of the cadets have never been in question.  Since our founding, thousands of youth of the Preston, Westphal, Cole Harbour, and Lake Echo areas have received training in a program that develops strong and responsible young citizens.  This unit’s cadets are known as some of the best cadets in the province, being competitive in provincial activities such as marksmanship, biathlon, and orienteering along with continued success in Inter-corps competition, consistently having top cadets in the Senior Cadet training programs and time and time again having cadets excel in our National Summer Training programs. 


Q: What is Army Cadets?

A: Army Cadets is a youth program funded federally by the Department of National Defence. We are an organization that offers positive opportunities and adventurous activities for Canada's Youth that won't find anywhere else.


Q: What do Army Cadets do?

A: Army Cadets participate in a variety of opportunities both at home and summer camp that focus on leadership, physical fitness, and Marksmanship. They are offered opportunities to participate in adventurous activities including canoeing, kayaking, abseiling, climbing, hiking, caving, and much much more.


Q: How much does the program cost?

A:  Cadets is an absolutely free program. It costs nothing to join, all cadets are provided uniforms for free, and all training is provided free of charge. In fact, you get paid to attend summer training activities!


Q: How often do cadets meet?

A: Cadets meet once a week on Wednesday evenings from September until June. We also have an optional range practice on Thursday nights for those who wish to be a member of the marksmanship team, or if they just want to learn the skills.


Q: Will my child have to join the military after being a cadet?

A: While there is a focus on military skills such as drill, marksmanship, and outdoor survival, cadets are NOT a part of the Canadian Armed Forces nor are they required to join the military when they are older. As it is funded by the CAF and led by Reserve Force members, the cadet program simply provides adventurous activities and knowledge of the Canadian Armed Forces.

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