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SLt(NL) Michelle Turner

September 20th 2018

I am a sucker for big brown eyes apparently and that’s how my Navy League journey began.  I couldn’t say no to my son’s big brown eyes begging me to “do this” with him after he had completed his first year of Navy League.  Little did I know then, I would go from a single mom to the Executive Officer in less than 5 years all because I asked the Commanding officer at the time the following.

”Since I was driving across town anyway, was there anything at all I could help with?”

I was already busy with a full time job as a Family Peer Support Coordinator with the Department of National Defence, a volunteer with another youth organization, and a full time single mom of two busy kids.  My son told me the other day that he had learned that we spend 2 years of our lives in our car going places.  The amount of driving to activities with Navy League, my son’s football, Sea Cadets, my daughter’s cheerleading and Girl Guides, have likely totalled way more 2 years in our car!  In the odd moments that I find myself idle, I enjoy helping out at my best friend’s farm, crocheting, exploring the mountains and really any adventure that comes my way.

I became an officer in August 2014 after watching my son enjoy his first year.  I have always believed in volunteering with youth in our community but hadn’t actually heard about Navy League Cadets before my son joined.  I really enjoy mentoring the future generation and observing the Navy League Cadet values on leadership and citizenship.  The community really aligns with my own personal values and beliefs.  There are lots of great moments that we get to enjoy as officers.  The best thing for me is watching an insecure, nervous, maybe even shy Cadet who one day just suddenly clicks; becoming confident, social, and a leader in a corps.  I love it when parents come up after 3 or 4 years to say “thank you for making a huge difference in my child’s life, he has grown so much since he joined your corps.”

For me, Navy League Cadets allows me to continue to build upon my organizational and leadership skills. It allows me to continue to challenge myself, to stay flexible, to think outside the box and to bring forward dynamic learning opportunities to our Cadets.  My advice for anyone considering joining to be an officer is to remember that Cadets will learn more from the examples you set than the knowledge, abilities or the strengths you have already.  Be willing to learn with them.

SLt(NL) Michelle Turner

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