Camden Army Cadets prepare to honour Australia Day celebrations

The newest crop of Camden’s Australian Army Cadets (AAC) will proudly don their camouflage green uniforms and continue the tradition of leading the official Australia Day parade down Argyle Street.

Camden Army Cadets Captain Mary-Anne Mariotto AAC said her unit, 23 ACU, had been involved in Camden’s Australia Day ceremonies since 1988.

“We have led the march parade and provided flag bearers for years, we share the duties with other groups,” she said.

“It’s special to be involved because the cadets wear their uniform with a lot of respect for this country and the people who have served or are currently serving.”

Captain Mariotto said the cadets program involved was based on the Australian Army.

“We have Australian Army protocols and procedures that have been adapted for teenagers,” she said.

“It’s about preserving the Australia way of life and ethos in a military style environment.”

The AAC was formed in Camden in 1982.

Captain Mariotto said her unit currently had more than 50 cadets enrolled but she was on the lookout for more newcomers.

She said the cadets program was open for boys and girls aged 13 to 17 years.

“The Australian Army Cadets are a fantastic organisation,” Captain Mariotto said.

“I am proud of this unit and we are well involved in the community.

“We provide support for the Camden RSL on Anzac Day for both dawn and main services, and the Remembrance Day service.”

The Camden cadets parade weekly at the unit’s base Camden Airport Aerodrome Road.

Captain Mariotto said the program provided a great opportunity for teenagers to learn crucial life skills.

“It’s a similar structured environment to the Australian army. The cadets can promoted up the ranks if they show team work, leadership, respect and integrity,” she said.

Captain Mariotto has been part of the Camden unit for the past 12 years.

The Macarthur resident said she became involved to support her daughter Lydia, a past cadet.

“Lydia saw a brochure for the cadets at the Camden Show and thought it was something interesting,” she said.

“Lydia was not sporty but wanted a challenge and to learn some life skills.

"It [cadets program] develops great values for the youth of today."

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