New Commanding Officer for TS ‘Waireka’ welcomed

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In command . . . Training Ship Waireka Commanding Officer Sub-lieutenant James Edie (right) with his father, North Auckland area support officer Lieutenant Commander Grant Edie (centre), and outgoing TS Waireka Commander Sub-lieutenant Jonathan Bones (left). PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Some like the salutes that go with being a Commanding Officer.

But Sub-lieutenant James Edie said he was not in the New Zealand Cadet Forces for the attention, after being appointed Commanding Officer of the training ship Waireka at an official ceremony at HMNZS Toroa in Dunedin on Monday.

Sub-lt Edie said he had been in the NZCF for 11 and a half years and had seen the unit go through a lot of changes.

He was delighted with the new role, and was now looking forward to continuing the work of his predecessors and helping the unit grow.

He said the TS Waireka was a youth organisation with a military background, which aimed to “prepare New Zealand’s successful leaders of tomorrow”.

“It’s for people aged 13-18 years-old. They learn discipline, leadership skills, firearms training and first aid training.”

Over the past decade, about five or six cadets had gone on to join the New Zealand Defence Force, he said.

“We’ve got someone who is going to join the Royal New Zealand Navy in February and another one of our guys is going to join the Army.”

He said he was proud to have played a part in helping them climb the ranks.

“Part of you doesn’t want to see the cadets leave because they’re good mentors and they’ve got good skills.

“But it’s also good to see the knowledge you’ve given them help them go into the Defence Force.

“You can see they’re going to go far, and it feels good to know I played a part in that.

“It would be good to see their names up in the top echelons of the Defence Force.”