The Army Cadet League of Canada (ACLC) and the Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Command are pleased to announce that Canada’s most outstanding Army Cadet and recipient of the 2018 General Walsh Commemorative Sword is former Cadet Chief Warrant Officer Markus Valtonen, from Sudbury, Ontario and member of the 2912 Sudbury Irish Royal Canadian Army Cadets Corps. An official award presentation ceremony will be organized by the Ontario Branch of the ACLC in the following weeks.
The General Walsh Memorial Sword is the highest national prize for any Army Cadet. The award was created in 2004 by the Army Cadet League of Canada in partnership with Royal Canadian Legion, and named in honour of Lieutenant General Geoffrey Walsh, CBE, DSO, CD, who dedicated much of his time to the Army Cadet Program. Recipients of the award are chosen not only based on their performance as Army cadets but also for their community involvement and their academic standings.
Based on the various recommendation letters received from community leaders, his Commanding Officer (CO), teachers and from his peers, Markus has always proven himself to be a strongly motivated student, outstanding member of his cadet corps and a respected and highly involved member of his community, making him the best candidate for this year’s award.
His teacher, at École secondaire du Sacré-Coeur in Sudbury, describes Markus as a very high achiever and a very involved individual. He has invested over a 1000 hours in community service, he plays a variety of sports and until the end of his last year of high school held the position of the school’s Prime Minister. “I’m proud to say, that Markus Valtonen, is one of those generational students, that you never forget. He is to be commended for his efforts, leadership, positivism, engagement, loyalty, excellence, integrity and courage on many levels. As an aside, this has been confirmed by his acceptance as an Officer Cadet and student at Royal Military College (RMC) as of September 2018. He will be an outstanding Combat Arms Officer in due time”, says Major (Ret’d) and Principal, Paul E. Henry, SBStJ, CD, OTC, M.Ed., DFNWC, MRHSC/S, Esq. It is due to his early acceptance at RMC that cadet Valtonen will have to retire from the cadet program earlier than expected.
According to Captain Dianne Allain, CO of the Basic Parachutist Course, Markus showed tremendous leadership and professionalism. “During his employment, under my supervision, he was integral part of the Command Team and could be trusted in all circumstances. He was a strong leader for his ambitious peers by mentoring cadets to find their personal limits and push past them. He motivated his peers to strive for success and understand the stamina and determination that would be required to be successful on the Basic Parachutist Course. I was impressed by Markus’s ability to speak about his experience and engage his peers in the process, with the ultimate goal of having them be more successful in their own personal journey’s. Cl CWO Valtonen was instrumental to the success of the course and was an effective leader, coach and mentor for his peers.”
As the recipient of the Walsh Memorial Sword, Valtonen will travel to Ottawa, as the guest of the Royal Canadian Legion and to represent Army Cadets from across the country to attend the November 11th Remembrance Day ceremony at the National War Memorial, as part of the Vice-Regal party. Following the ceremony, he will also have the opportunity to meet both the Governor General and the Chief of the Defence Staff at the Luncheon for the Silver Cross Mother hosted by the Governor General at Rideau Hall.
“We salute Markus for his exemplary record and look forward to welcoming him as part of our national commemoration this November,” says David Flannigan, Royal Canadian Legion Dominion President. “He serves as an amazing role model for cadets and youth across our country.”
Congratulation to former Cadet Valtonen, his Commanding Officer at the 2912 Irish Sudbury Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps and the Army Cadet League of Canada, Ontario Office. We wish him well for his future plans at RMC.