A St. John’s teenager has been named Canada’s top sea cadet.
Chief petty officer 1st class Melissa Dinn, 18, received that honour Saturday afternoon at the HMCS Cabot Naval Complex on Southside Road in St. John’s. She is also the Division Sea Cadet of the Year for Newfoundland and Labrador.
“I’ve got to say, I was a little bit shocked,” said Dinn, whose involvement with sea cadets spans six years. Prior to that, she spent three years in Navy League Cadets.
“I’m definitely very proud and very honoured to be named the top in the province and the top in the country. It’s definitely something that I’ve worked for.”
The Navy League of Canada’s board of directors selected Dinn from among 12 sea cadets declared the best in their respective divisions.
As Canada’s top sea cadet, Dinn will be a keynote speaker next April at the annual general meeting of the Navy League of Canada.
For her, one of the great things about being a sea cadet is travelling to other parts of Canada. Dinn has travelled to British Columbia multiple times and taken an introductory marine engineering course as part of a seven-week cadet camp held at HMCS Acadia in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia.
Dinn is also a fan of activities associated with the sea cadet program such as marksmanship, sailing and public speaking.
“There’s just so many opportunities that I’m very grateful for, and I wish people would take advantage of them more,” said Dinn, later adding she’s particularly fond of getting to experience the sea aboard ships.
Dinn is the senior environmental cadet for Newfoundland and Labrador and will also serve as the chief cadet this summer at HMCS Acadia.
She graduated last year from Bishops College and one day hopes to become an accountant. While that career path may not overlap much with her experiences as a sea cadet, Dinn intends to extend her involvement by becoming a Cadet Instructors Cadre.