Cadet takes on role of Coxswain at HMCS Quadra

CPO1 Mikaela MacMullin, HMCS Quadra

CPO1 Mikaela MacMullin, HMCS Quadra. Photo by Rachel Lallouz, Lookout

Rachel Lallouz, Staff Writer ~

Eighteen-year-old Chief Petty Officer First Class Mikaela MacMullin will have more responsibility than most teenagers this summer as the newly-appointed Coxswain of HMCS Quadra, Cadet Training Centre, based in Comox.

From June 29 until August 22, CPO1 MacMullin will oversee eight chiefs assisting her to manage 158 staff cadets and 855 course cadets being trained at HMCS Quadra in courses spanning rifle drill, marching and sailing.

“Finding out I’d be Coxswain was a great blessing and amazing opportunity for me,” says CPO1 MacMullin, who was notified just prior to the beginning of summer. “I really enjoy watching the younger cadets grow and I love seeing them learn new skills, and then teach other cadets the new skills they’ve just learned.”

Six years ago, CPO1 MacMullin joined Cadets in Edmonton, Alberta, when she was in Grade 7. She explains that she enjoyed learning how to march on her first night, and kept going back.

“Since then, I’ve been attending HMCS Quadra every summer, where I trained as a Drill and Ceremonial Instructor and then eventually worked my way up to Senior Petty Officer for a drill course,” she says. “Last year I was Chief of Land Operations.”

She says it was her early years in the Cadet Training Program where she learned the leadership skills so crucial to her current role: leading divisions and parades, learning how to teach activities and grow the skills of others and learning how to be the best possible team mate.

“Apart from the skills I developed, I’m really patient, outgoing and I tell the truth – plus I try to be funny,” she laughs. “I try to promote the fun aspect of what we are doing while maintaining the professionalism of a training centre.”

For the duration of her time as Coxswain, CPO1 MacMullin will oversee three separate intakes of hundreds of cadets. On a typical day, she conducts the daily morning parade, ensures that course cadets are being provided the right material and delegates information and duties given to her by her higher-ranking officers.

“When I first joined, I really looked up to my officers and senior cadets who taught me, and the first summer I stepped on board HMCS Quadra, I strived to be one of them,” she says. “Every year I tried my hardest to advance in the ranks, and that’s why I’m so grateful and happy to be Coxswain this summer.”

As for CPO1 MacMullin’s future, she says that come September, she will be attending Trinity Western University in preparation to join their nursing program.

“Once I become a nurse, I plan to join the Royal Canadian Navy as a nursing officer,” she says.

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