This Corps was formed 1 Feb 68. It was sponsored by Allan A. Martin Comm. School and affiliated with Canadian Provost Corps. A message, Cdts 508, dated 12 Sep 69, advised sponsor changed to Cadet Organization Police School (Inc.). Another message Cdts 103 dated 28 Jul 72 advised new affiliation to be CFSIS – CFB Borden. D Cdts Admin 1613 of 19 Sep 88 authorized 23 Military Police Platoon, CFRB Hamilton as an Associate Affiliated Unit. Affiliated unit changed to 23 Hamilton Service Battalion in 95/96 with no authorization.
In the later part of the 1960’s it was evident to the senior ranking officers and in particular to Staff Sgt. John Kelly of the Mississauga Police Force of Peel County, Ontario that the youth of the Lakeshore area needed some type of organization which would help direct them on the path towards adulthood.
In 1967 S/Sgt Kelly contacted the Department of National Defence and the Army Cadet League of Canada with the suggestion to establish an Army Cadet Corps in Mississauga. The Mississauga Police officials agreed that S/Sgt Kelly’s assigned duties would be the new youth organization situated in Port Credit.
Prior to the unification of the three branches of the Armed Forces in February 1968 the Canadian Provost Corps School in Camp Borden was undergoing a developmental change to the Canadian forces School of Intelligence and Security (CFSIS). Was this to be the complete demise of the Canadian Provost Corps? No it was not, not yet.
In January 1968 under the name “The Cadet Organization Police School, Cadet Corps”, an application was made to form a Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps in Mississauga. Both the police force and the Canadian Provost Corps School, Camp Borden gave strong support to the formation of the cadet corps. The Commandant, L.Col. Luker and CWO A.S. May, BEM, CD, were very pleased and exhilarated to see the Provost Corp’s hat badge as the authorized badging of the Mississauga COPS.
The application was forwarded by Bgen. G.R.A.Coffin, Commander of the Ontario Region to the Director of Cadets, Chief of Defence staff with the recommendation that the Mississauga COPS Corps be affiliated with the Toronto Service Battalion which included a Provost Company. The application was recommended by the director of Cadets, Col. A.F. Banville and Director General Reserves, Commodore P.F.X. Russel and approved by Major General M.R. Dare, the Deputy Chief, Reserve.
The approval authority to form 2824 RC (ARMY) CC Cadet Organization Police School in Port Credit, Mississauga was granted on February 3, 1968 with affiliation with the Toronto Service Battalion confirmed on February 7, 1968. Army cadets at that time were male only, although the COPS program accepted female cadets not associated with the military. In time females were accepted into the regular cadets.
So we can put things in the right perspective, let’s take a look at the service Battalion before and after unification. There were two Canadian Provost Units in the Toronto area. The No. 2 Company, C Pro C Militia and No 7 Company, C Pro C Militia. With unification the 1st and 2nd Toronto Service Battalions amalgamated to form the 25th(Toronto) Service Battalion. The two C Pro C companies combined with No. 2 Intelligence Training Company to make up the 25 Service Battalion Security Police Platoon. In the mid 1970’s the 25 Service Battalion Security Platoon was redesigned 25 Military Police Platoon. Jumping ahead again to 1983, the Intelligence Branch was formed. Thus the “I” Branch formed the Central Militia Area Headquarters Intelligence Section, leaving the MP Platoon to strictly military police duties.
It was into this background that 2824 RC (ARMY) CC, Mississauga COPS was born. Just like their adult counterparts, as the C Pro C was born out of the RCMP. What a fantastic heritage.
Still to this day, approaching the year 2000, a Peel Regional Police Officer is seconded to the Cadets on a permanent basis. However, in September 1969 sponsorship of the COPS changed from Mississauga Police to Cadet Organization Police School Incorporated under the direction of a Board of Directors
In 1972 the cadet corps changed affiliation from the Toronto Service Battalion to CFSIS, Canadian Forces School of Intelligence and Security. The Commandant of the school was LCol. J. Dowsett, CD and the CWO would have been either CWO A.S. May BEM CD or CWO C. Douglas CD. The effective date was July 31, 1972, authority D Cadets message 103.
The Cadets continued to wear the Canadian Provost Corps badge and insignia until 1980. On April 14, 1980 an agreement was reached between the Security Branch (CFSIS), Director of Cadets and the Army Cadet League of Canada to allow 2824 RC (ARMY) CC to wear the cap badge and other regimental accouterments of the Security Branch. Mississauga COPS is the only Cadet Corps to wear the insignia of the Canadian Provost Corps, the Security Branch and now the Military Police.
Over a period of thirty-two years the Corps has had its ups and downs like any organization. Initially the Cadets met at a public school in Port Credit and later moved to what is popularly known by the cadets as ‘Lakeview Drill Hall’ on Lakeshore Road, Mississauga. An historic feature of this building is that it once housed the Lakeview Armory where the Lee Enfield 303 rifles were manufactured during the second world war. The 303’s used by the Cadets were stamped “Lakeview”. Public Works Canada owned the property originally, then Canada Post took it over and used part of the building as a sorting station. When I was Commanding Officer I used the Post Office’s large parking lot as a parade ground for our annual inspections.
Initially the Cadet Corps had another company in Malton and later on also in Meadowvale and Erin Mills. The community and social clubs helped the Corps support a pipe band and a brass band. While I commanded we had five companies including the band spread throughout Mississauga. This was run by a staff of about thirty, thirteen military officers plus civilian instructors. It was my philosophy that all cadets require supervision regardless of age. However, cadets must be trained to run the corps whose strength ranged up to 200 to 250 or more cadets. Our yearly annual inspection would produce about 150 cadets on parade.
The Corps was a good training ground for cadets, teaching leadership and citizenship.. Company Commanders were responsible for promotions up to Sergeant. I selected or approved all senior promotions which included Sergeants and Warrant Officer ranks The highest ranking Cadet was the R.S.M. He or she answered directly to me. Cadet MWO were responsible to the Company Commanders who were either Captains or Lieutenants. It was my policy to promote the RSM at the annual inspection. As a Cadet proceeded through the ranks certain privileges were gained, such as Warrant ranks wearing red ascots and the RSM wearing high cut boots (combat boots). This type of action gave the rank a certain amount of prestige and pride within the person. My tour of duty as Commanding Officer with the Cadet Corps lasted from 1984 until I retired from the Peel Regional Police on February 29, 1992. In 1998 I was released from the military when age caught up with me. Under my command bearing in mind that the Cadets ran the Corps, we won three Strathcona awards and two Proficiency trophies, 1989, 90 & 91.
Under the command of Captain C. Bamlett the 23 Military Police Platoon, Hamilton participated in numerous exercises involving the older cadets of 2824. Since we did so much work with this platoon it was decided between myself Major John Lewis and Captain Chuck Bamlett that 23 MP Plt. should become an associate affiliate unit of the cadet corps. Lieutenant Colonel A.R. Wells, Commandant CFSIS and the Army Cadet League of Canada, Bgen. Forbes B. West, and CFB Downsview were approached for authorization. As a result, this request was granted in September 1988. This was the first time an Army Cadet Corps had an associate affiliate unit.
In September 1988 the Security Branch Military Police had started to wear the red beret. The Cadets were still wearing the green beret. LCol. A.R. Wells quickly remedied this situation by phoning the supply officer at CFB Downsview and ordering the red berets for the cadets. At the same time cloth thunderbird badges replaced the metal ones.
The liaison between the Cadets, CFSIS, the Commandant LCol Wells, Major Haney and CWO G.W. Elliott, MMM, CD was exemplified when the forces of the Ontario Police College, Peel Regional Police combined to prepare and present to about twenty-five cadets, officers and Civilian instructors a week long effective presentation course. This was the same criteria given to civilian police instructors. The results of this course are still being reaped today both within the cadet corps and the private sector. Upon completing the course the Corps was presented with a pace stick by Major Haney, Officer Commanding, the Military Police School and CWO George Elliott. The pace stick is now presented yearly to the incoming Cadet CWO with emphasis on the motto “PRIDE, HONOUR, DUTY”. It is hoped that the old motto still hangs in the cadet drill hall, “DISCIPLINE BY EXAMPLE” in remembrance of the “Canadian Provost Corps”.
Major John T. Lewis, CD