While attending the Royal Canadian Legion Alberta Northwest Territories Command convention in Calgary, Alberta, in June, members of the Montana American Legion delegation were invited to attend the annual parade of the 1292 Lord Strathcona Horse Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps.
This corps was originally formed on March 22, 1926 as the 1292 Alberta Military Institute Cadet Corps. The corps was affiliated with the 2nd Armored Regiment Lord Strathcona's Horse (RC), Royal Canadian Army Corps.
Over the years following, the Cadet Corps had its designation changed several times, and occasionally disbanded and restarted.
In September 1970 the sponsorship and affiliation changed, and the corps was designated the Lord Strathcona (Royal Canadians) Horse Cadet Corps.
Department of Montana Legionnaire and former corps commander Jim Grosset was born in Duncan, British Columbia.
Jim's family moved to Redwood City, Calif., where he attended high school and college. Jim said as a youth he always enjoyed parades, and in his first parade went dressed as a clown. Jim always enjoying the military, he said he joined the U.S. Navy Cadets. He did a sea cruise on a destroyer escort (USS Walton) as a cadet and basic training at Treasure Island in San Francisco.
He decided college was not the life for him and quit. Since he no longer had deferment because he was attending college, he was to be drafted into the U.S. Army. Instead Jim enlisted into the Army for NBCW (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, Warfare) school in June 1969. He attended his NBCW training at Fort McClellan, Ala., and in December 1969 was assigned to the 19th Maintenance Battalion 5th Support Command in January 1970 as a supply clerk specialist in Germany.
His next assignment was to Vietnam Training Corps, Fort Lewis, Wash., in January 1971 and was assigned to HHC 93rd Eng. Bn (Const) 20th Eng. Bgde USARV as a record clerk spec. He then transferred to HHC 34th Eng Bn.
"As I was being processed out of Vietnam in Saigon, I had the opportunity to watch the Bob Hope USO show and have Christmas dinner with him. When I left the Army the political situation was very much against the Army and its veterans. As many veterans were getting out, jobs were hard to get, so I moved back to Canada."
The Cadet Corps needed a range safety officer. Jim joined the corps and became the range safety officer, went through all the positions and eventually became the commander."We had a very successful corps and I enjoyed it very much," said Jim. Jim's military assignment to the corps was as a supplementary reserve officer.
"But in 1976 I got a call from a friend who said they were starting up an American Legion post in Calgary as part of the Department of Canada. I joined and eventually became the adjutant of the post, but had to move to northern Alberta."
"When I moved back to Calgary I renewed my membership in the Legion post which was then part of the Department of Montana," he said. "I started going to the department meetings and conventions and became involved at the department level." Jim said he was the first zone commander to have a 100 percent membership zone. Jim is now the American Legion of Montana department Parliament.
For his service in the Army Jim was awarded the Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal and Canadian Forces Decorations.
For the past several years, Jim - as past commander of the Lord Strathcona's Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps has presented the best dressed and deportment cadet award at the annual parade. This year Jim presented the award to MCP Noel Spencer.