“The medal means a lot to me,” said Hunter. “It is a recognition of my dedication to the development of young people and to educating Canada’s future leaders.”
A cadet instructor since 2006, Hunter spends one evening a week and many weekends working with teens aged 12 to 18 to deliver the cadet training program. He teaches fundamentals of leadership, citizenship and physical fitness to those who wish to develop character and learn more about the CAF.
His involvement with cadets began in childhood when the HMCS Terra Nova was on a Great Lakes deployment in his hometown of Sarnia. After taking a tour, he became instantly interested in the Navy and was encouraged by a sailor to join the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets Corps (RCSCC).
At 12, Hunter joined the RCSCC where he completed courses in training, sailing, leadership and gunnery. He finished cadets as a Chief Petty Officer, First Class and Coxswain at 19.
When he couldn’t join the Navy due to poor eyesight, he earned his engineering degree at Western University, underwent laser vision correction and started his career with OPG at Pickering Nuclear.
Now a licensed professional engineer, Hunter’s role as Senior Technical Engineer and System Responsible Engineer for Standby Power Systems allows him to work with jet engine and generator plants at the station.
“I decided to join the CAF in the Cadet Instructor Cadre Branch because it allowed me to maintain my employment with OPG, serve the CAF, and hopefully inspire some youth to consider working with the Navy,” he said.
Motivated by 12 rewarding years of service, Hunter encourages others to get involved with cadets.
“There are reserves and cadet groups all across the country, including in Durham Region and Toronto,” he said. “Anyone who’s interested should join me, reach out and get involved.”
Employee spotlight: John Hunter
Position: Senior Technical Engineer
Location: Pickering Nuclear GS
Years of service: 13
Favourite place to visit in Ontario: Family cottage in the Thousand Islands
Favourite book: Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
Favourite hobbies: Boating, video games, military history and axe throwing
Bucket list goal: Travel to England for a few weeks to watch a play at the Globe Theatre and see the Trafalgar Day parade