Meet Sergeant Major Christiansen, 17, and top ranked in NSW
By JULIA ILES
THE Clarence Valley might be home to Jacaranda trees and an endangered emu species but it also boasts the highest ranking army cadet in NSW.
Seventeen-year-old Justin Christiansen was surprised to be awarded the Regimental Sergeant Major Pacestick (similar to a baton), which brings his rank to that of a sergeant major.
This is the highest rank of cadet and there is only one in each state.
He received the award at a ceremony on January 14 in Sydney at the Holsworthy Army base.
Justin's five-year association with the Clarence Valley-based 24th Army Cadet division has taught him many things that he hopes will help him in a military career.
"I just applied last week for the army and I hope to start out as a soldier in the artillery and work my way up to the same rank in the regular army," he said.
"I have learnt so much in the cadets, especially when it comes to leadership and navigation skills, before I stated the program I didn't have plans to go into the army. It has really set me up."