CAPTAIN CALLING: Captain Peter Schneidewin will be leaving the Wondai cadets, leaving them without a leader.
CAPTAIN CALLING: Captain Peter Schneidewin will be leaving the Wondai cadets, leaving them without a leader. Keagan Elder

Cadets calling for new leader

FUTURE military enlistments from the South Burnett could be put under fire as cadets face a tough decision.

The announcement of Captain Peter Schneidewin leaving Wondai's 135 Unit earlier in the year has pressurised the predicament after no one put their hand up to fill his place.

"It's a big commitment," Capt Schneidewin said.

As a TAFE IT teacher, working in Toowoomba, the five-hour round trip to Wondai has proven too much.

Having served the cadets for more than a decade, he said it would be tough moving on.

"Originally I went to rejoin the army, but that didn't work out so I joined the cadets," Capt Schneidewin said.

A public meeting was held four months ago, appealing for new cadet leaders, but it seems the huge time commitments are too much to handle for anyone else.

As the only current option, staff members from the 117 Unit in Nanango are the only ones qualified for the position.

Nanango unit Captain Liane Kerr hastily put up her hand, before realising the two-hour trip to Wondai was unrealistic.

"It was a flippant remark, I said I could run Wondai without thinking," Capt Kerr said.

"It's around one and a half hours travelling.

"Because of the distance, we can't get anyone to keep it open."

She is willing to make a compromise in location, aiming for Kingaroy - a mutual location where both cadet units can meet with similar travel times.

For Year 11 Corporal Kallan Cross, the possible closure of his unit would be detrimental to future enlistments.

"Straight after school I want to go into the army, this is my first step," Cpl Cross said.

"It's all about helping people that can't help themselves."

Having spent three years at the unit, Cpl Cross said he had gained invaluable experience of life in the army.

However, if no one can be found to take Capt Schneidewin's position, he fears for the future generations.

"Hopefully we can find someone who's got the same mindset as Capt Schneidewin," Cpl Cross said.

"It will limit how many cadets we can recruit."

In one last bid to enlist a leader for Wondai, a public meeting will be held tonight at 6pm in the Kingaroy RSL.

Cadet leader commitments

13 weekend training days

Six weekend events

One week trip in September

Two nine-day training courses