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Top candidate says time was right for him to pursue military training


He chose to wait before pursuing military training, but it looks like a good decision so far for Pte. Paul Carberry.

GARY KEAN/THE WESTERN STAR

The three award-winning graduates from the basic military qualifications course offered this spring by the Second Battalion of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment were, from left, Pte. Morgan Pickett, top shooter; Pte. Travis Campbell, most improved candidate; and Pte. Paul Carberry, top candidate.

At 31, he was the oldest among the 14 people who graduated from the basic military qualifications course with the Second Battalion of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment in Corner Brook Saturday.

Carberry, who works as a pharmacy technician at Wal-Mart, was named the top candidate in the 12-week basic training program for future non-commissioned members of the Canadian Armed Forces.

“I was surprised,” Carberry said after winning the nod as top candidate. “There were a lot of great people who helped me along the way and it was lots of fun.”

One person who helped him was his uncle, Eric Carberry, who recently retired from a more than 35-year career in the navy.

“This is something I’ve always wanted to do and he was my inspiration,” said the younger Carberry. “I’ve always looked up to him.”

Carberry was never involved with any cadet movement when he was younger. He was sworn in to do the basic training last November and dove headlong into the course in March after learning all he could about it in the interim.

“Everything was right for me to do this now,” he said, adding he and his wife Leah are expecting their first child in late May. “I had an opportunity I always wanted to take, so I took it.”

Carberry’s plan is to forge a military career now. He hopes to soon become a logistics officer in Corner Brook and, in the longer term, hopes to one day achieve the rank of major.

“That’s the goal I have set for myself,” he said.

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