Members of the 744 (Cowichan) Royal Acadian Air Cadet Squadron line up for their 56th annual review on June 1, 2019. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen) Reviewing officer Insp. Tim Walton on reviewing stand for ‘O Canada’ before reviewing the cadets. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen) Air cadets from 744 (Cowichan) march past the reviewing stand during their 56th annual ceremonies. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen) George Brewster, retired Second World War Spitfire pilot, presents the Citizenship Award toFCpl Jackson Manuel-Mills during the air cadets annual review. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen) Insp. Tim Walton presents the prestigious Lord Strathcona medal to Emma Youden. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen) Reviewing officer, Insp. Tim Walton, leads the reviewing party through the cadets, drawn up in ranks for that part of the ceremony. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen) Insp. Tim Walton takes time to speak to a cadet during his review of the 744 (Cowichan) squadron on Saturday, June 1. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen) Insp. Tim Walton takes time to speak to a cadet during his review of the 744 (Cowichan) squadron on Saturday, June 1. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen) WO2 Jewel Jamieson wins the Royal Canadian Legion Medal of Excellence for her work in the 744 air cadets. (Lexi Bainas/Ciizen) The Top NCO Award is handed out by RCMP Const. Darren Maizis to FCpl Grayson Stewart at 744 Air Cadets review on June 1. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen) When they say, ‘Quick march!’ at the 744 Air Cadets review, they mean it. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen) Bud Ziegler of Lake Cowichan’s Br. 210 presents the Royal Canadian Legion Medal of Excellence to Jewel Jamieson. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen) The ceremony’s reviewer, RCMP Insp. Tim Walton, takes the salute on Saturday at the 744 Squadron’s training facilities at Henderson Hall on Gibbins Road in Duncan. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen) RCMP Insp. Tim Walton inspects the drawn up membership of the 744 Air Cadet Squadron on June 1. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen) Second World War Spitfire pilot, George Brewster, presents the Citizenship Award to FCpl Jackson Manuel-Mills. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Members of the air cadet squadron, 744 Cowichan, celebrated their 56th Annual Inspection parade last weekend. The reviewing officer for the ceremony was Insp. Tim Walton, Officer In Charge of the RCMP Island District Traffic Section.
Warrant Officer First Class Martin Werner commanded the parade square of 35 Cadets at the group’s Gibbins Road site in Duncan. Honoured guests included George Brewster, a retired Second World War Spitfire pilot, Bud Ziegler of Lake Cowichan Legion Br. 210, Neil Peters and Kenneth DeEll, former commanding officers at 744 Squadron and Douglas Slowski, the national commander of the Air Cadet League of Canada.
The cadets on parade demonstrated how much they have learned over the past training year, with flight simulator, survival, and air rifle demonstrations for friends, family and other supporters.
“It’s such a great program,” said Sec. Lt. Josh Burneau, an instructor with the squadron. “There are no other programs like this offered for teens, and the skills and friendships they make during their time in cadets last a lifetime.”
In addition to training during the school year and attending functions such as Remembrance Day, and honouring veterans by placing white crosses at local cemeteries, cadets have the opportunity to enhance their skills at summer camps offered around the country. The camps offer training in survival, leadership, drill, fitness, and aviation.
“I know many cadets that have earned their pilots licences for free, and when I was a cadet, I went to Australia for free. These are opportunities you can’t get elsewhere” Burneau said.
744 Cowichan meets every Wednesday night from 6:30-9:30 p.m. during the school year. Those youth aged 12-18 interested in joining can find more information at https://744aircadets.com or attend the open house at 3790 Gibbons Rd. on Sept. 11 at 6:30 p.m. Put that date in your calendar so you don’t forget.