By Anthony Langlois - Air Cadet League of Canada
For more than 75 years, the youth of the nation has been inspired by Canada’s great leaders in the realm of aviation and aerospace. Many grew up learning about the courage of Air Marshal William Avery Bishop, commonly known as Billy Bishop, who was a flying ace during the Great War with his 72 victories and earned the Victoria Cross. More recently, Chris Hadfield, former commander of the International Space Station, taught an entire generation of young Canadians to aim for the stars. What few people know is how connected to the Air Cadet Program those two men are. Bishop was one of the three men who applied for the Charter establishing the Air Cadet League of Canada back in 1941 while Chris Hadfield is a former Air Cadet from 820 Squadron in Milton, Ontario, who credited his cadet training for allowing him to reach great heights in his professional and personal life.
It is with that in mind and looking towards to the future that the Air Cadet League is now seeking leaders in the community to play a role in the organisation through the brand-new Presidents Club. Launched in March 2018, the Presidents Club brings together individuals that not only support the Air Cadet Program but also want to be proactive in tackling the issues of tomorrow by helping pass the leadership mantle to the next
Donald Berrill, National President of the Air Cadet League, said that “The strong tradition in the Air Cadet movement of giving back to our youth has never been more important. Facing new challenges, responding to significant changes to our movement, we have established the Presidents Club as a main vehicle to help chart new courses, sustain ourselves and prosper in the future. Nothing is more powerful – or important – than harnessing the vision of our leaders to tackle new missions. As a member of the Presidents Club, you will be one of a premier group of Canadians supporting new directions for our Air Cadets and our organization.”
Over the next few years, the Air Cadet League will be focusing on the critical mission of sustaining and growing the program. Presidents Club members will stand at the forefront of this positive change and growth, commemorated forever as key contributors to the League’s future and constant success. This success requires the leaders and the pioneers of today to continue the strong tradition of giving back to Canada’s youth and to give back to the same program that may have provided a positive foundation in their own lives or the lives of their children and family members.
A Presidents Club membership will help us focus on objectives such as fleet renewal and enhancement, career and employment initiatives, expanded cadet programs like music or effective speaking, and a new Centre of Excellence. One of these career and employment initiatives will take place on April 15 in Ottawa with the first of a planned series of Career Expo events across the country to help Air Cadets from the region gain insights into the companies, occupations, educators and career directions needed to pursue the quality job opportunities available throughout Canada in the aviation and aerospace sectors.
“This will provide a great opportunity for employers, educators and organisations to meet with our Air Cadets as part of their workforce development strategies. We know the importance of engaging with young people to ensure that the future needs of aviation and aerospace companies can be met. What better way than to meet directly with the very youth who are already interested in these career paths!”, noted Scott Lawson, who is responsible for special projects and event management at the Air Cadet League of Canada.
Each Presidents Club membership will help support programs and activities, such as Career Expo, across Canada, serving thousands of young people each year. The Presidents Club will help launch exciting, new initiatives that provide Air Cadets with new skills, personal direction, leadership options and a lifetime of memories! For more information, please visit the Air Cadet League website at www.aircadetleague.com.