(Volume 25 issue 7)
By Anthony Langlois,
Air Cadet League of Canada
At its 77th Annual General Meeting held back in June, the Air Cadet League of Canada elected Mr. C. Mervin Ozirny CD, from Melville, SK, to the position of National President. He takes over from Mr. Donald A. Berrill CD, who had been President for the last two years.
Mr. Ozirny has a vast experience with the Air Cadet Program. He started out as an Air Cadet, spending four years with the 17 Yorkton Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron in Yorkton, Saskatchewan. He received his commission from the Canadian Armed Forces in 1985 and served as an officer for more than 21 years, during which time he served in various officer positions, including Commanding Officer of 752 Ed Campbell Squadron and 633 Kamsack Squadron. He retired with the rank of Captain. He worked as a tow plane pilot in the Saskatchewan Air Cadet Gliding Program and at the Gimli Gliding Center, as well as being the Flight Safety Officer for the Saskatchewan Gliding Program.
He got involved with the Air Cadet League first as a Regional Director and then as President of the Air Cadet League of Canada (Saskatchewan) from 2010 to 2012. He was then elected to the National Board of Governors in 2013 and subsequently as Vice-President and member of the National Executive Committee in 2015. Mr. Ozirny is a recipient of the Canadian Forces Decoration, the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal, Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Air Cadet League of Canada Volunteer Long Service Medal, and two Detachment Commander’s Commendations of Merit.
Upon becoming President, Mr. Ozirny thanked everyone who so generously give of their time and talents in support of the 27,000 Air Cadets across Canada. “The Air Cadet Program is made possible through the efforts of thousands of volunteers that freely contribute their time and talents at the local, provincial and national levels of the Air Cadet League of Canada. I am honoured and welcome the opportunity to lead this great organization as we continue to improve our internal structures and begin the implementation phase of the cadet program renewal project.”
Mr. Ozirny stated that one of the top priorities in the coming year will be to finalize the affiliation agreements that will clarify the roles and responsibilities of the national and provincial levels and set the stage for similar agreements between the provincial and local levels. The League will also be implementing organizational changes, where required, to ensure all CRA rules and regulations are complied with.
As well, the Next Generation Screening Program will soon be fully implemented, which will make it easier for the League to ensure that all volunteers are properly screened. The new President also mentioned the newly minted Air Cadet League Strategic Plan that outlines the change agenda for the next five years. Several action plans are already underway with the objective of improving the organization and the cadet program.
Mr. Ozirny declared that “In sum, we will not be standing still! Together we will continue to rise to the challenges of delivering one of the best youth programs in the world. I [...] look forward to another successful year of accomplishing our mission of developing our leaders of tomorrow.”
In partnership with the Department of National Defence, and with the support of many donors and sponsors, the Air Cadet League of Canada helps guide thousands of youth each year in the development of the skills and attributes which they will need to succeed in their professional lives.
“Whether it is participating in an effective speaking competition, playing in a marching band, competing in biathlon, or soaring in a glider, our Air Cadets are having fun while learning and building lasting friendships”, concluded
To learn more about the Air Cadet League of Canada, to become an Air Cadet, or to join the organization as a volunteer, please visit www.aircadetleague.com.