RCAF Reserve enrollments at 8 Wing

Magazine Article / November 1, 2020 / Project number: RCAF-Excelsior-Fall-2020-5

By Major Lauren Flaherty, Flight Commander, 8 Air Reserve Flight, Trenton, Ontario

On August 20, 2020, the 8 Wing Trenton Air Reserve Flight enrolled six brand new (what we call “ab-initio”) recruits into the RCAF Reserve in the largest enrollment ceremony conducted in Trenton, Ontario in over two years. What makes this even more significant is that it was the first Trenton enrollment ceremony conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This enrollment event looked a little different than previous ceremonies, with public health measures taking priority. The Acting Wing Commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Brandon Sing, and Acting Wing Chief Warrant Officer, CWO Henry Overton, presided over the ceremony in which all six recruits attended with limited friends and family. The recruits, who were sworn in by Major Lauren Flaherty, 8 Air Reserve Flight Commander, and Master Warrant Officer Allen Shackleton, Recruiting and Training Supervisor, took their first steps as Aviators in the RCAF Reserve in a socially distanced theatre. New measures also included a socially distanced seating plan, the wearing of masks, as well as lots of hand sanitizing before the solemn oaths were taken. While respecting everyone’s personal space, the flow of the ceremony still allowed for the personal touches we typically like to add; however, the firm and sincere handshake to congratulate a recruit on their enrollment will have to remain out of protocol for at least the near term. Thankfully, LCol Sing delivered inspiring opening words that encouraged our new members and assured them that their decision was one that was both life-changing and exciting.

“Here in Trenton you will support and participate in the projection of our forces abroad as part of the Defence Team meeting the Air Mobility Mission mandate,” said LCol Sing. “In doing so, you are now part of a team that is internationally respected for its professionalism, conduct, expertise, attitude, and competence.”

This enrolment ceremony demonstrated that even though we are witnessing challenging and unprecedented times in the world, there are still plenty of jobs to be done in the RCAF, and staff that can match those people with employment that serves their own interests, but more importantly, their country. Flexible employment is certainly something that is going to become more and more valued in our current society and the RCAF Reserve Flight in Trenton is ready to offer that.

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