Our People

The men and women of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and their civilian colleagues are the RCAF’s greatest strength, the heart of the institution and the foundation upon which the RCAF’s future is built. They are extraordinary and professional, capable of accomplishing great things, setting standards of quality that are respected around the world. Day after day, night after night they contribute directly and indirectly to the delivery of air and space power for our nation.

Our airmen and airwomen are guided and inspired by the achievements of those who have served in the Air Force throughout its history.

Here are some of their stories.

A large blue metal candlestick bearing nine illuminated candles – the centre candle taller than the others – stands in front of a concrete building with three flagpoles.

Melting the Winnipeg winter darkness with a Menorah

17 Wing marks Chanukah with Menorah-lighting ceremony.
January 31, 2020

Two men in blue uniforms with medals sit facing the camera, side by side, at a table draped with tartan and backed by three flags. On the table in front of the men are documents and pens.

RCAF Appoints new Reserve Chief Warrant Officer

The Royal Canadian Air Force Reserve welcomed its newly appointed Chief Warrant Officer in a January 21, 2020, ceremony held at 8 Wing Trenton, Ontario.
January 30, 2020

A woman wearing a disruptive pattern uniform, a tuque and noise-cancelling headphones sits in a cargo aircraft taking notes.

’Til I am myself again: Taking mental health one moment, one day, at a time

I am writing this to tell you that there is hope. You may hit rock bottom, you may find yourself fighting internally with ugly versions of yourself, or you may even think that you are completely alone. But you are not alone.
January 29, 2020

Cpl Travis Valliquette

Max Flex: The Air Operations Support Technician

Corporal Travis Valliquette joined the RCAF Reserve in Sept, 2017 and is an Air Operations Support Technician at 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron at 8 Wing in Trenton, Ontario. For this issue of Excelsior, we asked him to describe his occupation as he has experienced it.
January 27, 2020

Four men, three in uniform and one in civilian dress, stand in a row holding certificates.

RCAF members receive first-of-its-kind award

RCAF members met on December 10, 2019, at 4 Wing Headquarters to receive the new Assistant Deputy Minister (Infrastructure and Environment) Indigenous Relationship award.
January 23, 2020

A black and white photo of a black man wearing a shirt and tie, and a uniform jacket with wings.

Eric Watts, a natural leader

When Eric Victor Watts enlisted in the RCAF on May 10, 1939, technically, he should not have been allowed to join. Nevertheless, he proved to be a natural leader.
February 19, 2020

In a black-and-white photograph, a Black man wearing a uniform stands with his hands in his pockets in front of a large memorial displaying statues of men in uniforms.

Recruits of Choice

The excellence of Black Canadians recruited to the RCAF during and after the Second World War—even before Blacks were officially allowed to join the Air Force—is reflected in their achievements during and following their military service.
February 13, 2020

A news clipping with the headline “Carty family has enviable war record”, showing head-and-shoulders photos of five men.

Regulation? What regulation?

During the early years of the Second World War, Black Canadians were, for the most part, barred from joining the Royal Canadian Air Force. But it’s clear that some recruiting officers deliberately ignored the regulation.
February 5, 2020

Three people, two men and a woman, all wearing blue Air Force uniforms, stand behind an elderly man in a wheelchair wearing civilian clothes and holding a framed picture.

Aviator to aviator: Visit with veteran ties RCAF history together

Second World War veteran Flight Lieutenant (retired) Jim McRae recently received a visit in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, from 404 Long Range Patrol and Training Squadron leadership.
January 22, 2020

An older man, wearing a flying helmet, sits in the cockpit of a small aircraft that has its canopy open.

Aviation community says goodbye to Fern Villeneuve

The founder of the RCAF’s legendary “Golden Hawks” aerobatic team died December 25, 2019, at the age of 92.
January 10, 2020

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