From the Commanding Officer's Desk - June 15th, 2021
Cadets and Parents/Guardians of 655 RCACS
As we wrap up this training year, I can’t help but look back at what seemed at the outset to be an insurmountable task. This training year at 655 Richmond RCACS was very different from any other year we have ever experienced. Squadrons and Corps all across Canada had to fundamentally change how training was delivered in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and 655 was no different. I realize that these changes were not easy for anyone. I am very proud of the “can do” attitude and approach that 655 adopted towards this new style of training, and of the success we had implementing it. Over the past 10 months, the Officer Staff, Volunteers and Senior Cadets of 655 Squadron have worked incredibly hard to build, deliver and fine tune a virtual training program from the ground up. We were faced with the task of adapting our training to strict National Guidelines, while maintaining a positive and engaging online experience for the cadets; this presented us with unique challenges to face as we rolled out training, and I am happy to report that my staff was ready and able to meet them head on. The Staff of 655 collaborated to create a fantastic adapted training program, and we were eager and excited to deliver it. I was impressed by the resilience and adaptability of both staff and cadets, and the desire to teach and to continue learning despite these challenging circumstances.
To the Senior Cadets of 655 RCACS. Firstly, from myself and the staff, thank you for delivering an amazing training program, in a most unusual manner. As always, you remained open and optimistic about the future even as we all learned together. Your positive attitudes and efforts were noticed and appreciated by both myself and by my staff. I must reiterate that I know this is not how you wanted the senior years of your cadet career to go. I understand the disappointment of missed opportunities, and the uncertainty of the post COVID future. Your resilience, enthusiasm and unwavering support has been a bright spot for all of the 655 Officer Staff during this past year. 655 was successful due in no small part to all of your efforts and I could not ask for a better group of senior cadets to assist us with the delivery of our new virtual training program.
To the Junior Cadets of 655 RCACS. This was a challenging year for all of you as well. Having cadets be 100% online and virtual was something that no one had ever experienced before. I am proud of the job that all of you did, and of the success that you all achieved together. The Officer staff and the senior cadets relied on you to attend classes and actively participate, and by all accounts, you did so admirably. As always we remain here to support, encourage and lead you. All we ask in return is that you continue to try your best as we continue to navigate whatever the “new normal” Training Program looks like. Always remember that you are the future of the Squadron; in a few short years, many of you will be the leaders, instructors and mentors of 655. Please take what you have learned this year, and use it as a base to grow your knowledge while you continue your journey through the cadet program.
To the Squadron Sponsoring Committee of 655 RCACS. Thank you for your support, adaptability, and understanding during this past Training Year. As always, 655 continues to have a very strong SSC, and your work makes the jobs of the adult staff easier with your continued support. Your work behind the scenes that allows 655 to deliver an unrivalled cadet experience does not go unnoticed. Thank you for your time, efforts, and passion that you bring to supporting this program.
Lastly, to my Staff. There are no words to convey how thankful I am that I was supported by such an amazing, diverse and passionate group of staff. Your non-stop efforts to develop and administrate this online training program for the last 14 months was a huge undertaking, and you met that challenge head on and conquered it. I know that all of you went above and beyond this past year, putting in many extra hours of planning and collaboration. Your efforts did not go unnoticed, and you have not only my thanks, but the thanks off all of the 655 cadets and their families. Your unwavering commitment to the Cadet program is what keeps these programs going strong.
It is too early yet to say what that the next training year will look like, but rest assured that 655 remains up to the challenge and is looking forward to the future. The Officer Staff and Volunteers, with the assistance of the 655 RCACS Senior cadets, are ready to continue to seamlessly deliver the very best training program possible. On behalf of myself and my staff, I want to thank you all for your continued support and dedication to 655 Squadron. Please do not hesitate to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments or questions you may have.
As always, Fly Above All
Major Greg Dowler
655 Richmond RCACS