FROM THE COMMANDING OFFICER'S DESK - SEPTEMBER 19TH, 2020
Cadets and Parents/Guardians of 655 RCACS
As everyone is by now aware, this training year at 655 Richmond RCACS will be very different from any other year we have ever experienced. Squadrons and Corps all across Canada are fundamentally changing how training is delivered in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and 655 is no different. I realize that these changes are not easy for anyone. I recognize that everyone, myself included, would like to continue meeting and training in person as we have become so accustomed to. Everyone is impacted by these changes, however it is important to keep in mind that the changes were made as a response to COVID-19, and with an unwavering focus on cadet safety. Over the past few months, the Officer Staff and Volunteers of 655 Squadron have been working incredibly hard to build a virtual training program from the ground up. In the past few weeks, the Staff have engaged the Senior Cadets of 655 who will continue to act as the instructors and youth leaders of the Squadron. We have had to adapt our training to strict National Guidelines, while maintaining a positive and engaging online experience for the cadets. The Staff of 655 have created a fantastic adapted training program, and we are all excited to begin delivering it to the cadets. We ask that everyone remain positive, engaged and optimistic as we navigate through the start of the training year. There will no doubt be challenges to face as we roll out training, and I am confident that my staff is ready and able to meet them head on. As always, I remain open to comments or questions from the families of 655 Richmond RCACS. Please do not hesitate to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments or questions you may have.
To the Senior Cadets of 655 RCACS. Firstly, from myself and the staff, thank you. As always, you have remained open and optimistic about the future even as we move into uncharted air space. Your positive attitudes, and efforts do not go unnoticed by myself, and by my staff. I know this is not how you wanted the senior years of your cadet career to go. I understand the disappointment and uncertainty that these changes have made. Your resilience and unwavering support has been a bright spot for all of the 655 Officer Staff during these trying times. We are truly in this together, 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. Everyone knows by now that this is not how the cadet program is “supposed” to unfold. The Officer staff and the senior cadets are counting on all of you to attend virtual classes, be actively engaged, and do your best to continue your cadet growth and development. We are here to support, encourage and lead you. All we ask in return is that you continue to try your best as we navigate the new online Training Program. You are the future of the Squadron. In a few short years, many of you will be the leaders, instructors and mentors of 655 Squadron. Please remain virtually connected to your friends and peers in your flights and training levels. Everyone needs support during these times.
To the Parents / Guardians of 655 RCACS. During this new style of program delivery, I ask that you be supportive and accommodating of your Cadet(s). Empower them to find a quiet and comfortable place to login, listen, and participate in the online lesson delivery. Please try to encourage them to attend as much as possible so that their online Cadet experience is as fulfilling as it is in person. Parent / Guardian encouragement and assistance will continue the large part of continued success of 655 RCACS.
In closing, I want to reiterate that we will need patience, understanding while this new Training delivery program is fully matured and rolled out. The Officer Staff and Volunteers, with the assistance of the 655 RCACS Senior cadets are ready to deliver the very best virtual training program possible. On behalf of myself and my staff, I hope that everyone is in good health and staying as safe as possible.
As always, Fly Above All
Major Greg Dowler
655 Richmond RCACS