3 Striker Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Cadets
Our Regular Parade Night is Tuesdays from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM at the West Middlesex Memorial Centre at 334 Metcalfe St. W., Strathroy, Ontario, Canada during the school year. Open to young Canadians ages 12 to 18 who are interested in participating in a variety of fun, challenging and rewarding activities. There is no charge to join. Come out and sign up on any Tuesday night but the earlier you register the more fun you will enjoy.
3 Striker Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Cadets was formed in September 2004, and since that time has grown steadily into an important part of the local community. We parade over forty Cadets weekly. In 2007 we formed a Squadron Band thanks to sponsorship from the Libro Financial Group.
The origins of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets date back to the early years of WW2. With an eye to the future needs of the RCAF during the war, the benefits of a youth based cadet corps were recognized. Thus, on the 11th of November, 1940, the Air Cadet League of Canada was formed. The primary purpose of the League during its formative years was a military one, but its founders were also thinking in terms of the long-range benefits of Air Cadet training. They realized that through voluntary study, the Cadets would improve their knowledge of aviation and increase their usefulness to the community.
Today Air Cadets is a community based youth programme that offers interesting and challenging activities. The programme is designed to develop the attributes of leadership and good citizenship, promote physical fitness and teach valuable life skills while stimulating an interest in the Air Element of the Canadian Armed Forces.
During the school year we meet every Tuesday evening at 1830hrs for our regular training nights at the hall of the West Middlesex Memorial Centre (the old arena). We also parade at a number of community events such as Legion Day and Remembrance Day. Occasionally we are privileged to receive visitors such as Flight Lieutenant Stuart May, a Mosquito pilot who served during WW2 and Lieutenant Commander Kao, a physician with the Canadian Armed Forces.
In addition we have a number of "bush" weekends and "gliding" weekends. Bush weekends cover many activities, including camping, first aid, survival and rifle training. They take place at a number of local sites. Gliding is a fundamental part of the Air Cadet experience. Gliding takes place as a squadron activity several times a year during the spring and fall months. There are two local gliding centres, Centralia and Chatham airfields, where squadrons attend for a half day of familiarization flights. Gliding is a fantastic introduction to flying for Cadets as well as great way for more senior Cadets to learn to fly and later pass on their experience. As such many of the senior Cadets, having learned to fly at summer camps, spend many weekends volunteering at the gliding centres. In addition many former Air Cadets return as Civilian Instructors after they have aged out of Cadets.
Summer camps are also a tremendously important part of Air Cadet life. Air Cadets have the opportunity to learn about flying, aircraft mechanics and maintenance, air traffic control, music, leadership, meteorology, physical education, instructional techniques, ceremonial drill and survival among many others. In our few years as a squadron eight of our Cadets have earned coveted flying scholarships. And we really mean earned! Every Cadet awarded a scholarship has put in many hours of "overtime" to learn at ground school with our Ground school Instructor Captain Shulist, and gone on to exams and interviews before being selected. Likewise, Air Cadets who have graduated from Survival, Music, Leadership and a host of other summer courses have given their best and more in order to graduate. It is a source of great pride to us that so many Striker Squadron Cadets have achieved so much and in fact have a well deserved reputation for excellence. Senior Air Cadets also have the opportunity to travel to many other countries on International Exchanges through the International Air Cadet Association. Another notable aspect of the summer camp achievement is the bonds of friendship that are developed; there are very few people who have the extensive Facebook friend lists that Cadets have. These are a very diverse group of friends across this beautiful country and indeed around the world, with a common interest and shared achievement. The Canadian Forces provide all transportation to and from, meals, lodging and special equipment for summer camps.
Indeed it should be mentioned that there is no cost to join 3 Striker Squadron, although we do have a significant amount of fundraising to do each year, which parents and guardians are asked to participate in. As a squadron we have been fortunate to receive great support from Strathroy-Caradoc, a number of local branches of the Royal Canadian Legion, many local businesses, especially Libro Financial Group and service clubs and, most importantly, local citizens who have supported our "Tag Day" activities each year.
To develop in youth the attributes of citizenship and leadership, to promote physical fitness, and to stimulate the interest of youth in the air activities of the Canadian Forces. All this achieved in a challenging, yet disciplined environment. Air Cadets are not members of the Canadian Forces. The movement is, however, sponsored by the Department of National Defence in partnership with the Air Cadet League of Canada.
Here is a list of just some of the things that Air Cadets do: Citizenship, Leadership, Community Service, Drill, Sports, Marksmanship, First Aid, Survival, Music, Aircraft Identification, Navigation, Aerospace, Communication, Meteorology, Airport Operations and other aspects of flight. Opportunities to learn to fly. Opportunity to take a flight in a Gilder.
For more information about cadets, visit: www.cadets.ca
“TO LEARN, TO SERVE, TO ADVANCE”