CENTENNIAL CLASS OF 1976/CLASSE DU CENTENAIRE 1976
À l’approche de l’entrée de notre promotion dans la Vieille Brigade, plusieurs souvenirs remontent à la surface. Je vais tenter d’en écrire quelques uns; certains en français, certains en anglais.
As the date of entry of our Class into the Old Brigade approaches, many memories resurface; I will try to write some of them – in French or in English.
ON FINDING LEADERSHIP MODELS TO EMULATE
As we recruits arrived in Pontiac (3) Squadron, all of us were looking for leaders. We may not have thought we were, being run from pillar to post with nary a minute to spare. In fact, we were so busy from 6am to lights out at 10pm that we did not see time pass. After a couple of weeks of not-a-minute-to-ourselves, our flight was granted an hour “off” on a Sunday afternoon. What could we do? We looked at each other and decided that we would sit in our hallway and work on polishing our boots!
Back to the leadership thing…as newly-arrived Cadets, we saw some leadership in all our seniors. Some we thought were too hard, some were too lenient, some were trying to be our friends, and some were downright scary. But a few were exactly the way we wanted to be “when we grew up”. Our CFL, Hugh McEwen, was a moustachioed Navy Cadet with a British demeanor, quiet leadership style, and twinkle in his eye. Our CSL was Bill Sutherland – a man we seldom saw, but when we did, he was exactly what I thought the perfect Cadet should be; in bearing, dress, and deportment. His uniform fit perfectly, his shoes were glass, he always spoke softly with his fellow seniors and seemed to exude confidence. As a tribute to Bill, our Recruit Flight started to call ourselves “Sud’s Studs”.
There were other leaders throughout the Wing. Our CWTO was Mike Dolan; scary, big, and loud. To be admired only at a distance, of course, and NEVER to be too close to, in case he pick you up for being too slack. The CWC, Don Heath, was another unreachable star: tall, confident, and with a great command voice. I’m sure all the buds in our Class could point out one or two senior Cadets that they admired and wanted to emulate. In those days, arriving at the College directly from civvy street, and not after Basic Training, the senior Cadets were the ones who had a direct and significant impact on us. For me, it was the start of finding good officers and NCOs all throughout my career who were the type of leaders after whom I would try to model myself.
To be continued
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