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Ross Wuerth holding down the Fort for the ‘buds’ of ’82

13811 Ross Wuerth  is a native of Port Elgin, a community in Bruce County, Southwest Ontario.

He graduated from Saugeen District Secondary School, which is located in Port Elgin prior to enrolling in the Canadian Forces and off to Royal Roads Military College in 1978.

When we asked Ross what ever motivated him to choose military college as his first university choice. ” A hometown friend had graduated from RMC whilst I was attending high school. He was an AERE officer. He always spoke highly of the College and truly enjoyed his experiences there. He made it an attractive choice for university and career. I saw it as an excellent place to undertake an engineering degree and pursue varsity sports in soccer and curling.”

In his own words:

Memories from Year One and Two at RRMC Victoria:

“During my First Year, I was fortunate to be chosen to represent RRMC on a short exchange with Ecole de l’Air, the French Air Force Academy. We spent about a week in southern France and had the opportunity to tour the academy, to fly in the Fouga Magister training jet, to see a performance of the Patrouille de France (air demonstration team) and to tour Marseilles and the Mediterranean coastal region.

During my Second Year, those were interesting times for the colleges because of preparations being made for the entry of lady cadets for the first time that was scheduled for the following academic year (1980-81).

The staff in Kingston were surely deeply engaged working out the arrangements for accommodations, washrooms, clothing, uniforms, fitness testing, varsity sports and so on. Although it wasn’t anticipated that lady cadets would enter at RRMC for several years, the staff were caught up in the same whirlwind of planning.

Some of that frenzy and panic reverberated amongst the Cadet Wing as we looked ahead at the unknown. It later turned out that it was all well planned, well organized and the big deal was pulled off nicely, successfully by everyone involved. It was fun to see happening.

Graduation: 1982, RMC Kingston, Bachelor of Fuels and Materials Engineering

Memories from Years Three and Four at RMC Kingston:

While I was Third Year at RMC, the lady cadets arrived. There were 32 of them, four per squadron. I was impressed with them as great choices, young officers who fit in quickly and established their strong, capable presence among the Cadet Wing. Well done, ladies!

I had been a curler ever since Grade 9 and played with the varsity curling team at RRMC and at RMC. During my Fourth Year, we had one of the most successful seasons to date for RMC. Skipped by Brian Lewis (1983), and with John Randall (1982), Randy Boucher (1985), and me (1982), our team achieved considerable success in the CFB Kingston Garrison Curling Club league and some local bonspiels.

We played strongly against all other schools in the Ontario Universities Athletic Association (OUAA). At the OUAA Eastern Championships, in Sudbury, we racked up four wins but lost a close match to John Kawaja of York University, leaving us tied for First place. Of interest, is that Kawaja would later win the Brier and World Championships playing with the quite famous Ed Werenich.

We traveled to Guelph for the OUAA Championship and earned a Third place finish after a very strong performance.

Then we must speak about Variety Night, 1982. Although I’m no showman, nor singer, nor do I have much artistic talent whatsoever, I did perform a short singing routine taken from the hit musical “Billy Bishop Goes to War”, assisted on the guitar by Greg Stewart. I had always been inspired by Billy Bishop, who not only was formerly an RMC Cadet, but he hailed from Owen Sound, which is in the vicinity of my hometown. I think my performance was acceptable and possibly entertaining. At least it made the following act look fabulous in comparison!

CAF Career:

I’ve led a lengthy military career, longer than most people. At the time of writing, I am nearing the 40-year mark. I served 37-1/2 years in the Regular Force, and so far two years in the Primary Reserve RCAF.

I am a military Pilot, achieved 4300 flying hours, mostly on tactical helicopters. I have flown the Beechcraft Musketeer, Canadair Tutor Jet, Bell Jet Ranger, Bell Twin Huey, Boeing Chinook, Beechcraft King Air and the de Haviland Twin Otter.

I have commanded two operational squadrons, namely: Task Force Bosnia-Herzegovina Aviation Unit and 440 Transport Squadron.

In 1986, I was the Pilot for Her Royal Highness Princess Anne during her visit to New Brunswick.

In 1991-92, I had the privilege to return to RMC as Squadron Commander for #4 Frontenac Squadron – possibly the most enjoyable and rewarding posting of my career.

I was then chosen in 1992 to serve the Commander-in-Chief, as Aide-de-Camp to His Excellency Ramon John Hnatyshyn, Governor General of Canada. That was a highly demanding, full-time, intense assignment during which I resided at #1 Sussex Drive, Rideau Hall in Ottawa.

One of the most unique assignments I’ve had was as an exercise Planner at the NATO Joint Warfare Centre in Stavanger, Norway. I will now jump ahead to the present time, where I am now serving as a Class A Reservist at Joint Task Force Central in Toronto, as the Director of the Air Component Coordination Element.

Class Secretary: Class of 1982 has had several outstanding leaders as Class Secretary, including Chris Hadfield, Marian Miszkiel, Konrad Mech, Tim Larson and Tim Justice.

They’ve done a great job tracking our classmates and organizing some great reunions. After ten years in the role, Tim Justice offered up the opportunity for somebody else, so I stepped into the breach effective our 35-year Reunion in 2017.

Thanks to the Internet and social media, I have been able to locate even more classmates and bring them into our group.

We have a good Facebook page for our classmates. I would like to point out that in 2017, our Class engaged the RMC Foundation to establish an official registered charitable fund, the “Class of 1982 Legacy Fund”, that, commencing in 2027 when we enter the Old Brigade, will annually generate financial endowments in support of the Officer Cadets at RMC.”

13811 Ross Wuerth

Class of 1982

6 Comments

  • Vince Wawryk

    March 4, 2018 at 9:11 pm

    Well done Ross.
    Great piece, and good of you to take up the challenge on behalf of your class.
    And always nice to hear from another “Vampire1”!

  • Alan Wass

    March 6, 2018 at 12:44 am

    Hey, Ross.

    You may not remember this, but when I was a Hudson flight rook at Royal Roads, you were my 2nd year “mother”. The many useful “dekes” you taught me and my roommate, Trevor Wouk, helped us survive Rook Term and the depredations of our DCFL, Steve Strauss and CFL, Ken Symonds.

    Really enjoyed your stories. Noticed that the nickname “Woodstock” never cropped up, though. :)

    14096 Alan Wass
    Class of ’83

  • Ross Wuerth

    March 6, 2018 at 8:30 am

    Thanks for those comments Buds. It’s a nice initiative that Bill Oliver thought to feature a different Class Secretary each week. I’m privileged to have been chosen so early in the process. I’ve had a great run in the CAF, done so many interesting things because of it and still plodding along as a part-timer. My RCAF team at Joint Task Force Central coordinates domestic operations if the Province requests federal assistance (such as airlift evacuation of residents from Northern Ont communities along James Bay due to annual river flooding). Not a flying job but at least involved with RCAF “pointy end “.

    Still doing lots of curling. Have been on the Board of Directors at Barrie Curling Club three years. Just spend the weekend volunteering with the Ontario Winter Games curling event at Orillia. Was Timer for the Mixed Doubles event and was On-ice Assistant for the Wheelchair Curling event. That was fun.

    We have two other Buds at the Barrie CC, namely Paul Monahan (1981) and Sue Wigg (1984).

    There’s no Hell Like Tac Hel.
    13811 Ross Wuerth