Air Cadet Alumni

As part of our anniversary celebration, we have been reaching out to past Cadets to share with us where being an Air Cadet has taken them.

Please fill out the form below to share some of your experiences in the Air Cadet program!

Air Cadet Alumni Story Entry

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Alumni Stories

Name : Antony Robart
Squadron Number and Name : 41 Hercules Squadron
Rank Achieved : WOI – Warrant Officer 1st Class
Approximate Start Date : 01/09/1987
Approximate End Date : 09/06/1992
Current Address : Ajax (Toronto suburb), Ontario Canada
I am a Cadet Alumni
We want to hear your “Cadet Story”! Please share a memory with us or tell us where you are now because of Cadets. :
I will always treasure my experience and my five years as an Air Cadet. I was privileged to meet so many incredible people during those years in Regina and away on course every summer— from Basic, to Junior Leaders, Senior Leaders, to Senior Leaders Staff to Exchange. The opportunities Cadets awarded me were invaluable. Currently, I anchor the late-night newscasts for Global News out of Toronto. I have been a journalist for many years for Global, CBC, as well as Radio-France International in Paris. I have been privileged to be able to travel to many places, cover many stories over the years. Without question, the Royal Canadian Air Cadets and my time with 41 Squadron provided me with the most important foundation anyone could ask for. 

Name : Susan Sexsmith (née Burgess)
Squadron Number and Name : 34 Sabre Squadron
Rank Achieved : WOI – Warrant Officer 1st Class
Approximate Start Date : 10-17-1988
Approximate End Date : 10-10-1994
Current Address : Edmonton Alberta
I am a: Cadet Alumni
Cadet Story/memory: so many memories. Now both as a past cadet and as a current cadet parent. I think my fondest moments were so many amazing trips and places that we visited. Later in life, connecting with other adults solely on the basis that we were both cadets. And now watching the deep pride that my son takes in being a second (third if you count an officer grandmother) cadet.

Name -Burton Freitag
Squadron Number and Name -#703 Vodoo (Optimist)
Rank Achieved – WOI – Warrant Officer 1st Class
Address- Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
I am a Cadet Alumni
We want to hear your “Cadet Story”! Please share a memory with us or tell us where you are now because of Cadets.
Hi folks.
-In Cadets 1990-96
-Been flying airplanes for 20 years now
-Flew for Various companies in Saskatchewan until 2006
-2006-2013; 7 years flying a L-382G (C-130) Hercules at First Air
-2013-Present; First Officer and CRM Instructor at WestJet
-Air Cadets is very much responsible for where I am today (Wherever that is) haha.
-Talk to you all soon  Burt

Name Greg Gerspacher
Squadron Number and Name 41 Hercules
Rank Achieved WOI – Warrant Officer 1st Class
Approximate Start Date 06/09/1990
Approximate End Date 29/12/1996
Address Regina, Saskatchewan
I am a Cadet Alumni
We want to hear your “Cadet Story”! Please share a memory with us or tell us where you are now because of Cadets.
In my first year as an air cadet I had the pleasure of parading with all three Regina squadrons to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the program. How time “flies”! 25 years later it still seems like I was wearing the uniform yesterday. I recall many biathlon, rifle, drill competitions and #34 squadron’s awesome sports weekends! The program disciplined me to “don’t stop believing” in who I was and never stop learning. With the program instilling in me a hard work ethic and a “leave no man behind” leadership mentality I live a successful and happy life working within the RCMP Professional Standards office as an Analyst. My wife (a teacher and former cadet) and I continued in the program for several years as officers and now we still hear of all the great ‘happenings’ within the program as her father (another former cadet) continues his role at the national league level. I still keep in touch with many of cadets whom I like to think I inspired to be better people, some of which protect our country far and wide, including Aircraft Mechanics, Army Weapons Specialist, Army Engineers, Pilots, Tank Platoon Commander, US Marines Weapons Specialist, but most importantly great people that went through a one-of-a-kind program. Personally, I spend the odd evening reading to my two young boys Colonel Chris Hadfield’s new childrens book (what other book would a former air cadet read to his kids?) and in two years I look forward to walking through the armoury doors one more time to introduce my two girls to the program.
Name: Sherry Dawn Burgess 
Squadron Name & Number: Roland J Groome #34 formerly Sabre
Rank Achieved: I never was a cadet
Start Date: 1986?? as a parent
Oath of Allegiance: 16 Jan, 1995
Commissioned: 1 May, 1996
Current Rank: Captain
End Date: 9 May, 2020
Current Address. Strasbourg SK
I am a Cadet Instructor Cadre (CIC) Officer
My story is much too long to put on here, but suffice it to say that Cadets has been and continues to be a HUGE part of my life. My favorite moments come when years after someone has left the program, I see them and they tell me how much they appreciate what I did for them! That makes it all worthwhile.
See you at the Reunion!
Name: Richard ( Rick) Barks
Squadron Number and Name: #41 Hercules
Rank Achieved: WOI – Warrant Officer 1st Class
Approximate Start Date: 01/09/1969
Approximate End Date : 30/06/1976
Current Address: Regina, Saskatchewan
I am a: Cadet Alumni
My Story: I have many very fond memories of the years spent in the program and the great friends made at #41, within Canada and even abroad. Was extremely fortunate to participate in Basic at Penhold, Basic at Baggotville, Junior NCO at Penhold, Tech Training- Borden, Senior Leaders- Cold Lake, Flying Schol.- Regina, and Exchange Visit to Belgium. Spent a short time in the CAF as Pilot trainee before losing my medical and military career.(#!&%#*) Following that disappointment I knew I needed to do something equally as exciting so I began a 34 year career in insurance underwriting! Have been with the Air Cadet League-Sk Committee for 10 years now and very much look forward to renewing some long lost friendships during the weekend!
Name: Mike Sebastien
Squadron Number and Name: 41 Hercules Sqn
Rank Achieved : WOII – Warrant Officer 2nd Class
Approximate Start Date: 01/09/1970
Approximate End Date: 01/03/2017
Current Address: Moncton, New Brunswick
I am a : Cadet Alumni
My Story:
I joined the 41 Hercules Sqn 1971 and graduated 1976 as a MWO. The reason I joined I was looking for somewhere I could structure and a sense of belonging. My Uncle who was a Air Cadet in the 60’s suggested it to me. I had a troubled teenage years and the Air Cadets gave me that structure, discipline and a sense of belonging that I needed. I didn’t want to be a pilot, or a leader, I wanted to know why airplanes flew and how to fix them. The first or second year of Air Cadets Mr Hicks recruited us to help him restore a Tiger Moth he had found in a old farmers Barn. I believe that airplane is now on display in the Moose Jaw Museum. I attended the 6 week Airframe Technical training camp at CFB Borden 1974 and it was the best time of my Air Cadet life. After that course I knew exactly what I wanted to do, join the Military and be a Airframe Technician. June 1976 When I graduated from Air Cadets I walked into the Regina recruiting office and 2 weeks later I was on a airplane to CFB Cornwallis Recruit school and then on to CFB Borden to train as a Airframe Technician. After postings to CFB Moose Jaw (Tutors), 1 CAG CFB Baden Germany (CF104) , 450 SQN CFB Uplands (Chinook Helicopter) , 435 Sqn CFB Edmonton (Hercules), 413 SAR Sqn CFB Greenwood (Labrador Helicopter, Hercules), NDQAR Edmonton Int’l Airport (Hercules), then retired Nov 2003 after 30 years of honourable service. I now reside in Moncton, NB. and enjoy sailing and Radio Control Aircraft. During my time with 435 Sqn I participated in the first gulf war, the Somalia war and many other things to numerous to mention. I had a good career in the military accomplishing things I never dreamt I would ever do. I have seen really interesting places and seen really horrible places. I have lost good friends and Sqn mates during my career and you always wonder why, and still wonder why. When I decided to retire, I was tired, I had given all I could and was sick, I couldn’t give anymore. Life in the military is costly and takes it’s toll on you both physically and mentally. The Cadet program was originally created to prepare young people for a life in the Military. There is nothing that can prepare you for what you will experience in the military, weather you are a Airmen, Soldier or Seaman. When you talk to a Veteran and wonder why they are reluctant to talk about there experiences, they won’t because talking about the good stuff reminds them of the bad stuff. I have been asked numerous times to become a instructor in the local Air Cadet Sqn’s. I wish I could so I can give back but always refuse. I am afraid my experiences would taint these young fresh minds. They need to hold onto there innocence as long as they can as they are the future of Canada and the world. Looking forward to the reunion.

Name: Ray McLennan
Squadron Number and Name : 41 Air Cadet Sqn
Rank Achieved: LAC – Leading Air Cadet
Approximate Start Date : 06/09/1956
Approximate End Date : 04/09/1957
Current Address : Tillsonburg, Ontario
I am a : Cadet Alumni
We want to hear your “Cadet Story”! :
Very memorable times with the Drill team accented with extra-ordinary summer camp trips to Abbottsford and Sea Island come to mind. Special moments were being at the controls of a expeditor aircraft, time briefing in air traffic control tower at CFB Moose Jaw, flying my model CF-100 with a jetex engine watching it flying off into the sunset never to be seen again. 41 Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron was the cornerstone to my growth and structural influence into maturity. I later joined the Military with the Queens Own Rifles of Canada (INFANTRY) – did several tours overseas and my last posting was in Cold Lake Alberta at Primrose Lake as a Photo tech. (Air)
After retirement from 23 years in the military, 17 years were later spent with the DND in Camp Borden as a MDO04/05 Bus Driver. ( It was difficult to let go of the military life, however; the memories are still embraced while holding a special place in ones heart.)

In peace, be prepared!