On Thursday 30 November, 16 Wing held its annual 16 Wing Junior Ranks Christmas Dinner at which more than 500 students and staff shared a scrumptious meal in a festive atmosphere. As per tradition, officers and senior non-commissioned members served junior ranks the much anticipated holiday turkey feast.
Since the event included the customary appointment of an Acting Wing Commander and Acting Wing Chief Warrant Officer for the day, the traditional carving of the turkey was performed by two young students from the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Technology and Engineering (CFSATE), Acting Wing Commander, "Colonel" (Private) Matthew Robbins, and Acting Wing Chief Warrant Officer, "CWO" (Private) Yannick Beauchesne. The event took place in the presence of the real Commander and Chief Warrant Officer, "Private" (Lieutenant-Colonel) Harry Kowal, and "Private" (CWO) Carol Tremblay.
"Colonel" Matthew Robbins took this opportunity to present to Corporal Gordon Legarie, a student on the Aviation Systems Technician course at CFSATE, his promotion to that rank.
The traditions of senior personnel serving dinner to junior ranks and the appointment of the youngest member as Commander-for-the-day, go back to the days when warfare was more often than not, a long, dragging process of waiting and watching. In an attempt to improve the troops' morale, officers would take the initiative of organizing and serving special meals, especially at Christmas time.
Today, the traditions are carried on in the Canadian Forces as a show of appreciation from senior ranking members to the junior ranks, in recognition for their efforts throughout the year.