RCAF Appoints new Reserve Chief Warrant Officer

Image Gallery

Related Links

News Article / January 30, 2020

Click on the photo under “Image Gallery” to see more photos.

By Major Holly Brown

The Royal Canadian Air Force Reserve welcomed its newly appointed Chief Warrant Officer in a ceremony held at 8 Wing Trenton, Ontario, on January 21, 2020.

During the ceremony, Chief Warrant Officer Jim McKenzie discussed a number of positive changes to the RCAF Reserve, including the creation of a new Air Operations Support Technician occupation; the establishment of a guaranteed four months of full-time employment (for captains and below, and master corporals and below) in their first four years of reserve employment; and the success the RCAF Reserve has achieved in hiring brand new members (known as ab-initios) in numbers “never seen before,” he said.

Presiding over the ceremony was the RCAF Director General Air Reserve Brigadier-General Michael Rafter. “The RCAF Reserve Chief Warrant Officer is a position of prominence and importance in the RCAF,” he said, “and the role of this senior appointment, in leading the RCAF Reserve, is all the more crucial as we, the Air Force, develop, refine and implement personnel and reserve policies.

“I cannot think of a better choice than Chief Warrant Officer Jim McKenzie for this key position, at this critical time. Congratulations, Chief Warrant Officer McKenzie, and I look forward to working with you as we usher in change and evolve the RCAF Reserve.” 

The RCAF Chief Warrant Officer works closely with the Director of the RCAF Reserve, Colonel Shawn Marley, who was also present for the ceremony. “Jim, welcome to the team,” Colonel Marley said. “You are an ideal fit for this position, and I look forward to working with you to advance RCAF Reserve goals.”

Chief Warrant Officer McKenzie joined the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in 1985 as an Aero Engine Technician, serving at 14 Wing Greenwood, Nova Scotia. In 1993, he re-mustered into the Flight Engineer occupation and was posted to 427 Tactical Helicopter Squadron at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa, Ontario, where he started a career accrual of more than 2300 flying hours, including time on the CH-135 Twin Huey and CH-146 Griffon helicopters, as well as on the CC-130H Hercules aircraft. A deployment to Haiti followed. In 1999, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and posted to 444 Squadron at Goose Bay, Labrador, as the Lead Flight Engineer.

In 2002, Chief Warrant Officer McKenzie was promoted to the rank of Warrant Officer  and posted to a new position at 8 Wing Trenton, where he filled the duties of Flight Engineer in charge of Combat Support in the Transport and Rescue Standards and Evaluation Team.

In 2005, he was posted to Trenton’s 436 Transport Squadron. Shortly after upgrading on the CC-130H Hercules, he was promoted to the rank of Master Warrant Officer in 2006 and posted to 1 Canadian Air Division Headquarters in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to assume the new post of Air Tasking Order Production Master Warrant Officer in the Directorate of Plans.

In the summer of 2009, following his promotion to Chief Warrant Officer, he returned to 436 Squadron in Trenton, where he assumed the duties of Squadron Chief Warrant Officer. In 2012, Chief Warrant Officer McKenzie retired from the Regular Force and joined the RCAF Reserve, staying in Trenton, where was appointed as the 8 Air Reserve Flight Squadron Warrant Officer, a position that included the additional responsibility of overseeing 8 Wing Reserve recruitment.

In 2018, he was promoted once again to the rank of Chief Warrant Officer and appointed the newly created Canadian Forces Liaison Counsel Chief Warrant Officer for Ontario. He also was assigned as a Special Projects Officer for Director Air Reserve, helping to establish the newly created Air Operations Support Technician occupation for Air Force reservists. He also received recognition as a Member of the Order of Military Merit (MMM) that year.

Date modified: