12 Wing identifies five lead squadron Sentinels

News Article / July 31, 2020

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The Canadian Armed Forces Sentinel Program supports the mental and physical well-being of personnel members. With over 3,000 qualified individuals, the program plays an important role in the prevention, detection, and support for colleagues in distress. Once qualified, members need to take ongoing training each year to maintain their knowledge and discover resources newly available. Civilians may also volunteer with the approval of their local chain of command and local Sentinel Chaplain.

Taking pride in the personnel who have completed training, and to highlight the Sentinel Program, we are happy to share the latest from 12 Wing Shearwater.

By Second Lieutenant Leo Zhou

“To me, being a Sentinel is not about having a patch, it’s about helping my peers by listening to them when they are in need,” said Sergeant Audrey Julien from 12 Operational Support Squadron. “The CAF is one big family, and everybody should be there to listen to their peers, everybody can act as a Sentinel.”

Sgt Julien was one of four new Sentinel Squadron Leaders to receive a Sentinel patch at a ceremony in July 2020. The others were Sergeant Mathew Lake from 12 Air Maintenance Squadron, Sergeant Leslie Blair from 423 (Maritime Helicopter) Squadron, and Warrant Officer Andre Crocker from 406 (Maritime) Operational Training Squadron. In attendance were 12 Wing Commander Colonel James Hawthorne, 12 Wing Chief Warrant Officer Bruno Poirier, and 12 Wing Chaplain Captain Noteh Glogauer.

On the west coast, but not at the ceremony, Corporal J Minigan is the new Sentinel Squadron Leader for 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron.

The Sentinel program connects members in need with trained members of the program, known as Sentinels, who act as a link between Canadian Armed Forces members and the Royal Canadian Chaplain Service.

Although the program has been at 12 Wing for several years, Captain Noteh Glogauer is trying to raise awareness.

“My goal is to take the program to a new level and have more engagement at the squadron level, that’s why we selected the four squadron Sentinel representatives,” he says. When speaking to the new Squadron Leaders he noted: “As the Sentinel leads, you’ll be demonstrating what it means to be a sentinel. You’ll show that you are there for others.”

As of June 2020, there are over 1400 trained Sentinels in the RCAF alone. Once trained, Sentinels have the tools to identify people in need and can refer members to the right resources for help. All are welcome to attend Sentinel Training and those selected will go on to become active Sentinels in the workplace. Ongoing training workshops are provided based on the needs of the unit, squadron, or formation, and group interests.

“Members may feel more comfortable talking with people they know in the unit, and can get their thoughts off their chest,” said Captain Glogauer. “We hope to eventually have everyone aware of the program and trained.”

The 12 Wing Chief Warrant Officer echoed those sentiments.

“Congratulations to you four for wearing the first Sentinel Squadron Leader patches,” said Chief Warrant Officer Poirier. “You will be a link for our people, you’ll have these tools to help identify if they are in need. You will make a difference.”

As the ceremony wrapped up, Col Hawthorne expressed his appreciation for the 12 Wing members leading the way. “You are ambassadors of the Wing Sentinel program,” he said. “Thank you for stepping up to the plate.”

Second Lieutenant Leo Zhou is with 12 Wing Public Affairs.


 

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