438 Squadron “Wildcats” shine on U.S. leadership course

News Article / May 30, 2017

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From 438 Squadron

Sergeant Jocelyn Mayer of 438 Tactical Helicopter “City of Montreal” Squadron, located at St-Hubert, Quebec, won the top award at the end of the Non-Commissioned Officer Academy Class 17-3, an intense leadership course in Tennessee, U.S.A.

For six weeks, more than 100 senior non-commissioned officers (NCOs) sharpened their skills in managing air units at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center. Personnel came mainly from the United States Air Force and the United States Coast Guard, but also included a member of the Bulgarian army and two “Wildcats” from 438 Squadron: Sergeant Mayer and Sergeant Marc Adolph.  During the graduation ceremony held on March 28, 2017, Sergeant Mayer was awarded the “Commandant Leadership Award”.

"The cultural exchange was what struck me the most,” said Sergeant Mayer. “For instance, U.S. military personnel must go up in ranks in order to keep their jobs. This is a prerequisite. You have to get promoted, otherwise you have to leave. On the contrary, in the Canadian Armed Forces, a corporal can stay at that rank for 32 years and have a great career. It's a huge difference. "

Sergeant Mayer added that, in his view, the Royal Canadian Air Force has a more specialized orientation and a greater knowledge of the field, but that our American allies are increasingly oriented towards education and the importance of earning a second university degree (Master’s Degree)  to be promoted to top senior NCO ranks.

Sergeant Mayer's leadership skills were first noticed by his peers during the course. He was then short listed with eight other semi-finalists who met with a selection committee. The committee selected three finalists who met with the school's commanding officer. At the end of the long process Sergeant Mayer was awarded the Commandant Leadership Award.

Sergeant Mayer is a true representative of the RCAF’s implementation of the “Total Force Concept”, which integrates Regular Force (full-time) and Reserve Force (generally part-time) personnel. He served in the Regular Force for 14 years before becoming a civilian project manager for 15 years and serving as a reservist on a part time basis. He currently works as a reservist on a full-time basis at 438 Squadron.

Sergeant Marc Adolph also did well during the course, finishing in the top 10 per cent of the candidates and thus receiving the Distinguished Graduate Award.

"We performed well,” said Sergeant Adolph. “The course was really difficult but it was also very rewarding. We went back to the squadron with fundamental knowledge and tools that will most certainly be used throughout our careers. "

"I am pleased to see that their commitment has been recognized and rewarded,” said Major Brigitte Gauvin, 438 Squadron’s aircraft maintenance engineering officer. “Their great success is a well-deserved achievement.”

Lieutenant-Colonel Martin Pesant, 438 Squadron’s commanding officer agreed, adding that “Sergeant Mayer and Sergeant Adolph are true leaders and we are pleased that they stood out and raised awareness about the professionalism and values that are so important to the RCAF family.”

The I.G. Brown Training and Education Center

The I.G. Brown Training and Education Center is a detachment of the Air National Guard Readiness Center and is located at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base near Knoxville, Tennessee. The center conducts an average of 16 enlisted professional military education courses and 40 professional continuing education sessions throughout the year. Typically, the Center accommodates 4,000 service members on campus annually from the Air Force, Coast Guard and partner nation armed forces. – From the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center website

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