Our People

The men and women of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and their civilian colleagues are the RCAF’s greatest strength, the heart of the institution and the foundation upon which the RCAF’s future is built. They are extraordinary and professional, capable of accomplishing great things, setting standards of quality that are respected around the world. Day after day, night after night they contribute directly and indirectly to the delivery of air and space power for our nation.

Our airmen and airwomen are guided and inspired by the achievements of those who have served in the Air Force throughout its history.

Here are some of their stories.

Cpl Travis Valliquette

Max Flex: The Air Operations Support Technician

Corporal Travis Valliquette joined the RCAF Reserve in Sept, 2017 and is an Air Operations Support Technician at 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron at 8 Wing in Trenton, Ontario. For this issue of Excelsior, we asked him to describe his occupation as he has experienced it.
January 27, 2020

Four men, three in uniform and one in civilian dress, stand in a row holding certificates.

RCAF members receive first-of-its-kind award

RCAF members met on December 10, 2019, at 4 Wing Headquarters to receive the new Assistant Deputy Minister (Infrastructure and Environment) Indigenous Relationship award.
January 23, 2020

A photo of two men holding a certificate, one wearing a green flight suit and the other a military camouflage uniform, and a woman dressed in civilian clothes.

RCAF Lieutenant-Colonel John Roper receives U.S. Legion of Merit

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 20, 1942, has awarded the Legion of Merit (Degree of Legionnaire) to Colonel John A. Roper, Royal Canadian Air Force.
January 17, 2020

Head-and-shoulders photos of two women and one man wearing disruptive pattern uniforms; below these are photos of their respective shoulder patches.

First USAF members complete Sentinel Program

Three United States Air Force sergeants recently became the first USAF members to complete the Canadian Armed Forces Sentinel Program.
January 13, 2020

A man and a woman wearing flight suits stand in front of a fighter aircraft in a hangar.

Canada’s newest astronauts complete basic training

Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronauts Lieutenant-Colonel Joshua Kutryk and Dr Jenni Sidey-Gibbons celebrated the end of their basic training, along with their NASA classmates, during a ceremony on January 10, 2020, at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
January 10, 2020

A black-and-white photo of six uniformed women standing in a row with their arms around each other’s waists, looking up.

We have come a long way

International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate the great accomplishments of women today, but also those of women who paved the way for the generations that followed them.
March 6, 2020

A vintage black and white photo of a woman in operational flying dress speaking into a microphone held by a man wearing a sports jacket.

Grace MacEachern, para-belle: An RCAF pioneer

Pilot Officer Grace MacEachern was a pioneer for women in a revolutionary time for women's roles and rights. As a para-belle in the Canadian Armed Forces in the 1950s, she blazed a trail both for women and for the Royal Canadian Air Force.
March 5, 2020

In a black-and-white photograph, two young men in uniform sit on the leading edge of the wing of a vintage propeller aircraft, and two more stand in front of the wing.

Junius Lyman Edward Hokan: An extraordinary RCAF officer

Pilot Officer Junius Hokan was 20 when he died, but during his service he broke the race barrier barring Black-Canadians from serving in the RCAF, was an accomplished fighter pilot, and invented a navigation device that drew the attention of Great Britain’s air ministry.
February 26, 2020

A black and white photo of a black man wearing a shirt and tie, and a uniform jacket with wings.

Eric Watts, a natural leader

When Eric Victor Watts enlisted in the RCAF on May 10, 1939, technically, he should not have been allowed to join. Nevertheless, he proved to be a natural leader.
February 19, 2020

In a black-and-white photograph, a Black man wearing a uniform stands with his hands in his pockets in front of a large memorial displaying statues of men in uniforms.

Recruits of Choice

The excellence of Black Canadians recruited to the RCAF during and after the Second World War—even before Blacks were officially allowed to join the Air Force—is reflected in their achievements during and following their military service.
February 13, 2020

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