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.

A large blue metal candlestick bearing nine illuminated candles – the centre candle taller than the others – stands in front of a concrete building with three flagpoles.

Melting the Winnipeg winter darkness with a Menorah

17 Wing marks Chanukah with Menorah-lighting ceremony.
January 31, 2020

Two men in blue uniforms with medals sit facing the camera, side by side, at a table draped with tartan and backed by three flags. On the table in front of the men are documents and pens.

RCAF Appoints new Reserve Chief Warrant Officer

The Royal Canadian Air Force Reserve welcomed its newly appointed Chief Warrant Officer in a January 21, 2020, ceremony held at 8 Wing Trenton, Ontario.
January 30, 2020

A woman wearing a disruptive pattern uniform, a tuque and noise-cancelling headphones sits in a cargo aircraft taking notes.

’Til I am myself again: Taking mental health one moment, one day, at a time

I am writing this to tell you that there is hope. You may hit rock bottom, you may find yourself fighting internally with ugly versions of yourself, or you may even think that you are completely alone. But you are not alone.
January 29, 2020

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 vintage photo of two men shaking hands, one sitting in the cockpit of an aircraft and the other standing beside it.

The RCAF in the Korean War

From 1950 to 1953, Royal Canadian Air Force personnel served in Canada, the US and Korea in a United Nations-driven effort to rebuff North Korea’s advances into South Korea.
June 25, 2020

A black and white photo of man sitting in the cockpit of First World War fighter biplane.

Billy Bishop, Canada’s first Air Force Victoria Cross winner

On June 2, 1917, Capt William Avery “Billy” Bishop took off from his home base with No. 60 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, near Arras in northern France, on a daring early morning mission that would win him the Victoria Cross.
June 2, 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

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