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.

Various medals, with ribbons attached, are lined up in rows on a table.

Governor General honours remarkable Canadians

Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada Julie Payette presented honours to 41 recipients, including members of the Royal Canadian Air Force, during a ceremony at Rideau Hall on November 12, 2019.
November 19, 2019

A man wearing orange coveralls and a green helmet with a communications package and a beacon sits in the cargo area of an aircraft in flight over heavily forested land.

435 Squadron member awarded SAR Tech of the Year

Search and rescue technician Sergeant Brandon Schetterer, from 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron, has been named “SAR Tech of the Year" by the Para Rescue Association of Canada.
November 14, 2019

A woman wearing a military flight suit with headphones over her ears sits behind the pilot and co-pilot in the cockpit of a large aircraft.

436 Transport Squadron welcomes new honorary colonel

In November 2019, Cathie Puckering, CEO of the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport, was invested as the honorary colonel of 436 Transport Squadron in Trenton, Ontario.
November 13, 2019

In the foreground, a person wearing a camouflage pattern uniform raises a Canadian flag, while a man wearing an RCAF dress uniform salutes and additional personnel in the background salute.

Shearwater technician and Aboriginal advisor retires after 39 year career

Sergeant Tony Parsons retired in October 2019 in Shearwater, N.S., after a 39-year career with the Navy and RCAF. During his time in uniform, he learned of his Aboriginal heritage and became a dedicated member of the local Defence Aboriginal Advisory Group.
November 6, 2019

A smiling woman wearing a military flight suit bent on one knee on a runway. There is a military helicopter behind her.

Canadian Army Reserve’s second female door gunner welcomes the challenge

Sergeant Brigitte O’Driscoll, an Army reservist with the Royal Montreal Regiment, has attained the distinction of becoming the second female door gunner in Canadian Army history.
October 28, 2019

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

We’ve come a long way

International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate not only the great accomplishments of women today, but also those of women who paved the way for the generations that have followed them.
March 6, 2019

A black and white photo of a man in the cockpit of an aircraft.

What I learned in church about aviation

Author John Chalmers reflects on what he learned about aviation in church and the research he undertook that lead him to discover interesting books and history facts.
February 28, 2019

A woman and a man stand behind a white cross tombstone in a cemetery.

Siblings visit grave of RCAF father 57 years after his death overseas

Kerry Balcom and his sister, Anne Marie Pearle, recently visited the grave of their father, RCAF Sergeant Gordon R. Balcom, in France, for the first time in more than 50 years.
February 27, 2019

Two men in dissimilar uniforms carry a wreath past standing people, some in uniform and some in civilian dress.

Gallant four remembered 40 years on

Three American, one Canadian aircrew gave their lives in a rescue 40 years ago.
February 25, 2019

A black and white photo of two men looking at an X-ray film mounted on a viewer, set on top of a file cabinet.

Henry J. Langdon: An RCAF, industry and union pioneer

Henry Langdon enlisted in the RCAF in 1939, even though regulations did not permit the enlistment of Blacks. Working in predominantly white environments in the RCAF, Air Canada and in his union, he was highly respected for his abilities his efforts to improve race relations.
February 19, 2019

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