Air Cadets kick off the training year

Article written by Major Thomas Leslie, CD, Commanding Officer 1 West Montreal Squadron

Westmount, Quebec – 21 September 2017: News from 1 West Montreal Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron

Who: Youth between the ages of 12 and 18

What: The best program imaginable for developing leadership skills, citizen engagement, self-confidence and discipline

Where: RMR Armoury (4625, rue Ste.-Catherine West, Westmount)

When: Mondays, 18:45-21:15

Why: To develop our leaders of tomorrow, promote physical fitness, good citizenship, and an interest in the Canadian Armed Forces

INFORMATION SESSION FOR NEW RECRUITS: Monday, October 2nd, 2017 at 19h00

Did you know that the RMR is home to the oldest Air Cadet Squadron in Canada? The 1 West Montreal Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron has been a part of the Westmount community for over 75 years. Despite our long history, we remain one of the best kept secrets in town. We hope to change that in the coming years, as we become more active in community activities in Westmount, and beyond.

1 West is home to almost 150 young air cadets between the ages of 12 and 18 years old. While most of our activities are based in Westmount, our cadets come from many different boroughs in Montreal, and even a few from the South Shore and other suburbs. The result is an exceptionally diverse group of young Canadians from almost every ethnic, religious, and cultural background imaginable. Several people from the wider community have observed this diversity while attending our annual ceremonial review or when a group of our cadets volunteered at a community event; our diversity is our strength.

Members of 1 West Montreal participating in Westmount Community Day. In the background, you will see Private Pierre Cordiero supervising the booth. Private Cordiero is a member of the Royal Montreal Regiment, and has been volunteering with our squadron for the past several years.

Through support and funding from the Department of National Defence and the Air Cadet League of Canada, the air cadet program is available free of charge to any young Canadian citizen or permanent resident, making it accessible to anyone, regardless of their socioeconomic background. The resulting population is a true cross-section of Montréal society. Our overarching philosophy is one of equality, where each individual has an equal opportunity to excel if they are willing to invest the time, energy and effort. Because of our well-disciplined structure, we are generally able to offer a level playing field for all of our cadets, and teach our cadets the value and strength of diversity that pays long-term dividends for both the individual cadets, and for society as a whole.

As the newly appointed Commanding Officer of the Squadron, one of my goals is to celebrate and publicize this diversity to the wider community, and use it as an example of what is possible in our great country.

My other goals for the unit include increased enrollment of approximately 200 cadets, and new initiatives within the unit including a marching band and facilitating participation in the Duke of Edinburgh Award program. I look forward to sharing updates on our unit throughout the year, and have included some highlights of last year’s activities, showcasing the exceptional young adults that train at the RMR Armoury every Monday night!

Our cadets perfecting their skills and aim during a training session at the RMR using our Daisy air rifles. Cadets have the opportunity to attend marksmanship courses at summer training centres, and can participate in optional activities such as biathlon competitions.

The squadron participating in the Battle of Britain Parade in Dorval.

We will soon be launching our squadron website and a weekly newsletter to communicate upcoming activities. Please feel free to drop us a line at and we will add you to our mailing list.

We typically hold Commanding Officer Parades on the first Monday of every Month. These parades are open to the public, and if you would like to be on the invitation list, please email us at the address listed above.

We are actively searching for opportunities to support the community and create unique learning opportunities and experiences for our cadets. If you are having an event or activity, and could use support from us, please contact us by email and we will do our best to provide you with as many cadets as you need to support your activity.

The Squadron marching back to the RMR Armoury following the annual church parade with the RMR and other affiliated units.