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638 Air Cadet Squadron changes command

By Celina Ip

PEMBROKE - 

Pembroke’s 638 Algonquin Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron celebrated the change of command from Cap. Dan Duchene to Capt. Wendy McGinley.

 

Taking place on Dec. 13 at the Pembroke Armoury, 638 Squadron operations officer Capt. Michael Morrisey acted as the master of ceremonies while Lt.-Commander Paul Fraser served as the presiding officer.

Born and raised in Pembroke, outgoing officer Capt. Duchene began serving as a cadet with 638 Algonquin in 1996 and he has remained a prominent figure in the local air cadet community ever since then. He served as the commanding officer of Renfrew’s 653 Squadron from 2002 to 2006, cadet liaison officer with 638 Squadron from 2001 to 2005 before he served two terms as 638’s commanding officer from 2006 to 2010 and returning in 2017. For his years of dedicated service, Duchene was awarded the Cadet Instructor Cadre (CIC) Officer Award of Excellence by the Ontario Provincial Committee of the Air Cadet League of Canada.

“One of the aims of the cadet program is to instill in the cadets a sense of citizenship and I think more and more our cadets are getting that. We support various activities in the community that include the Remembrance Day ceremonies, the Santa Claus Parade and more recently the Pembroke Legion’s Christmas party and 450 Squadron’s Christmas party,” said Duchene. “I’m getting the response from the cadets that they're really enjoying going out to help and give back to the community... and it's excellent for me as outgoing leadership knowing that we are able to cultivate our cadets in a way that they feel that supporting the community is very important.”

During his outgoing remarks, Duchene expressed his pride in his cadets and stressed that it’s through the support of his follow staff, the community and generous groups that they’ve remained a strong and successful cadet squadron over the years.

“Without the support of many groups and organizations we wouldn't be able to operate. Without the support of the staff, sponsoring committee, volunteers and senior cadets, I wouldn’t have been able to have successfully run this squadron for the last number of years,” said Duchene.

Following Duchene’s address, he officially passed on the squadron banner to McGinley before the two sat down with Lt.-Commander Paul Fraser to sign official documents that solidified the change of appointment.

“A few words I’d like to pass on, primarily to the cadets as well as to the staff of the squadron and everyone that supports the squadron. I want to encourage you to continue to support 638 squadron going forward and supporting Capt. McGinley. I know going forward the squadron will be in excellent hands with Capt. McGinley as she's worked extremely hard over the last number of years in various capacities with the squadron and I know she will do an excellent job with everyone here supporting her,” said Duchene.

Incoming officer Capt. McGinley has been supporting the 638 Squadron since 2007 – serving in various volunteer and staff positions. Since joining the staff, McGinley has acted as supply officer, level 3 training officer, administration officer, operations officer and drill team coach.

“I’d like to extend my since thanks to Capt. Duchene for his dedication to the program and being such an outstanding officer for the past five years,” said McGinley. “Now, to stand in front of you as your new commanding officer is an honour. As your commanding officer I promise my staff and I will strive to provide you with the best training possible.”

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