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Alumni Testimonials

88 Airdrie Lynx RCACS has been active for more than 13 years.  Hundreds of Cadets have participated in the program.  Check out some testimonials from Alumni relating how being a part of Cadets has helped them along in their life and the direction they took.  Thank you to those former Cadets for their testimonials!


If you are a past Cadet from the 88 Airdrie Lynx Air Cadet Squadron and would like to be submit a testimonial, please send them to:

Melinda (Carmichael) Breton:  I have, for the past few years, been mountain horseback guiding. The last company I worked with was doing the adventure training program for the British Military. Those boys get rowdy...  The cadet program gave me a head start in all aspects of wilderness survival and navigation, leadership and sooo much confidence.


Travis Burrows:  I am Captain on a Embraer Phenom 100 Corporate Jet, working for one of the fastest growing fractional jet ownership companies in Canada. We fly anywhere in North America from Yellowknife to Cabo San Lucas and our larger aircraft fly across the globe. We offer our clients the means conduct business face-to-face and travel comfortably without hassle. My aviation career started with my enrollment in the Air Cadet program and offered me many tools necessary to succeed in the aviation industry.  


Ryan Callaway:  I am finishing my degree at UBC in Applied Science (Engineering) majoring in Engineering Physics with a specialization in Mechanical Engineering. I run a contracting company with 7 full-time employees on the side.

David Michael Castonguay:  I'd be proud to be listed on the 88 RCACS Alumni page, as I would not be who I am (or where I am) without the Cadet experience. I"m currently based in Shanghai (and Dalian North China), working as an International Business Development Manager for Sweden's 4th largest company, a Tech and Innovations company called Välinge. The challenges and opportunities afforded to me during my years as a cadet helped shape the energy and drive for success that propels me forward today.

Shane Colpitts:  Well, since I left Air Cadets I have gone to the U of L to get my BSc/BEd in mathematics and have become a high School teacher.  I got married 5 months ago and am happily working at Chinook High School.  Cadets made me the man I am today, helped grow my leadership skills, my confidence and introduced me to my love of teaching.  Oh, and made me one of the only high school teachers who can fly a plane.


Justin Conroy:  I'm at RMC with McKayla Couch, studying aeronautical engineering and (slowly) going through pilot training.


Mark Cooper:   I am currently studying architecture at the University of Waterloo. Like many of my comrades, Cadets helped shape the leadership skills that I possess today. Cadets taught me to take initiative when there is something that needs to be done. It taught me diligence, respect, perseverance, and gave me the skills to organize myself effectively. In short, it was an incredibly valuable experience, and I'll never forget the great people that I met along the way.


McKayla Couch: I'm studying at the Royal Military College of Canada for my Honours English degree, and will start training to become an Air Combat Systems Officer after graduation next year.


Kevin Harnack:  I am currently serving in the RCAF posted to 4 Wing Cold Lake as an Avionics Systems Technician. The cadet program helped me to gain an interest in the Canadian Forces and has influenced my life greatly by teaching me the skills I needed to succeed.


Shauna Hartwick: I am now a professional and a mother of two, working as a Legal Assistant focusing in medical litigation. Cadets helped me achieve this by building my confidence, pushing me to try new things, giving me interviewing, public speaking and teaching/learning skills along with teaching me how to be a follower as well as a leader.


Steffan Hartwick:  I have recently graduated from U of C with a Bachelor of Communication & Culture.  I married the woman of my dreams in 2011 and we recently welcomed our son into the world.  Cadets was a wonderful experience that taught me about working within a team and how to take direction.  It helped me develop leadership skills that will help me continue to succeed in all aspects of my life.


Dustin Heywood:  Currently I am an Information Security Manager for a government owned bank.  I also did 2 back to back tours in Afghanistan for a government contractor running the largest microwave network in the country.  I am one of the few civilians to visit every forward operating base, police service station and patrol base in southern Afghanistan.  After cadets I was also for a few years a CIC officer before I requested my release, primarily flying gliders at Netook as a part of the familiarization flying program.  I still fly to this day and am a part owner of an SGS-126C at the Central Alberta Gliding Club.


Nick Merlin:  It has been my first year out of Cadets and I am currently attending SAIT for Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Technology; I am also pursuing my commercial pilots license using a C-172 that I am part owner of. Without Cadets I wouldn't be in the field and position I am today. It has made me a more independent and confident person.


A.J. Potter:  Cadets helped me to get on the path I am on now. I have been in the Army for 6 years with 1 deployment to Afghanistan. I am Currently at the Canadian Forces Military Police Academy and will hopefully be Posting to Halifax in May 2013.


Chris Retzer:  I am working on my private pilots license through Excell Flight Training in Lethbridge; working on a start up road patching company called Patch Pro, and am engaged to the love of my life.


Beth Smith:  Currently I work as a child and youth care worker, working with at risk youth in a number of residential treatment  programs, that aim to stabilize, asses risk and help plan for future placements. Cadets did a number of things for me including leadership, the ability to work within a team, gaining a stronger sense of community and above all, confidence in myself in the workplace.


Eric Stemberger:  Cadets made me a better person; who I am today. The program taught me the value and purpose of proper leadership, teamwork, and confidence. Most importantly, it taught me about self respect and gave me  a network of friends whom I love dearly!  I finished my bachelors degree majoring in economics and minoring in philosophy. I'm currently living and working out of Lethbridge, contracting for Southern Alberta Water Services.


Sarah Topps:  Since leaving Squadron 88, I have gone on to travel through 6 continents and live in places as diverse as Australia, Peru, Morocco, Montreal, and now Vancouver. I graduated with honours from McGill University in 2010 with a Bachelor Degree in International Development and minors in Economics and French. After that I worked for three years in guiding trips in both eastern and western Canada, and coordinating events and activities for thousands of international students. I am currently working on my Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) degree at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver focusing on Global Health. Recently, I was asked to be the keynote speaker at a large benefit dinner, and it reminded me of when I was a nervous 13 year old cadet at the Provincial Public Speaking competition back in 2001. My time in Air Cadets has helped me in so many ways, from basic skills such as ironing and shoe polishing, right up to the big stuff such as leadership, self-confidence and effective public speaking. 


Jay Tripke:  Currently the Programming Manager for News Talk 980 CJME in Regina SK. Cadets really was what laid the groundwork for the person I've become today. It taught me leadership, instilled confidence, and certainly gave me a secure foundation to become successful in life. After Cadets, I went on to the Air Force and became an Avionics Technician. I worked in various parts of the country, on almost every aircraft our Air Force flies! After 5.5 years, my career took a fortunate turn into radio, and I spent 6 years on the air, having a blast with listeners and bands from all over the world! My career now has taken me to managing a news talk team of over 20 radio professionals. I can certainly say that I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for the great life lessons learned while in Air Cadets. You may not realize it at the time, but the fun you have in the moment is really helping you to become a great leader in your community. Enjoy it, because you'll never forget it!


Ryan Vastenhout:  I am currently working as a Senior Technical Professional for one of the world's largest oilfield services company. Cadets has given me the leadership, public speaking and discipline to become a well recognized engineer in a highly technical field.


Lisa Wolvansky:  I am now a certified Montessori Preschool teacher. Cadets helped me by giving me the experience to plan for daily lessons in the class and the field, confidence to take charge, and also helped me with speech control, which I now pass onto my wonderful children.


Meg (Callaway) Wright:  I am currently working for Rockyview schools and am a lead learning support teacher. I got married a year and five months ago and currently live in Calgary.  Air Cadets has helped me with this role and with taking charge of people. Also, to jump into situations when I see a need that needs to be filled. I still have contact with many people that attended Air Cadets with me. I love this idea (Alumni web page) as people are updating us on what's new in their life.

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