The Courier

Members of the Junior Advisory Panel pose for a group photo before the start of their meeting at the 4 Wing Warrants and Sergeants Mess. Photo taken at building 30, 4 Wing, Cold Lake, on 01 June 2023 – Photo credit: Corporal Alex Thornton, Royal Canadian Air Force Imagery Technician

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You might be surprised to hear it, but 4 Wing Command directly listens to what aviators and corporals have to say!

How, you might ask? It’s through your squadron’s Junior Advisory Panel Representative.

Your chain of command can inform you who your representative is, or help you contact the Wing Chief Executive Assistant, where you can ask any question, voice a concern, or suggest any idea you may have to create a positive change! 

The Junior Advisory Panel was envisioned in August 2020 and established in October 2021 thanks to 4 Wing Command Team’s strong conviction that listening (pro)actively to junior military members is key to improving quality of life at work and outside of work, and to make 4 Wing a better place to be. 

This dynamic dialogue culture resonates with the panel’s junior members. “We have an amazing opportunity to stand up for ourselves and to make the Canadian Armed Forces a better place, I really do not want to miss out on it.” states Corporal Robynne Hansen, 401 Squadron’s Junior Advisory Panel representative. 

The panel meets once a month with the 4 Wing Chief Warrant Officer (4 Wing CWO) and their Executive Assistant. On one hand, members benefit from professional development as well as information from direct discussions with 4 Wing leadership, guest speakers, and representatives of services available to members. On the other hand, members inform leadership on meaningful challenges younger generations face, and provide advice on how to tackle them. 

“Their unique perspective and candour help us incorporate change that is inclusive of their concerns. It can be considered two-way professional development; we provide mentorship and promote institutional values while achieving a greater understanding of their challenges” highlights 4 Wing CWO Lee Darling, on behalf of the 4 Wing Command Team.

Further significant roles and benefits of this junior panel are enhancing general efficiency of communications in collaboration with chain of command(s), and assisting squadrons and units to ensure all members are aware of services available to them, and to give them access to the information. 

“Due to their passion for their fellow military members, we were able to brainstorm ways to improve the [safety] system from their level up.” says Christie Strazza, 4 Wing General Safety Officer and guest speaker this year. In her opinion, this panel is vital to educating others and she feels confident that its members will pass on their knowledge to the workers and supervisors of 4 Wing in a way that engages everyone. “A safer base leads to fewer injuries and accidents, and for me that is a win.”

The Junior Advisory Panel is also an opportunity for 4 Wing junior members to promote positive change, in alignment with the principles of Canadian Armed Forces Ethos : Trusted to Serve

“Through productive debate, a collaboration of ideas and experiences we are able to come up with meaningful solutions to current issues members may face” states Corporal Hansen. “We are also able to bounce ideas off each other and come up with creative ways to improve morale, and the quality of life for our community. For example, we are looking for ways to improve access to fitness facilities, in hopes to positively impact people’s mental health”.

To become a part of the panel, junior members interested in representing their unit can apply through their unit/squadron Chief via their usual chain of command. Endorsed applications will be considered by the Wing Chief Warrant Officer’s office. 

The successful implementation of this interactive mentorship model between junior and senior ranks is paving the way to building a 4 Wing body of effective, emotionally intelligent, positive leaders at all rank levels. “This is a brilliant and innovative group that cares deeply about their craft, they represent the future of the Royal Canadian Air Force, and the future is bright,” concludes Wing Chief Lee Darling. 

Any input or project is welcome through your Junior Advisory Panel Representative, the 4 Wing Suggestions Box located on the Splash Page, or the Wing Chief Executive Assistant.    


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