To Learn.
To Serve.
To Advance.

396 Squadron History

The 'City of Prince George' Squadron has been fortunate to have/had sponsors, officers, and instructors whose prime interest has been to provide facilities and gentle leadership guidance that encouraged the cadets to run their own show. Senior cadets make decisions (within policy guidelines), and form the majority of the instructor's cadre. Learned leadership theory is put into practice. The cadets have been encouraged to provide for themselves rather than simply become the recipients of handouts. Over the years, they (with help) have raised funds to provide a 13-acre lakeshore survival training area, a flight simulator-training unit, a glider, jointly owned with other northern squadrons, a glider trailer, and many other items of need. The acquisition of material goods is no indicator of the quality of training or the resulting graduates. However, tools are; needed if a proper job is to be done.

Since the closing of the armouries in 1971, 396 Squadron had been without a place it could call home until 1982 when the Legion leased a partially burned-out school from the city. The squadron was offered a gutted third-floor area that had been condemned by the Fire Marshall. The hours of work and the money needed to make this hulk even usable was tremendous, but 396 thought they could do it – and they did! The result is one of the nicest cadet office/training areas in the province.
The job of the sponsors and training staff is to provide the best possible environment for learning so the squadron can excel both as individuals and as a group. That is the common aim and goal of the adults connected with the squadron.

How does a unit achieve these goals? Like any good recipe, there is a combination of several ingredients in differing amounts carefully mixed together. On their own, the ingredients do not spell success but properly combined they can produce splendid results. The ingredients are common enough and available to everyone. They can be very expensive, but in fact, cannot be purchased for money. Dedication towards a common set of goals which are challenging but attainable; a full measure of co-operation among everyone involved; enough sustained enthusiasm and effort to maintain interest; and sufficient, personal satisfaction and pride in the accomplishments of elicit continued participation. In short, 'Esprit de Corps!'

The success of the recipe is in the results. In its history the squadron has produced numerous Flying Scholarships; Gliding Scholarships; Senior Leader graduates; and Exchange Visit candidates. A record any group of this size can be proud of.
We have, as a squadron, fulfilled to our best, the stated aims of the Air Cadet League. Since its sparse beginnings decades ago, many hundreds of young Prince George men and women have been introduced to the obligations of citizenship, the basics of leadership. They have gained some knowledge and experience in flying and related subjects, while at the same time being kept physically active and fit. Many have gone on to serve their country with distinction in the Canadian Forces. Others have contributed significantly to the community in many ways. Most look back upon their days in Air Cadets with fondness and respect for the movement. The highest compliment we can receive is to have the son or daughter of a former cadet introduced into the squadron by their parents.

Squadron Commanding Officers

Flight Lieutenant DJ (John) Watt 1947 – 1952
Flight Lieutenant BW (Bruce) Hooker 1952 – 1957
Flight Lieutenant RH (Harvey) Clarke 1957 – 1961
Flight Lieutenant DE (Denning) Waller 1961 – 1970
Captain RA (Bob) Goode 1970 – 1979
Captain DG (Don) Crocker  1979 – 1982
Major DW (Don) Doern 1982 – 1986
Major RA (Bob) Goode  1986 – 1990 
Captain D (Dave) Tuyttens 1990 – 1993 
Captain JE (Eric) Callaghan 1993 – 1996 
Captain GC (Gordon) Owen  1996 – 2000 
Captain NA (Nadine) Laurent  2000 – 2001 
Captain JE (Eric) Callaghan  2001 – 2005 
Captain GA (Glen) Bergey  2005 – 2008 
Captain M (Mindy) Meyer  2008 – 2011 (Feb) 
Captain C (Cheryl) Jackson   2011 – 2014 
Captain A (Amanda) Jensen  2014 - 2019
Captain JA (John) Callaghan  2019 - Present