***STORY UPDATE: Since the story was originally published in our June Newsletter last week, Madi was accepted into the advanced aviation course and is one step closer to her dream of getting her pilots' license. Congratulations Madi!
When Madison Forster turned 12 years old, she decided she wanted to join the Canadian Air Cadets. On 24th Feb 2020 she stepped tentatively into the Kincardine Legion, not really knowing what to expect, to join the 183 Typhoon Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron. Madison has not looked back since that day; “I have not regretted a single moment.”
Now, at 16, she has worked her way up through multiple ranks. Starting with air cadet, to: leading air cadet, corporal, flight corporal, and now: sergeant. She has set her sights high to aim for flight sergeant next!
“I am very proud of myself because I like getting promoted - who doesn’t?!” said Madi.
Madi really enjoys the challenges that come with the role of a sergeant: “We are considered seniors; we have lessons on teamwork and leadership. We are also role models. We check that uniforms are on properly, rules are being followed, and all heck’s not breaking loose. I lead lessons and at the most recent one I taught the Nato phonetic alphabet. For this, I needed to memorize it all! I really enjoyed teaching it.”
In choosing the Royal Canadian Air Cadets, Madi decided to join over 25,000 youth from across Canada. Madi said, “I would highly recommend it to others; it’s a great program to be in. You get to try lots of different activities. If everything goes to plan and I get accepted, I have applied for a training camp for advanced aviation, so I can get one step closer to my pilots’ license. Wouldn’t that be cool to be able to fly my family around?!”
Civilian Instructor, Robert Grey, explained, “Madi is waiting to hear about her advanced aviation course, which is a prep course for a glider pilot course. Although there is a lot of competition, we are hoping she gets a place.”
Madi has increased her skills in many areas, such as: survival skills, physical fitness, public speaking, citizenship, and precision drills. However, Madi feels “the skills I have improved the most are definitely organization and leadership - don’t get me wrong, my room is always a mess, but it has certainly gotten better!”
When asked about Madi’s achievements in the platoon, Grey reported, “When Madi first joined, she was really shy, and now she is very sure of herself. Her attendance is impeccable; she has highest attendance of all cadets. I like her attitude - it’s very positive. We encourage cadets to aim high, and Madi has certainly done that. She has achieved a lot in the time she has been with us.”
Madi explained that a big part of the cadets was the feeling of camaraderie. “I look forward to seeing my cadets every week because they are like my other family. All the brothers, sisters, and even that awkward cousin. There is a real sense of belonging. Everyone helps everybody. We are always watching each other’s backs. I feel like part of the cadet family.”
Madi really wanted to emphasize the importance of the organizational team that makes the program so effective, “Lots of things go on in the background and behind the scenes, and there are lots of volunteers, civilian instructors and officers who support us. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to do this. So, I thank everyone who helps make it so successful.”