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ORDER OF DRESS: C3E - Winter Dress / Tenue d'hiver

"The Sabre" Squadron Coin

Pièce de l'escadron "Le Sabre"

Eligibility Criteria

For a cadet to be eligible to receive "The Sabre", they must:

  • hold a minimum rank of FCpl
  • have been member of 533 St. Albert RCACS for at least 3 years
  • have at least 70% attendance in the past twelve months
  • be on parade (or duly excused), in order to properly accept their "Sabre"

For a staff member or volunteer to be eligible to receive "The Sabre", they must have been a regular member of the squadron staff for a minimum of two years.

In addition, only by order of the Commanding Officer, "The Sabre" may be awarded to dignitaries, honoured guests or worthy patrons of 533 St. Albert RCACS.

History of "The Sabre"

"The Sabre" was officially brought into the squadron in January 2008, by order of then Commanding Officer, Maj Bentley Barr. It is to be awarded once annually, usually during the CO’s Parade in November, to coincide with Cadet Week.

The face of the Sabre is emblazoned with the crest of 533 St. Albert RCACS. On the reverse side of the coin is the likeness of the CF 86 Sabre aircraft, which saw active service with the RCAF. Each coin is numbered and will be awarded to a particular person.

Tradition of Military Coins

The tradition of military squadron coins date back to the first world war. The most accepted version of history is as follows:

A rich Ivy League gentleman joined an air squadron as a pilot during the first world war, when air combat was in its infancy and the art of aerial combat was practiced by officers and gentlemen in a rather civilized and distinguished manner. He had bronze coins made with the insignia of his squadron in which he was a Lieutenant. He gave them to all of the pilots as a way to remember their time spent together in the military. They were rumoured to be quite expensive at the time, and for one pilot it was the most expensive thing he owned.

That pilot put his coin in a small leather pouch that he wore around his neck for safekeeping. When his plane was damaged during an aerial dogfight, he went down behind enemy lines, but survived. He was captured by the Germans and went to a POW camp to be held overnight. The Germans confiscated all of his personal belongings except the pouch hidden on his neck. That night, the camp was taken over by the British, and most fo the prisoners escaped, running back behind the British lines. By producing the coin hiding around his neck, he persuaded the British to verify his identity, and was accepted for who he claimed to be. His bravery and quick thinking established the tradition of airment to always carry their squadron coins.

Statement of Affirmation

Many prominent Canadians spent their youth in the Canadian Cadet Organization, and many followed that by great careers in the military. By serving your community with your commitment to this squadron, you join their ranks. Olympic medalist Myriam Bedard grew up in Quebec as a member of her local Army Cadet Corp. Country entertainer George Canyon was an Air Cadet from Nova Scotia. Prime Minister Joe Clark was an Air Cadet right her in Alberta in High Level. Astronauts Marc Garneau and Chris Hadfield both grew up as Air Cadets as well. With this coin, you stand shoulder to shoulder with tens of thousands of fellow Canadians that chose to do something important with their lives, and strove to be better citizens of Canada.

By accepting this coin, The Sabre, whether a cadet or staff member, you reaffirm your commitment to strive towards the Air Cadet motto - To Learn, To Serve, To Advance.

Also, upon receipt of The Sabre, you will restate a portion of the swearing in ceremony: "It is my solemn duty to serve my squadron loyally, honouring my Queen, my country, and my flag."