Royal Canadian Air Force top enlisted aviator makes historic visit to Air University

  • Published
  • By Phil Berube
  • Air University Public Affairs

The Royal Canadian Air Force’s top enlisted member visited Air University recently to honor fellow countrymen and orient himself on the university’s enlisted education programs.

At the top of Command Chief Warrant Officer John Hall’s agenda was to attend the graduation of three of his country’s aviators from Airman Leadership School on March 31, 2023, also serving as the ceremony’s keynote speaker. Hall was at AU March 29-April 1.

Having aviators attending ALS marks the first-time foreign military members have attended the school at Maxwell. It’s also the first time in recorded history that anyone in Hall’s position has visited AU. His position is equivalent to that of the chief master sergeant of the Air Force. The Canadian aviator took on his position in June 2021.

“My experience was outstanding. This was my first exposure to Air University, the Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy and ALS in Montgomery,” Hall said. “What stood out to me the most was the quality of the people. The leadership of the professional military education enterprise and the instructors were extremely professional and courteous. You can tell that everyone is fully invested in the mission, and that they care deeply about their students. The students (and their families) who I spoke to were very welcoming and open to telling me their stories. It was inspiring to spend time with the next generation of leaders for both our air forces – I know we’re in good hands.” 

While at ALS, Hall spoke with the entire class, emphasizing the importance of professional military education and the junior Aviator and Airmen’s critical roles in potential combat operations. Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne Bass joined Hall in his talk with the students.

“I was in awe of the scope and size of the PME enterprise,” he said. “Until you’ve experienced it firsthand, you can’t fathom the sheer number of students that pass through (Air University) each year. The quality of the curriculum is unparalleled, and you can see the confidence which the graduates of both the SNCOA and ALS had in their newfound skills. I am extremely happy that we are continuing to grow the partnership between the USAF and RCAF in the realm of PME. I am confident that we will see the positive effects on our enlisted corps for years to come.”

Professional military education and possibly sending more RCAF Aviators to AU as students and instructors was also the topic of discussion between Hall and educators and staff at the Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education on Gunter Annex. An Aviator is serving as an instructor at the SNCOA. Hall attended an academy graduation and its assumption of leadership ceremony. He also toured and met with faculty and staff at the center’s Chief Leadership Academy.

"CCWO Hall's visit to AU serves as yet another symbol of the steadfast partnership between the U.S. and Canada," Chief Master Sgt. Stefan Blazier, AU command chief, said, "The national security interests for both the USAF and RCAF are focused on interoperability and integrated defense.  By sharing our PME experiences within our respective enlisted tiers, it raises our common awareness of how to develop and strengthen resilient teams who stand together and stand ready to defeat any threat that may arise.”