Local youth finds his passion in the Armed Forces

Braden Mclean of Preeceville joined the Canadian Armed Forces and began his career in aviation as an air weapons technician. He was previously stationed at Borden until he was sent home due to COVID-19.

McLean attended school until he graduated from the Preeceville High School in 2019 and was accepted for basis training that began on October 30 at Saint Jean military base in Quebec. He did 10 weeks of basic training where he learned drills and weapon maintenance on a C7 Assault rifle.

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"We had daily inspections of our living quarters which at times was brutal," said Mclean. "They looked at every detail from our shirts being properly ironed and folded to bed making and general tidiness. If things were not correct we often had everything dumped out and had to start over," he said.

After his basic training he was stationed at the Canadian Forces Base(CFB) in Borden, Ontario. Mclean was enrolled in occupational training for air weapons technicians. He trained the loading, unloading and disposal of ammunition on air crafts. He was at Borden nine weeks of the 32 week course until he was forced to come home due to COVID-19.

"I am very excited to continue in the program once this pandemic is over. The opportunity to travel the world is exciting and I do have the opportunity to move up the ranks in the Armed Forces. My dream job would be to be stationed at Petawawa military base with the Special Op squadron responsible as a helicopter technician," he said,

Mclean was part of the Preeceville Harvard 606 Air Cadets program for six years and graduated out of the program as a Warrant Officer second class (WO 2). He said he was influenced by Ian Abbott who was a civilian officer with the squadron and Bill Lesko who is a Preeceville Legion member. Both served in the military.