Spotlight - Jai Willems

Updated 2022-10-01

Meet Jai Willems, a former Air Cadet with 702 Lynx Squadron in Saskatoon, SK. He was an active Air Cadet for 6 years, between 2013 and 2019, and achieved the rank of Warrant Officer First Class; the highest attainable rank for a cadet.


Willems originally joined Air Cadets because he was interested in aviation. The Air Cadet Program allowed him to do just that, as he went on to earn both his glider and power pilot licenses through the cadets.


He participated in 5 summer training courses throughout his cadet career; nearly all of which had an aerospace focus. He notes that one of his favourite life memories was his first solo flight, as it had been one of his lifelong dreams.


Outside of the many aerospace and aviation activities he participated in, he was also able to take part in his squadron’s drill, survival and curling teams, helping him grow and learn about his own interests.


He says his favourite part about the Air Cadet Program were the summer training courses that allowed him to specialize in unique domains, experience a variety of new things, and helped him meet new people with the same passions and life goals as him.


Willems is currently on a 16-month work term, between his 3rd and 4th years of university. He currently studies aerospace engineering at the University of Toronto, in the Engineering Science program. He says the Air Cadet Program helped him get accepted into one of the most competitive post-secondary programs in the country. Not only has learning about aviation through the Cadet Program helped him in his studies, but it prepared him to move provinces for school and has taught him about self-discipline and focus.


A fun fact about Willems is that he collects moon lander autographs! He currently has autographs from 5 out of 12 astronauts who have walked on the moon, which we think is pretty amazing!