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883 Air Commodore Leonard Birchall Squadron conducted its first parade night on 9 November 2011. The squadron opened as a result of an overwhelming number of cadets at 351 Silver Star Squadron in Unionville. 883 started with an amazing 53 Cadets and 8 Staff members started parading at Randall Public School and now currently parades at Middlefield Collegiate Institute in Markham, ON. With the help of the official sponsor, The Markham Lions Club, the squadron began their successful journey.

During the first year of operation, the squadron became heavily involved within the local community, participating and assisting with various events and activities while attempting to recruit as many new cadets as possible. Just to name a few, 883 participated in the Markham Remembrance Day Ceremony, Markham’s Santa Claus Parade, and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind’s Auction Dinner. With its roots from 351 Squadron, 883 participated in many joint activities with the sister unit, which included both training exercises and a recreational trip during March Break. 883 also conducted its first Annual Ceremonial Review joint with 351 Squadron, as they were celebrating their 25th. 883 successfully made their mark in the cadet program as they also participated in the Regional Band and Drill competition, where they performed exceptionally well!

In October 2012, the squadron received the Air Cadet League of Canada's Ontario Provincial Committee (OPC) Special Award for its excellence in community involvement and a Special Award for its training. Most recently, in 2016 the squadron received an Honourable Mention from the Air Cadet League for its continued success in training.

883 has had an excellent growth rate from the day they opened its doors. Within the first five years, the squadron has expanded its numbers with over hundreds of new cadets. Through training, the squadron continues to introduce essential leadership and citizenship skills, helps develop an interest in physical and recreational activities and music, as well as promoting aviation subjects that introduce cadets to the various fields of aviation available to them. Today, the squadron parades a steady 120 cadets and continues to grow with its success.

“Look at where we started, and look at where we are now. We started with no identity, and now we are 883”

– Major Michael Blakely-Bazinet, inaugural Commanding Officer of 883, 2011-2014