On May 23, Squadron Chief Warrant Officer (SCWO) CWO Ronald MacGillivary (left) signed the Change of Appointment Ceremony scrolls to mark the official handover of his position to CWO Grant Kelly (right). 427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Clay Rook (center) presided over the signing. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

New Squadron Chief Warrant Officer for 427 SOAS

By Patricia Leboeuf

Posted on Thursday, June 1, 2017

427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron (427 SOAS) said goodbye to Squadron Chief Warrant Officer (SCWO) CWO Ronald MacGillivary and welcomed incoming SCWO CWO Grant Kelly during a Change of Appointment Ceremony May 23.

Before his fellow Lions, family, friends and supporters, CWO MacGillivary handed over his pace stick after just one year in the position, having been called to responsibilities elsewhere.

Though it was a short tenure, it was a year he will never forget. “The dynamic of the squadron was just incredible, working alongside Lieutenant-Colonel Rook was one I will never forget,” said CWO MacGillivary. “From the get-go, we were one voice which was the key to success.”

Brigadier General Peter Dawe, Deputy Commander Canadian Special Operations Forces Command, noted the exceedingly high operational tempo of 427 SOAS, giving credit to both the command team and squadron members for upholding Canada’s operational goals. He added that CWO MacGillivary led with the highest mission focus, operational balance, maturity, as well as having a really solid set of priorities.

427 SOAS Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Clay Rook reiterated this.

CWO MacGillivary’s relaxed nature, his true professionalism and his truth to power have ensured that the unit continues to head in the right direction, he said.

Taking over his predecessor’s mantle was an honour for CWO Kelly. When he first learned that he was going to be posted to Petawawa, he was very pleased. “It is very exciting,” he said. “They are so operationally focused, and the work they do impacts the lives, the security, of Canadians and our allies.”

His 29 years of experience in the Canadian Armed Forces has taught him much, and he plans to observe the squadron’s inner workings first, doing course corrections only as required. “Coming to 427 feels a little bit like coming home, and having seen some of the familiar faces in the ranks makes it even more so,” said CWO Kelly. “I look forward to working with LCol Rook to lead you through the familiar and the new challenges which lay ahead of us,” he told the gathered personnel.

CWO Kelly enrolled in the Air Force in October of 1987. After completing basic, he was posted to Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Technology Engineering (CFSAE) at CFB Borden. A year later, he was sent to 450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron at CFB Uplands, where he continued to serve until it closed in 1994.

He was then posted to 8 Wing Trenton, and in 1999 he took part in Operation Toucan (Darwin Australia) in support of East Timor. A year later, he was promoted to Master Corporal and served with Roto 1 of Operation Apollo and two subsequent rotos with Operation Athena. In 2005, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and sent to CFSATE. Three years later, he was promoted to Warrant Officer and went on to serve as the Primary Air Vehicle Task Coordinator for CC130 inducted into Cascade Aerospace for third line maintenance and repair. In 2010, he was posted to the CH147D Weapon System Management Team in Huntsville, Alabama and a year later, he was promoted to Master Warrant Officer. In July of 2012, he was posted to 14 Air Maintenance Squadron in Greenwood, NS, where he served at 405 Squadron as a Crew Chief until July 2013, at which time he transferred to 413 Squadron. During this tenure, he received the Wing Commander’s Commendation for his four years of service to the Greenwood Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC). He was promoted to Chief Warrant Officer on April 18, 2017.