17 Wing Winnipeg Welcomes New Wing Chief Warrant Officer
17 Wing welcomes our new Wing Chief Warrant Officer Philippe Cousineau. WCWO Cousineau was born in Halifax and predominately grew up in Gatineau. His father was a member of the Air Force and, from a young age, he acquired a fascination for airplanes.
WCWO Cousineau has an abiding passion for sports and paying attention to international news. He highlights the importance of needing to know what’s going on in our world – being adequately informed – because that influences the decisions we make day-to-day in our workplace.
WCWO Cousineau describes his natural affinity for being an innovative thinker, and his enjoyment of learning new things especially within the domain of technology. He highlights the fact that an innovative thinking skillset can be found amongst members of any rank, and we need to be open as an organization to listen to all members and integrate the ideas they share.
Discussing important traits that a leader needs to continue to cultivate, WCWO Cousineau honed in on innovation, efficiency, approachability, and personal management. He emphasized the importance of striving to be a good, active listener, and to continue to develop the capacity to demonstrate empathy: the ability to be emotionally present with the hardships of others and to offer a listening ear. He also talked about the importance of treating others with respect and maintaining a jovial disposition. WCWO Cousineau states, “You need to be approachable and personable; I have an open door policy and this makes a big difference in being connected to members, and figuring out what is important. Listening in this way enables you to encourage members to share their voice and create meaningful change.”
In 2019, WCWO Cousineau had the opportunity to attend an NCM Executive professional development course for one year at the Royal Military College. This served as an invaluable experience that helped him grow and has enabled him to be a more effective leader. He described the experience as “absolutely moving me out of my comfort zone, and allowing me to take many fascinating advanced psychology classes that focused on progressive leadership and core emotional intelligence skills. These areas of study are extremely beneficial when it comes to cultivating a deeper understanding of people. I loved the interactions with the young officer cadets, because it allowed me to learn what’s important to them. As leaders, we need to focus on continuing to bridge the generation gap and ensure all of our voices are being recognized.”
WCWO Cousineau described the CAF as being a part of a larger society and the importance of aiming to match how society evolves, so that we can continue to attract competent and innovative leaders with strong interpersonal skills.
In his new position, WCWO Cousineau is looking forward to continuing to aid in strengthening morale and welfare. He wants to strive to ensure members have what they need, and are able to carry out their roles to the best of their abilities. As the WCWO of 17 Wing, his circle of influence is now a lot broader, and his capacity to effect change is on a much wider scale. He states, “As we develop both our professional and personal experience, we accumulate so much knowledge along the way. This knowledge can be used in aiding the growth and modernization of our organization.”
Alongside Col Spott, WCWO Cousineau will be instrumental in continuing to enact positive change at 17 Wing.