Excellence at work and in the community results in Latin Excellence Award

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News Article / November 29, 2021

By Captain Bettina McCulloch-Drake, 1 Canadian Air Division Public Affairs

While it may seem that the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is fairly homogenous in terms of both appearances and culture, the fact is that there have been women, visible minorities, and Indigenous Peoples among our ranks throughout our history.

And while CAF members representing designated employment equity groups are still fewer in numbers compared to other groups, our organization continues to evolve, encouraging all eligible persons to apply for the wide variety of occupations available for people who want challenge and opportunity.

For Captain Rogger Guzman-Bucheli, it was the opportunity to start a new life, away from the widespread poverty and crime of his native Ecuador that brought him and his family to Toronto, Canada, where he joined the CAF as a communication electronics engineering (CELE) officer in 2018.

Named after his uncle and taking the last names of his father and mother, the avid soccer player and all-season cyclist was posted to Aerospace and Telecommunications Engineering Support Squadron (ATESS) in January 2019 after completing his basic officer training at Saint-Jean (Quebec) and his CELE qualification course at The Canadian Forces School of Communications and Electronics in Kingston (Ontario).

“Employed with the ATESS Training Flight, I am responsible for the planning, management, and coordination of a cadre of ATIS (aerospace telecommunication and information systems) instructors who provide highly specialized training,” reveals Rogger.

“ATIS Technicians are critical to the operation and maintenance of telecommunications and information systems used by the Air Force and our Allies,” continues Rogger. “ATESS organizes and runs over eleven different courses graduating over one-hundred students a year.”

And while he is quick to recognize his colleagues at ATESS for their achievements in the development and delivery of ATIS training, Rogger is not as quick to shine a light on his own achievements.

“Being in the military for three years a promotion to Captain seems automatic,” insists Rogger who was promoted to rank in September of 2021. “Apparently my mother and Fuerza Latina thought otherwise.”

Fuerza Latina Community Services, a volunteer organization within the Greater Toronto Area whose primary activities focus on promoting well-being through sports and culture, celebrates the accomplishments of individuals from the Latin-Canadian community through their annual Latin Excellence Awards.

“I was surprised that I was selected for an award,” admits Rogger who was presented his award on Saturday, October 2, 2021 in his hometown of Toronto. “Recipients of this award tend to be recent university graduates or leaders from the community. While a promotion to Captain does not seem like a big deal to most of us within the CAF, to someone outside our organization this is a great achievement.”

For Rogger, the award changes nothing at work. It does, however, remind him how close the Latin-Canadian community remains and how culture continues to be expressed and celebrated in a variety of ways.

“Within the Latin-Canadian community, ‘Adelante’ (go forward) spirit is key,” reveals, Rogger. “While it is a close community, it is not a closed community. To be willing to go into different avenues of life not offered back home, to make inroads within Canadian society, to invite others to celebrate and learn with us, that is what is expected of a leader in our community.”

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