If you spend a little time looking at the walls of 29’s Unit in Rotorua, you will eventually see a number of these: XXX29XXX. It is even found as a footer on every page of our Unit Standing Orders. So what does it all mean?
It is borrowed from 29 Squadron RAF. In the Royal Air Force, every squadron have their own embellishments around the roundel. (What is a roundel?)
As you can see, No 29 Squadron R.A.F. has a three red X on either side of the roundel. If space was limited, the XXX would appear only on one side. And after a while, the XXX by itself was recognised as 29 Squadron.
At this stage, a lot of people go… “what’s with the XXX?”, and “how is that possibly related to 29?” … and “Isn’t XXX 30 in Roman numerals, not 29?”.
The rather sad thing is that it isn’t recorded why XXX was associated with 29 Squadron, but there are a number of theories as to how it came about. One of them has been adopted as the most likely explanation, and that has become the official one.
And XXX has been used to indicate “extra strong” in other areas of life:
So there you have it: No. 29 (Rotorua) Squadron Air Training Corps: EXTRA STRONG!
This tradition traces back about 100 years, and it is good to see it continue.