Feature Photos from courtesy the Camera Club of the Warrior Race and the Regatta – (more photo details at the end of this article)
Articles coordinated by: 27340 OCdt (IV) Léonard Legault Cadet Wing Internal Information Officer (CWIIO)
2nd week impressions from the FYOP ‘rooks’
Starting week two of FYOP, it is obvious that this week will be more mentally challenging then the previous week was. This is because, for a lot of us first years, we are experiencing university classes for the first time and the stresses that come with adjusting to a higher level of learning as well as the continued stress and physicality of FYOP itself.
The previous week ended on a high for my flight and I, having competed in the Warrior Race and the Regatta. These events boosted morale and improved our teamwork immensely, and although they were physically gruelling, every person was smiling and putting in maximum effort to complete the tasks. This week was the first time where I personally started to feel as if I belonged to something more than just a school since arriving at RMC, it is finally starting to feel like I belong to a family.
Today was a proud moment for Alpha flight as we FINALLY made our first morning timing. Which meant for the first time since arriving, we weren’t put in the push up position to start off the day. This past week we also had the Squad com and the Div com inspections which went much better than expected. Small accomplishments like these show how much our communication and teamwork have improved in the short time we have been together as a flight.
In FYOP, as well as throughout our four years at RMC and our entire lives and military careers, we will continue to have good times and bad times. It is important during the tough times to keep your head up and think about the better times ahead and to remember that even though life may suck right now, at least you’re getting paid.
Both the Warrior Race and the Regatta were great competitions, they allowed the First-Year students to work together while also experiencing Squadron pride for the first time. The two events were an opportunity for the flight to demonstrate the cohesion that had been built during week one. The high-energy atmosphere that was present made students feel part of something larger than just their own flight, the feeling of hearing and seeing your whole Squadron cheering you on is something that sets RMC apart among other universities. Week two also marked the start of the fall semester, something that was daunting for several students who were now required to learn how to balance their academics with the normal demands of FYOP. First-Year students could also take initiative and perform various tasks, such as getting haircuts or doing laundry, that they could not do independently before. With the first two weeks of FYOP complete, students are becoming increasingly excited for reunion weekend and the chance to see family and friends.
Upon reaching the halfway point of FYOP, things are starting to come together even more than they were before, during our first week. The Warrior Race that took place this past weekend challenged my flight in a new way that we weren’t entirely expecting. As with everything during our time here, we were thrown into a new situation and were forced to adapt, putting our teamwork and mental resilience to the test.
The Warrior Race gave us a taste of the fatigue and physical stress that our bodies will be put through when we do the obstacle course next week. Given the nature of the event, with timed Leadership Reaction Challenges mixed in with obstacles that we will be doing on the obstacle course, we were forced to think clearly in the face of stress, with little guidance from our staff, who were participating in the event along with the rest of the flight. It definitely put our leadership to the test as each activity had a new person in the flight that was in charge. However, we managed to find a calm that allowed us to work as a team and listen to each other in order to accomplish all of the tasks that were put in front of us. Because of our ability to push away our individual worries and feelings for the greater good of the team, we utilized our time effectively to gain the 3rd place in the overall standing. As such, this speaks to our teams resilience as well as our own personal resilience, and makes me look forward to the challenges in the next two weeks, such as Passing Off the Square, the Director Of Cadets Inspection, and, of course, the obstacle course.
Having done close to two weeks of FYOP and more than half of the training program, I see myself and my flight growing in new ways together. I am very proud to be part of this team.
This past week has been an eye opener. The warrior race really showed the first-years that we are welcomed in the squadron with all the support we received from the upper years. That was just the beginning of the support. Seeing the whole squadron there to support us for the Regatta and being able to play different sports with them has shown us that we have a new family here. All upper-years have shown that they are willing to help us whenever we need it, especially with school work as most of us are straight out of high school. In no ways have these two weeks been easy, but with every day that passes, I can feel myself getting stronger, mentally and physically, as well as seeing my flight mates improve.
Week two in FYOP was a new experience even though I did ALOY last year and it was a little similar to FYOP. FYOP is more demanding. Mixing FYOP with school did change things a whole lot but, none the less, it’s one of the hardest things I have done in my life. The PT in FYOP decreased dramatically but it was replaced with more time to study for classes. Every evening we have three hours of study time even though some are given spares between classes. To compensate, it was recommended we do PT on our own time. The staff helped us by giving us school supplies and showing where the classrooms and buildings are.
The addition of classes halfway though Fist Year Orientation Program brings with it its own selection of obstacles. However, this is made much more manageable due to the assistance of the second-year cadets of the squadron, who often take a first-year cadet under their wing to mentor. It is this connection that really creates a feeling of belonging within the school and squadron, and it is only added to by events such as the Regatta and the Warrior race. If the first week does not bond a flight together, then the second week will. By joining sports and attending classes, cadets begin to regain their sense of independence, and strengthens their pride and drive to succeed. The FYOP schedule still leaves little time for rest, however, the program continues to develop and prepare officer cadets for the obstacles to come, both physical (obstacle course and ppt) and mental (work ethic and staying awake in class)
The eventful week for Tango flight of 7 squadron started this Labour Day weekend. On Monday, September 3rd, the annual Regatta was held and the Tango flight arrived at the scene with nothing but determination and incredible drive to do their very best. It was to be one of the last things before starting school the following day. At the Regatta, the flight boat completed the course around the buoy and back in five minutes and seven seconds – which was quite the record. However, slight misunderstandings with the instructions led to the penalization of the flight – 60 seconds of time was added to the overall score. But in the end, Tango flight did not let the circumstances phase them. All members kept their spirits up throughout the course of the afternoon, as they all finished off with celebratory cannonballs and dives into the water while showing off their complete satisfaction with their strong teamwork.
As Whiskey Flight rolls into week two, we’ve learned to deal with FYOP like clockwork. Waking up in the morning to “Stress” and “Bodies” has become the music that triggers us to go through the quick motions of getting dressed for the day, doing our ablutions, making our beds and forming up as quickly as we can.
After completing week two we have started to participate in several of the colleges traditions such as the warrior race, the regatta, skylarks, and my personal favourite, bathrobe night. These traditions have allowed Whiskey to not only grow closer as a flight, but as Mackenzie squadron.
One of the biggest challenges that has come with week two is academics. Along with all the drill, inspections and pt, academics must be balanced within our busy days. Staying awake in class and keeping up with classwork has been a challenge, but our 3 hours of study time per night has made the workload manageable.
As week two comes to an end we look forward to passing off the square, DCdts Inspection, the obstacle course, and the badging parade.
Over the past week, our flight competed in a number of activities, notably the warrior race and regatta. The grind of week 2 has come to an end and with it has brought unity amongst our flight which is now being tested. In the warrior race, our flight truly got a feel for how the obstacle course will be. We know it will be challenging, but it will definitely be worth it when all is said and done. We were tested as a team, but our performance spoke for itself as we ranked 4th out of twelve flights in the Warrior Race and finished 3rd in the regatta after a nail biting tie breaker. As a flight and as friends, we now look on FYOP optimistically and we are now planning for the obstacle course. Week 1 of academics was interesting, as most of us have never attended a university lecture, but after getting to know some of my profs, we are truly looking forward to all the challenges and opportunities RMC has to offer. Go Warrior Flight!
Before arriving at RMC, you hear a lot of rumours about FYOP during basic. Some people claim it was the hardest weeks of their life, some people say it was a breeze, but no one mentions the amount of important information you learn. During BMOQ your staff constantly reminds you of the higher expectations that Officer have in the CAF, but as a recruit you never really understand that concept until you arrive here, at RMC. As soon as you step off the parade square FYOP staff yell at you and give you heck, but its all for important reasons. They are trying to teach first years how important it is to uphold the high standard of the college and the reputation of the officer/naval cadets here. Because, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, it’s important for first years to quickly adapt and learn how to be a good cadet at the school. Although, there is a lot to learn about standards and discipline, there is also a lot to learn about traditions and events at the college. Events such as the warrior race, and the Regatta, help build up the pride of the students and bonding experiences within the cadet wing. With all the PT, early mornings and “remedial training” first year students must do, events such as these show that RMC likes to work hard, but also play hard. As school starts, FYOP may become less of a priority for students, but the high standard and discipline remains. We are given enough time to study and keep up with sports, education and health, but there is also still time to keep up the training. All in all, FYOP has been a terrific experience for me and I think for a lot of other first year cadets. Despite having days where we want to quit, or wish FYOP was over, we learn a lot about discipline and perseverance as well as what it means to be a student here at RMC. The bonds cadets make during big events such as the Regatta and Warrior Race or even small everyday things like LRCs and inspection help develop good friendship and teamwork skills. Although I can’t wait for the final event, the obstacles course and the end of FYOP I am proud to be a student here at RMC and I am glad I was able to experience its best and its worst and learn everything I have.
The Warrior Race and the Regatta: a great way to spend the second weekend of FYOP. An obstacle course designed to test your mettle, and a race on the water to test your teamwork in an inter-flight competition. These two competitions were excellent team bonding events which helped solidify our grit, perseverance, and especially our teamwork. Even after two weeks, FYOP did not get easier. We are still being pushed to our physical limits in our training, as well as our mental limits during university hours. While “easy” is still not a word that could describe FYOP, the development of our strong sense of camaraderie and family spirit is more than worth the struggles we have overcome.
La course du Guerrier at la course « Regatta » : une façon géniale de passer la deuxième fin-de-semaine du POPA. Une course à obstacle conçu pour nous donner un défi et une course sur l’eau pour évaluer notre travail d’équipe. Ces deux compétitions étaient d’excellentes épreuves durant lesquels notre acharnement, notre persévérance et encore important, notre travail d’équipe se sont solidifié. Même après deux semaines, le niveau de difficulté du POPA n’a pas descendu. Nous sommes encore poussés à nos limites physiques durant notre entraînement de même que nos limites mentales durant nos heures d’université. Bien que je n’utiliserais pas le mot « facile » pour décrire le POPA, le développement d’un sens de camaraderie et de notre esprit familial vaut les défis que nous avons surmonté.
I personally believe that FYOP is the best way to learn about yourself. This includes how you co-operate with a team, how you regulate yourself under stressful conditions, and the different types of characteristics you exhibit as an individual. This week started off strong, with the warrior race on the previous Saturday being one of my strongest ‘teamwork’ experiences. I am proud of not only myself but mostly of my flight mates for accomplishing something. I noticed that there were many factors leading to our success in this challenge. To start off, there was always a constant reminder of the importance of working as a group by our staff, and this helped us recognize and utilize the strengths and weaknesses of each individual. I also believe that we ourselves had a substantial amount of motivation to do well, that said motivation/fear of failure helped us succeed.