7 Days in the Life of a Squadron Commander

Intro: Most cadets spend four years at the college; some less than four years; and a few, five or six years based on various circumstances. Everyone has their own take on the role of the Squadron Commander. Over the next few e-Veritas Issues, it is our intent to go behind the scenes (just a little) to find out more.

Let’s Take a Walk

Article by: 26972 OCdt (II) Chantel Fortier

RMC can often seem isolated; many students joke about the ‘bubble’ that surrounds the peninsula, an invisible wall that seems to separate the “real” world and the world dominated by a tug-of-war between the Cadet Wing, the Academic Wing, and the Military Wing. In such a reality, our lives are oftentimes a balancing act between maintaining our classes, the demands of the Chain of Authority (COA), and the Chain of Command that guides each of the squadrons in their daily activities. Because of that act, it’s easy to forget that the turnpins in our lives are people – not simply ranks with faces, but fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters with lives outside the college’s fragile, transparent barrier. In an effort to break down that assumption, I was invited into a project that would examine the lives of various Squadron Commanders, addressing a week in their lives and accompanying interview that would reveal how they got to their position and what they wanted to do with it.

The first victim to this project was Captain Adam Bradley, the Commander of 10 Squadron. Captain Bradley is an artillery officer, and served seven years in regiment, with two tours of duty. Lining his office are mementos of service, as well as photographs of his wife and children – with whom he is on a vacation in Disneyland, as I write this. Despite the demands of family life, Captain Bradley is determined to offer his services to the Cadets of Montcalm Squadron as best he can, employing an “open-door” policy that allows them to visit him one-on-one at any time. While this policy is often adopted by other Squadron Commanders (SCs), there are typically hoops to jump through unless a real emergency is unfolding; in Captain Bradley’s case, many of his Cadets were known on a first-name basis and seemed to have shaken the fear of high brass common to new recruits. Bradley spoke highly of his own role models and described the importance of trust in one’s superiors, a trust reinforced by seeing that superior around in formal and informal roles (such as volunteering with athletic activities or other organizations across the campus).

He also noted that the position of SC was part of a leadership program in the Canadian Armed Forces. “I spent seven years in Shilo,” he explained. It was a long time for an artillery officer to remain in regiment. “In order to broaden officer horizons, they’re placed in positions (like SC) to round out their leadership.” Bradley described his somewhat unusual path to SC, first being put in an acting leadership position at the regiment before facing promotion. In order to fulfill promotion requirements, many officers need experience outside their respective occupational fields. Because of Bradley’s time in regiment, he had more to fall back on than many of the SCs he met at the college; he uses this experience to help his Cadets as best he can, working closely with third- and fourth-years, as well as helping to integrate the first-years and assist second-years as they prepare for bar positions.

Overall, Captain Bradley’s message to his troops is very simple: he’s here to help them succeed, and the first step to succeeding is facing that open door and stepping through.

Ed note: It is our intention that with each 7 day article we will post a seven day diary in the life of the Squadron Commander.

7 Days in the Life of a Squadron Commander

Monday Oct 13

0800 – Breakfast in Ptbo, ON with family for Thanksgiving.

Drive back to Kingston

Prepped Camper trailer for winterization

Washed, ironed and prepped uniforms for following week

1800 Supper with family

2000 Watched TV with wife

Tues Oct 14

0600 Wake up

0615-0700 PT (cardio)

0700-0800 Get kids to school

0900 SO Coord with other Sqn Comds and staff

1000 Go to command suite/SOC retrieve Sqn paperwork

1015-1130 Admin in Office

1130 Meeting with COS CFB Shilo

1200 Lunch

1230 emails

1300 Meeting with Sqn CSL (weekly points)

1400 Meeting with CSL/CSTO (Sqn disciplinary issues)

1500 PT

1700 Prep Mess Kit for mess dinner

1800-2130 Family time

Wed Oct 15

0600 Wake up

0730 Admin (walk Safe initiative)

0800 Interview with Sqn Ops O

0850 Inspection of Sqn Lines

0915 Meeting with 11 Sqn Comd

1000 11 Sqn Walkthrough

1045 10 Sqn Walkthrough

1130-1200 Admin

1200-1240 Lunch

1240 Meeting with RMCC G1 (ref Walk Safe initiative)

1315 Yearbook meeting

1345 Admin

1500 Interviews

1545 Coord with CSL

1600 Volunteer for United Way Pie-in-the-face (got thoroughly pied)

1730-0200 Mess Dinner

Thurs Oct 16

0800 Wake up/breakfast/uniform prep

0930 Admin (Yearbook, memorial staircase Meet and Greet, security team)

1100 Open Hour – Informal interviews

1200-1300 Lunch/emails

1300-1500 Admin

1520-1700 PT

1800-2100 Family Time

Friday Oct 17

0600 Wake up

0730-0800 emails

0800 – Meeting with Security Team IC and PAG VP

1000 Meeting with CSL

1045 Pre PRB with Div Comd

1200 Lunch

1300 Meeting with Photo Club President

1400 Admin (pre-PRB paperwork)

1500-1630 PT

1700-2130 Family Time

Sat Oct 18

Zero CAF work (Family Day)

Sunday Oct 19

Clean, iron and prep uniforms for the following week

1200-1400hrs Sqn Admin and prep for Monday night Sqn event

1400-2130 Family time

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