An Interview with Warrant Officer Aldwin Albino
By: 27472 (III) OCdt Eliza Bruce – CSC
Being the RMCC Brass and Reed Band Warrant is no small task, and WO Albino’s colourful career and charismatic personality have landed him in what he currently considers to be his favourite Forces posting yet, that of instructing and directing the Officer Cadets in the College music program.
As a preface to this interview, WO Albino wanted to mention that he believes that “as Canadians, we don’t voice our pride and connection with Canada enough. I have had the opportunity to live across the country and meet Canadians from every province and territory. One thing that is consistent is that we as Canadians are humble people who don’t boast how great Canada is. A second thing is how well we have come together to create this great country we live in. Everything I say is truly how I feel about Canada and RMC.”
When/how did you start out in the forces and what made you join?
A good friend of mine kept pushing me to join the reserves. At first, I was very reluctant. But he kept insisting and I finally gave in. I went to the reserves base and they told me they already had all the personnel they needed. Good I said, I never really wanted to join anyway. However, after thinking a bit, he said: “Actually we desperately need a drummer, you wouldn’t happen to be one?” I am a pretty awesome drummer. I just couldn’t refuse the offer. After joining the reserves, they came up to me and told me that I was exactly what the Armed Forces needed. I travelled to British-Columbia where I had my interview. I was accepted in and have been in the Armed Forces ever since.
What was the most inspirational time of your life?
To me, the most inspirational time in my life is watching my son grow and raise him as a single parent.
What inspires you to do your job today?
What gets me up every morning and the reason why I enjoy doing my job is the cadets at RMC. To watch them grow and become leaders in the Canadian Armed Forces is one of the most inspirational things anybody in our line of work can experience.
What was the most difficult decision you’ve made in your military career?
Taking the rank of warrant officer has been one of the toughest decisions I have had to make during my military career. I doubted in my ability to be a good leader, but realized the only way to find out was to take the chance and give it a go. I’m glad I had the courage to challenge myself.
What is the funniest thing that has been said/happened while performing on stage?
During one of my shows in Edmonton, I said to the crowd that the base commander at the time was my father. When came the time to introduce him, I said:” And now, it is my pleasure to introduce my father”, and the base commander came on scene. The whole audience was laughing so hard it took a while until the laughter died down.
What does a typical day in the life look like?
-I usually show up at the band room around 0500 in the morning. Sometimes I bring my dogs with me as morale for the cadets.
-I get things ready for the cadets to play and lead the practice that takes place at 0630.
-Then I sort through my emails and spend some time with any cadets that drop in the band room.
-I like spending some time with this dearest cleaning lady. Her name is Mary.
-I practice playing drums during the day when I want a break from planning and all the paperwork.
-When I am done for the day, I go back home and spend some time with my two beloved dogs.
What message do you ultimately wish to give people in your work environment?
That the people I am permitted to lead know I work for them, they do not work for me, so we may work together as a team. That way we can accomplish great things together, more than we thought we could as individuals, and can stand shoulder to shoulder, to do what we joined the CAF for; to serve this great country of ours before self.
What is unique about how you operate as a leader?
As a leader in the CAF and at RMCC, my ultimate goal is to allow cadets to develop leadership. I emphasize to my people the importance of how one can inspire to implement change or progress, regardless of any cultural background, race, history, and especially: rank. I deliver my message to the cadets by demonstrating the important virtues that pertain to what a good leader can and should be every single day, whether outside or in the RMCC Band. I understand that the cadets, once commissioned to 2Lts, will be in charge of 50-100 technicians/NCMs in their first unit, thus, my goal is to allow them to develop their own virtues of leadership while they recognize my regards to good leadership. Overall, the way I operate as a leader is to believe that the mission and my men are the number 1 priority, with myself as the last.
Would you have changed any choices you’ve made in your career? Why?
This is a very difficult question to answer as everything I’ve done in my career good or bad made me who I am today. This has let me to what I believe is my greatest opportunity in my career being a part of the great team of RMCC and working with the finest men and women Canada has to offer: the Cadets of RMCC. That means I wouldn’t change any choices I have made in my career.
What do you think allowed you to be in the position you are today?
I believe there is a time and place for everyone. This is my place, and now is my time; RMCC is my boat and I have been lucky enough to get into it.
What is your opinion on “you don’t become a leader to be recognized, it is only when you becomes recognized, you become a leader”?
I believe that this affirmation is true. You do not become a leader to be recognized, gain power and impose your stature on the people around you. You have to earn the respect of the people and then they will accept your leadership.
However, I do not agree that the only thing that characterizes you as a leader is the recognition. There is no set list of what a leader should be. He/she should be able to adapt to the situation and personnel they are granted with the responsibility to lead.
e-Veritas article(s) from the 2016 Scarlet in Concert – Here