Behind the scenes with three of the Top 5

 27732 Officer-Cadet Larouche, DCWC

Pierre-Olivier Larouche

I have been holding the position of Deputy Cadet Wing Commander for a little over two weeks now and I would be lying to you if I said that it has been what I expected it to be. Over the past few weeks, I have been surprised by the amount of time meetings and briefings have taken up. I certainly was not expecting to be this busy within days of my return to the College. On a personal note, the biggest challenge I have encountered so far in my position is trying to determine my role in the team. As it turns out, my position doesn’t have as clear and cut out responsibilities as I thought it would. This made it a little challenging for me and the rest of my team to see exactly where I fit in. I am happy to report that I am now fully aware of what is expected of me and am keeping busy accordingly. As classes start this week, my typical day in the past few weeks has varied greatly from day to day. This past week, a 0500 wake-up was required in order to attend FYOP morning PT. This was then followed by breakfast and attendance to the daily FYOP Commander’s Update Brief with the CO and TW/CW staff. The day was then typically filled with discussions either with college services (Barrack wardens, CDH, etc.) or the top 5 to resolve day to day issues that we were experiencing. Throughout the day, I also worked on advising the remainder of the Top 5 on certain issues and ensuring squadrons were ready to start the semester. Each day “ends” with a FYOP O-Group with the TOP 5 and all FYOP CFLs to discuss what happened today and what we want to do better tomorrow. I am excited to see how my day to day will change with the start of academics and the challenges that lay ahead.

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27673 Officer-Cadet Zoe Price – CWAdO & Stds O

Zoe Price

As CWAdO & Stds O, my day begins early with my own PT or FYOP PT at 0530hrs. Once I’m showered and changed, I get ready for the Commander’s Update Brief at 0900hrs if I don’t already have class. From there, I dive into the chaos that is admin work and academics. Aside from organizing and tracking the admin of the college, my other duties depend on the flavour of the week, but you can be sure that it involves plenty of Microsoft Excel. Once the “work day” is done, myself and the Top 5 return to FYOP activities until our FYOP O-Group at 2130, where we pass important points about the day and what is to come. Before going to bed, I coordinate with my AdO team IOT track all the projects we have going on and make sure everything is in order for the next day. If we are really lucky, my team can go lights out at 2300hrs.

My biggest challenge so far has been communication. My team and myself have a very busy schedule, so oftentimes emails are the most efficient means of communication. The issue is, however, details and intent often get lost in translation. I’ve quickly come to learn that face-to-face interactions, although sometimes time-consuming, are the best way to complete the tasks.

What has surprised me the most is the input I have beyond the scope of my specific AdO and Stds’ duties. There is often a misconception that staff officers are limited to their job at RMC – that is to say that an AdO just does admin work. It is quite the contrary. I’ve had the opportunity to work on many different projects completely unrelated to my field, and better yet, my opinions are valued and well perceived.

With all that said, I’d like to say the last two weeks have been incredible. I’d never thought I would have learned and accomplished so much in such a short time. Of course, this has only been possible because of my great team that makes everything run so smoothly as well as my two fantastic mentors, the Chief Instructor (Maj. Alamy) and the Stds WO (WO Ansell), who have been more than kind to me my first two weeks on the job.

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27582 Officer-Cadet Liam Buckley CWOpsO

Liam Buckley

What has been a typical day been like in your current position?

– A typical day as CWOpsO is generally been busy and exciting. Our focus to date has largely been on FYOP 2018, and my role within it is to liaison with Training Wing Ops to ensure that all activities/events are properly supported. Perhaps a better way to describe the position of CWOpsO is to say that my goal is to coordinate numerous moving parts in order to make something coherent for the Cadet Wing. For example, a parade is only a parade because a sound crew, a general duties team, a first response team, a security team, the Cadet Wing contingents, and many other groups came together to form something we can all appreciate. In addition to this, I work alongside the rest of the Top 5 to represent the Cadet Wing while effecting our commander’s intent.

What has been the biggest challenge in your individual position been to date?

– The most significant challenge I’ve faced to date is communication. There are times when it seems like pretty much everyone has conflicting information. I’ve found that the key is to slow down, assess the situation, and ensure that a single and accurate message is passed on to the Cadet Wing.

What has been the biggest surprise?

– As a member of the Top 5, I have the privilege of getting a bird’s eye view over FYOP. I have been surprised by the outstanding professionalism and dedication of FYOP staff this year. FYOP 2018 is different from FYOP in years past in that the program is 100% geared towards making successful first years, and subsequently successful officers. I think many would agree that FYOP in the past was more of a test of who had “the guts” to stick out the RMC experience. This year’s barslate, and FYOP staff in particular, have stepped up to the plate in order to deliver a program that facilitates the greatest reward for first years, RMC, and the CAF. All involved should be proud of their role.

I would like to highlight the hard work of FYOP staff this year. In particular, I would like to recognize OCdt Pecora (section commander, Tango Flight). He has dedicated himself to leading the charge on what we call “Leadership Reaction Challenges,” or LRCs. FYOP 2018 features a series of these LRCs, where first years are evaluated on their ability to command effectively in stressful situations. OCdt Pecora is a strong example of the professionalism and dedication of senior Officer Cadets this year.

One Comment

  • Dr. Harry Kowal

    September 10, 2018 at 10:43 am

    Well said all of you! I wish you all the best in your leadership positions and I know you are making a difference. Well done! The Cadet Wing is in great hands :)

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