Leaders of tomorrow have their say…

Leaders of tomorrow have their say…

 

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They share: most favourable & disappointing memories of their time at RMCC; what changes they would like to see at RMCC and much, more

26779 OCdt (IV) Kyle Tilley – EME – Computer Engineering

26762 NCdt (IV) Jérémie Fraser – MARS – completing a double major with a double honours in Military Strategic and Studies; French Studies.

26692OCdt (IV) Davy Ackerman – Infantry – Economics and Business Administration

MORE…

26779 OCdt (IV) Kyle Tilley – EME Computer Engineering

What were your inspiration & motivation to attend RMCC?

Coming from a military family it has always been an interest of mine. Growing up I was exposed to the lifestyle at an early age as I moved around domestically and abroad. As I moved around my interests changed, one day I would want to be a professional engineer, the next I would want to be a professional hockey player. As I found out about RMCC it just seemed to align with everything that was important to me. I could get an engineering degree while still engaging in sports on a regular basis. So, when it came time to choose a post-secondary education there really was no other choice.

What is your most favourable memory of your time at RMCC?

My favourite experience by far was having the opportunity to go on the 2015 Battlefield Tour. I had been to the area a couple of years ago, it was a family vacation and could not have been a more different experience. The chance to travel to Europe and learn more about the history that has shaped our nation; the trip provides context which is something no book could ever do. It opened my eyes and allowed me to truly appreciate this institution.

What is your most disappointing memory of your time at RMCC?

My most disappointing memory of RMCC is that of my peers. Not all of them, in fact most are generally positive and supportive. However, there are some that just don’t appreciate the institution for all that it is. A negative attitude towards this place is hard to understand when I have so much pride in the college. It saddens me to see people not taking full advantage of all the opportunities at the school. I will admit, when things go wrong it can be devastating, but like anything else, if you dwell on the negative you start to become negative. People who leave this place hating the time that they spent here is one of the most disappointing things to see at RMCC.

What changes would you like to see at RMCC which would make it a better overall experience for those who will be following you?

RMCC struggles between being a military training establishment and an academic institution. Ultimately it is hard to please both of the organizations vying for the cadets’ limited amount of time. Shifting the balance one way or another would drastically decrease the amount of stress placed on the cadets. I have found at my time here at the college it is more beneficial to have a single focus rather than spreading yourself out across multiple foci. Nowadays everyone is capable of multitasking, especially when it comes to technology. People now need to be taught to unitask.

 Which senior cadet(s) influenced you most as a I, II, III Year and how? (Try and name a couple or few – describe how they had an impact on you?

People often look up to those ahead of them but in my first year I was influenced greatly by those around me. Having spent my first year at CMR Saint-Jean I learned to respect those above me, but at the same time we became close because when we would come to RMCC we would all be at the same level. When at RMCC you are naturally inclined to look up to FYOP staff which was what ultimately made me want to become one. Without the relationships with my peers in first year and the experience of doing FYOP later on I would not be the same person I am today.

What– in your opinion– makes a good leader?

There is no secret recipe to become a great leader. There is no single characteristic that is guaranteed to make you a good leader. Leaders come in all different shapes and sizes, each with their own style. I believe that as long as you are able to identify your style and be true to that then you will be a good leader. If you are able to reflect upon yourself and be happy with the decisions you make as a leader then you are doing it right.

What does TDV mean to you?

It’s an ever-changing process. It could mean something specific to you one day and then something completely different the next day, it’s entirely situationally dependent. But the process remains the same, and it’s no mistake that it’s in that order too. No matter the situation you are faced with you must approach from a position of Truth, if not you won’t be successful. When proceeding you must remind yourself of your Duty; what you seek to achieve and how you will go about doing it. Finally, when it’s all over you have to be able to walk away from it with Valour; the courage to take on anything else and the spirit to know that you did all that you could.

What is your ultimate goal after leaving RMCC?

After leaving RMCC I want to continue to learn. I have spent almost all of my life receiving a formal education and I do think that it is time to stop for a bit. But just because I will be done with school does not mean I’m done with learning. I want to quite literally learn something new every day. Whether it be about myself, those around me, or even those half way around the world. What will I do with all that knowledge? I have no idea, maybe that should be my next goal.

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26762 NCdt (IV) Jérémie Fraser – MARS – completing a double major with a double honours in Military Strategic and Studies; French Studies.

What were your inspiration / motivation to attend RMCC?

I just couldn’t resign myself to live a banal existence: I need challenges to make my life interesting. I was told that RMCC would be a good environment to test my limits and by doing so, improve myself. When I applied, I didn’t know how much this would prove to be true.

What is your most favourable memory of your time at RMCC?

Finishing the last exam of the semester is the most satisfying thing that I experienced at RMCC. I’m lucky because it happens twice a year.

What is your most disappointing memory of your time at RMCC?

When I realized that for whatever you want to change or do that goes out of the routine, you have to fill up a tremendous amount of paperwork, I understood that no organization is perfect. It was probably the most revealing and painful moment that I experienced at RMCC.

What changes would you like to see at RMCC which would make it a better overall experience for those who will be following you?

I think getting a little more freedom wouldn’t hurt. We are being told all the time that RMCC is the right place to make mistakes. My grandfather used to tell me that experience is the sum of our mistakes. Isn’t RMCC about learning?

Which senior cadet(s) influenced you most as a I, II, III Year and how? (Try and name a couple or few – describe how they had an impact on you?

Unfortunately, the senior cadets that influenced me the most were those that I didn’t want to imitate. This place is truly wonderful to learn what kind of person you don’t want to be.

What– in your opinion– makes a good leader?

Being open-minded and having great communication skills. There is nothing worse than someone who blindly applies the doctrine without taking in consideration the human aspect.

What does TDV mean to you?

I would say that Truth, Duty, Valour is the answer to all moral dilemmas that officer-cadets face while they are at RMCC. It represents the core of the values that provide guidance for the officer-cadets’ behaviour.

What is your ultimate goal after leaving RMCC?

My goal is to learn as fast as possible while experiencing as many things as possible.

One last point.

I would do it all over again even though it is rather a painful process to get a good education.

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26692OCdt (IV) Davy Ackerman – Infantry – Economics and Business Administration.

What were your inspiration / motivation to attend RMCC?

Since moving to Canada in 2006 from Britain, I had a strong desire to serve Canada, and I thought joining the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) would be a challenging, yet rewarding and exciting career. I also had a desire to attend university to obtain an undergraduate degree. The Regular Officer Training Plan (ROTP) program, where I could get a degree and serve in the military, seemed like a great option. The uniqueness of RMCC was appealing. There was no other university that offered a degree, military and leadership training, second language training, and the opportunity to serve Canada upon graduation.

What is your most favourable memory of your time at RMCC?

I have many great memories of my time at RMCC, most of which are all due to the great friendships that I have developed here. I think, however, that my most favourable memory is still yet to come: the RMCC Battlefield Tour 2016. This coming Reading Week I have the amazing opportunity of going to France and Belgium to tour Canadian First World War and Second World War battlefields. I have heard previous accounts of this trip from friends who have gone in previous years and their reviews have been glowing. It will be an excellent opportunity to learn more about the sacrifices Canadians made during these conflicts, and it will give me a greater appreciation of the history of the CAF. Having learnt much about the battles that took place in history classes here at RMCC, I am eager to see the sites in person. This trip is only possible due to the generosity of the RMC Club and Foundation.

What is your most disappointing memory of your time at RMCC

My most disappointing memory would probably be not being selected to go on the RMCC Expedition Club trip to Guatemala during Reading Week 2014. A good friend of mine went on the trip, and it sounded like a great experience. Unfortunately, there were only spots for a limited number of students and I did not make the cut.

What changes would you like to see at RMCC which would make it a better overall experience for those who will be following you?

I think the biggest change I would like to see for future students at RMCC is more freedom and free time to get out of the college and enjoy the great city of Kingston that we are a part of. I think it can be challenging for some students to get out of the “RMCC Bubble” with all their academic, military, and extra circular commitments. Although these are all important and an essential part of life at RMCC, it is important for students to remember that there is a world outside of RMCC.

Which senior cadet(s) influenced you most as a I, II, III Year and how?

In my earlier years there were a number of senior cadets who had a large impact on me. One of them was Daniel Cressman, my Cadet Squadron Training Officer (CSTO) in first year. As a first year, I was pretty clueless about a lot of things. Daniel was very approachable and always willing to help. Even though he was a senior cadet in our squadron, he would never look down at the first years and was always respectful to us. Another senior cadet who had an impact on me was Fred Morin, the CSTO of my squadron in my second year. He too was extremely approachable and always willing to offer advice and help. As CSTO, he had a lot of interaction with the Training Wing, and he would always approach issues with our best interests in mind. He was not afraid to seek clarification and explanation if he thought some directive or order did not make sense. He looked out for his subordinates.

What– in your opinion– makes a good leader?

In my opinion, a good leader is someone who cares for their subordinates and keeps their best interests in mind, while at the same time accomplishing the mission. Of course, this is not an easy task, as these two goals will conflict on some occasions. However, I believe the more often you are able to achieve both simultaneously, the greater rapport you will build up with your troops, so that when the time comes when mission success can only be achieved by sacrificing some of the welfare of your subordinates, they will be much more inclined to accept this and put forth their best effort to achieve the goal. The mission will always come first, but a good leader should do their utmost to achieve it while keeping their subordinates welfare in mind.

What does TDV mean to you?

To me, TDV means a number of things. It is a constant reminder should perform my duty with honesty, integrity, courage, and zeal. It also reminds me of those who have gone before and accepted great personal risk to accomplish the mission. Lastly, it reminds me of all the memories I have from my time at RMC and the lessons I have learnt over the past four years here.

What is your ultimate goal after leaving RMCC?

My ultimate goal after leaving RMCC is to do what I signed up to do four years ago: to serve Canada as an infantry officer. In order to achieve this goal, upon graduation I must focus on my phase training and work hard to earn the privilege of leading Canadian soldiers as a platoon commander.

One last point.

I am very grateful for the opportunities and experiences I have had from my four years at RMCC and will certainly miss a number of aspects of it, but I am excited for the opportunities that lie ahead.