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Non Commissioned Members: Big part of the college team

Non Commissioned Members: Big part of the college team

By: WJO

Good senior NCMs mentor inexperienced squadron commanders and other junior officers.

They provide a voice of skilled reason and offer sound advice based on their years of accumulated professional knowledge.

Smart officers, on the other hand, learn quickly to appreciate the experience and wisdom shared with them by seasoned NCMs,

Couple this with the mentorship they provide to the CAF’s next generation of leaders. Indeed, NCMs are an essential ingredient to a successful RMC leadership team.

One such individual at RMC, is warrant officer, Charles ‘Chuck’ Ansell.

We asked Chuck to share his views on his experience serving at RMC.

In his own words:

“For myself, I started my career in the Navy in 1997 as a Naval Acoustic Sensor Operator (Sonar Op). I am originally from British Columbia and ended up on the HMCS Winnipeg in Esquimalt.

I completed my three year contract and wanted to go back to school to work on a degree.

I was a civilian for three years and started missing the military way of life. I signed up again in 2003, this time in the Air Force as an Aerospace Control Operator.

I spent time in North Bay (21 Sqn); Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School (CFLRS) – Saint-Jean Garrison located in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu; Tacoma Washington (Joint Base Lewis-McChord); and finally Kingston at RMC.

I did get a chance to complete a degree, but that came much later in my career.

Prior to coming to the college, the only experience I had working with RMC cadets was at CFLRS during the summer when they would come in to finish their training.

I remember that they were more confident than those who came directly from a Recruiting Center.

I didn’t fully understand why until I was posted to RMC and actually saw what the cadets went through during the school year.

I jumped at the opportunity to come to RMC because I enjoyed the interaction I had with the officer cadets at CFLRS and figured this would be much of the same.

It took a bit to get used to not being as “hands on” as I was at CFLRS. However, I did fill the role as ‘Acting’ Squadron Commander during my first year.

Consequently, I was able to directly influence the cadets in 5 Sqn. I witnessed young men and young women, just coming out of high school, evolve into confident adults who were ready and willing to lead.

The majority of cadets I’ve worked with are extremely motivated and dedicated to their studies, training and the Canadian Armed Forces.

They want the opportunity to lead and demonstrate, to their peers and staff, their ability to accomplish tasks assigned to them.

Listening to the issues of first year cadets compared with those of fourth years is like night and day. The fourth year is looking forward to completing their Army/Navy/Air Force training and then getting boots on the ground at their first unit.

Whereas the first year is still figuring out if this is the right place for them.

Not every person who is accepted at RMC should be an officer. Sometimes it takes a bit of time for them to realize that the military just isn’t the right fit. However, the staff at the college is ready and able to help them discover their hidden potential or help them on their way.

I just completed the Nijmegen march with several cadets and I couldn’t help but feeling a huge sense of pride when we finally finished the four day march.

The drive and determination of the cadets on the team was a solid example of the high quality of future  officers coming out of the college.

I am looking forward to seeing the changes that come out of the Special Staff Assistant Visit (SSAV) and how it will impact the cadets.

I’m just as excited to be here as I was two years ago, when I showed up to my office in Sauvé.”