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  • 10966 MICHEL MAISONNEUVE: MEMORIES OF RMC – SOUVENIRS DU CMR PART 4 / PARTIE 4

10966 MICHEL MAISONNEUVE: MEMORIES OF RMC – SOUVENIRS DU CMR PART 4 / PARTIE 4

CENTENNIAL CLASS OF 1976/CLASSE DU CENTENAIRE 1976

À l’approche de l’entrée de notre promotion dans la Vieille Brigade, plusieurs souvenirs remontent à la surface. Je vais tenter d’en écrire quelques uns; certains en français, certains en anglais.

As the date of entry of our Class into the Old Brigade approaches, many memories resurface; I will try to write some of them – in French or in English.

ON FINDING LEADERSHIP MODELS TO EMULATE

As we recruits arrived in Pontiac (3) Squadron, all of us were looking for leaders. We may not have thought we were, being run from pillar to post with nary a minute to spare. In fact, we were so busy from 6am to lights out at 10pm that we did not see time pass. After a couple of weeks of not-a-minute-to-ourselves, our flight was granted an hour “off” on a Sunday afternoon. What could we do? We looked at each other and decided that we would sit in our hallway and work on polishing our boots!

Back to the leadership thing…as newly-arrived Cadets, we saw some leadership in all our seniors. Some we thought were too hard, some were too lenient, some were trying to be our friends, and some were downright scary. But a few were exactly the way we wanted to be “when we grew up”. Our CFL, Hugh McEwen, was a moustachioed Navy Cadet with a British demeanor, quiet leadership style, and twinkle in his eye. Our CSL was Bill Sutherland – a man we seldom saw, but when we did, he was exactly what I thought the perfect Cadet should be; in bearing, dress, and deportment. His uniform fit perfectly, his shoes were glass, he always spoke softly with his fellow seniors and seemed to exude confidence. As a tribute to Bill, our Recruit Flight started to call ourselves “Sud’s Studs”.

There were other leaders throughout the Wing. Our CWTO was Mike Dolan; scary, big, and loud. To be admired only at a distance, of course, and NEVER to be too close to, in case he pick you up for being too slack. The CWC, Don Heath,  was another unreachable star: tall, confident, and with a great command voice. I’m sure all the buds in our Class could point out one or two senior Cadets that they admired and wanted to emulate. In those days, arriving at the College directly from civvy street, and not after Basic Training, the senior Cadets were the ones who had a direct and significant impact on us. For me, it was the start of finding good officers and NCOs all throughout my career who were the type of leaders after whom I would try to model myself.

To be continued

For previous articles in this series please see below. / Pour les articles précédents de cette série, voir ci-dessous.

Souvenirs: Partie 1 / Memories: Part 1

Souvenirs: Partie 2 / Memories: Part 2

Souvenirs: Partie 3 / Memories: Part 3

 

3 Comments

  • John Gredley

    May 6, 2020 at 2:32 pm

    I agree with Mike’s comments – the early years of our careers at CMR/RMC were an important opportunity to find people to emulate, both among fellow cadets and staff, as well as , necessarily, taking note of those who were not effective and to understand why.

  • Mike Kennedy #12570

    May 6, 2020 at 3:16 pm

    This is a very good article, and it illustrates the lifelong impact that senior cadets can have on their recruits, who are young and impressionable teenagers, in most cases away from home for the first time in their lives. It is also worth remembering that the seniors are still very young people just barely into their 20’s, and just a few years earlier, they themselves would have been young and frightened recruits in their first weeks at the College.
    When I was a recruit in 5 Squadron in 1976, we were fortunate to have several exceptionally good seniors watching over us. The impressions that they made were memorable, especially for someone like myself, who had no previous familiarity with military life. Some years ago, I recorded some memories of my own for e-Veritas, which may be found here https://everitas.rmcclub.ca/mike-kennedy-remembers%E2%80%A6%E2%80%A6%E2%80%A6/

  • Bob Triska 11020

    May 8, 2020 at 6:40 pm

    Keep the memories coming Mike. I look forward to future instalments! I remember when we tried to capture Mike Dolan and dispatch him off the end of the pier as we had done with D/CWC Dale Karl. Mike D. Won that encounter. I must say, we had some great times without any hazing. I think the recruiters did a good job of screening out potential psychopaths and power trippers and selecting quality candidates.