2015 FYOP Staff – One Common Denominator

2015 First Year Orientation Period

What motivates senior cadets to take on FYOP leadership roles?

By: WJO

Depending on the era, cadets arriving at military college went through a rigorous recruit term (what it was called back in the day) in recent times – called First Year Orientation Period (FYOP).

We had the opportunity to connect with four dedicated IV Year cadets who have picked-up the torch and to play a hands-on leadership role to ensure the new arrivals are successful at RMCC and well beyond.

  • 26783 OCdt. Jeffrey Arnold – Cadet Wing IC of FYOP 2015
  • 26779 OCdt Kyle Tilley – Cadet Flight Leader (CFL) for Tango Flight
  • 26555 OCdt Alex BeaulieuCadet Flight Leader for Warrior Flight
  • 26585 OCdt Nicholas Swanson – CFL of Fighter Flight

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The 2015 First Year Orientation Period (FYOP) is under the capable cadet leadership of an aspiring Construction Engineering Officer currently completing a civil engineering degree. 26783 OCdt. Jeffrey Arnold, was born and raised in Kingston, ON.

“As a young kid growing up in Kingston, I was always impressed with the discipline and professionalism displayed by the RMC cadets. Every year at the end of August I could often be found on the RMC grounds watching as the newest cadets of the college marched under the Memorial Arch with a dream of one day being one of those cadets.”

In addition to carrying a full academic workload and the demands that go with being the IC of FYOP 2015 he does find time to unwind. “I am a “die-hard” Toronto Blue Jays fan and am looking forward to some October baseball being played in Toronto. When I’m not busy studying or watching the Jays play, I enjoy going for runs and am an active member on the RMC stage band where I play trombone.”

OCdt Arnold recently took time to meet up with Bill Oliver and discussed his role with FYOP and his views on a number of other subjects.

What is your FYOP position?

I am the IC of FYOP 2015.

What motivated you to apply / accept a FYOP position?

I believe in RMC’s mission to produce professional and disciplined young officer cadets that will go on to become the future leaders in the CA F and Canada. I may be biased but I strongly believe that the FYOP staff at RMC can have the greatest impact and influence on these newest cadets. If you ask any RMC grad who their biggest influence was during their time at the College I think a vast majority will say it was their FYOP staff. The FYOP 2015 staff is comprised of some of the most dedicated and hardworking individuals at the college and to have the opportunity to lead this team has been an absolute honour.

What has been your biggest challenge during FYOP 2015 to date?

To date, my biggest challenge during FYOP 2015 has been managing the “big wheel” without getting too involved in the “smaller wheels” that are constantly turning. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the issues and concerns of one flight or cadet but at the end of the day there are still eleven other flights that need my attention and oversight.

What kind of contribution would you like to make to FYOP?

I would like to encourage the newest members of the college to be confident in the decisions that they make and to not be afraid to stand up and defend those decisions. Allowing the twelve FYOP CFLs to make their own decisions while still achieving the end goal during the course of FYOP is my way of setting that example. At the end of the day, if the class of 2019 is comprised of respectful, disciplined and professional officer cadets that display pride in RMC and the CAF then I think my job is done.

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

There are many cadets at the college that have had a great influence on me and they are not necessarily the senior cadets in the wing. My biggest influence often comes from the cadets that display a high level of deportment and professionalism on a day-to-day basis no matter which year they are. As a first year, I was most influenced by my own peers who were always pushing me to run a little further or study a little harder.

What– in your opinion– makes a good leader?

I believe that a good leader is one who is willing to make a tough decision and stand by it if they believe it is the right thing to do. Too often, leaders make decisions in order to try and please those above them. Promotions and recognitions should not be the influencing factors in the decisions that a leader makes.

Which person(s) (excluding parents / family members) inspired you the most to be the person you are today?

“Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It’s about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter. It is about laying the groundwork for others’ success, and then standing back and letting them shine.”

Chris Hadfield 13738

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26779 OCdt Kyle Tilley is an airforce brat who spent most of his time growing up in Trenton; both his parents are career military members. Kyle is studying Computer Engineering and will join the Corps of Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RCEME) following graduation.

“During my time at RMC I have engaged in a variety of different sports and activities. Most notably I have been a member of the RMC Rowing Club, Intramural Hockey team, and Multi-Sport Club. I have gotten involved with photography and have taken many pictures for e-Veritas.”

Kyle took time to discuss some aspects of FYOP and his own RMCC experiences.

What is your FYOP position?

I am the Cadet Flight Leader (CFL) for Tango Flight in 7 Squadron.

What motivated you to apply / accept a FYOP position?

I wanted to make a change. To me, FYOP is the only position at the college that has any sort of meaning to it. No other position allows you the opportunity to guide and mentor individuals the way that FYOP does. For me, it’s not about the bars on your shoulder or the badges on your sleeves. FYOP gives you the chance to train and help people along their journey through the college; it is a truly rewarding experience. You not only learn about the people you are working with but it also allows you to grow and practice your own leadership style.

What has been your biggest challenge during FYOP 2015 to date?

The biggest challenge during FYOP 2015 has been to establish the baseline of where the troops were as far as fitness, leadership, and abilities go. Finding the starting point from which we would build the foundation was difficult because everyone is different. Where some people excel others might not. Overcoming this is still a work-in-progress but the flight has definitely come a long way in such a short time.

What kind of contribution would you like to make to FYOP?

I want to be the example. Most people will list their FYOP staff as the most influential people during their time here at RMC and I want to be that good example. I want my first years to look to me as the standard for what life at RMC is all about. I don’t expect them to follow my exact path but I want to be the role model and mentor that they look to for advice and the one they can respect. I want to be the one who they write about in 3 years when asked the same question.

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

I can’t remember names but I remember looking up to certain people for specific things, one person would be their personal dress, another would be their stature and command presence. I wouldn’t say it was any one person the influenced me but rather a plethora of different people.

What– in your opinion– makes a good leader?

A good leader is someone who practices 2-way communication. They must be able to take suggestions and input from others as well as external sources. They must be attentive to all persons equally and not just hear what they are communicating but rather understand it. They must also be able to deliver. The type to make a decision given the information and go with the decision they made. There are appropriate times for discussions and leaders must be able to differentiate those times. When they are issuing their directives they must also be clear, confident, and concise.

Which person(s) (excluding parents / family members) inspired you the most to be the person you are today?

Again, I wouldn’t be able to name a single most inspiring person but I can see the influences and inspirations from many people. It is the combination of desirable fragments that has made me the person I am today.

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Calgary, Alberta native, 26555 OCdt Alex Beaulieu – is the current Cadet Flight Leader for Warrior Flight, 9 Squadron. His degree program is Chemistry and will be a commissioned member of the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (EME) Branch following his time at RMCC.

When asked about his interests & hobbies, he was very clear. My interests are endurance events such as marathons and military endurance competitions such as the Petawawa Ironman. “My hobbies are hiking, camping, biking, canoeing, outdoor expeditions, and running. I am an avid snowboarder but due to my current location I am unable to participate in the sport as much as I would like.”

What motivated you to apply / accept a FYOP position?

My motivation came from my desire to take part in the training and shaping of the future leaders of the RMCC and the CAF as a lot of the lessons and habits you learn from your staff during FYOP will stick with you for the rest of your career. I also thoroughly enjoy leading and teaching new recruits as it is a very rewarding experience when you see someone push themselves to new limits both mentally and physically.

What has been your biggest challenge during FYOP 2015 to date?

The biggest challenge I’ve had during FYOP 2015 would be ensuring that I teach all the right lessons to the new recruits and that I don’t teach them any bad habits.

What kind of contribution would you like to make to FYOP?

The biggest contribution I would like to make to FYOP would be changing how the program is structured and taught. The new recruits need to be shown exactly how to lead and be given the opportunity to do so they themselves can become better leaders.

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

The senior cadets that influenced me the most were my FYOP CFL, Tucker Densmore, and his two best friends, David Von Neppel, and Dominic Ragetli. They had a major impact on my life and who I am today as a member of the CAF by leading by example, giving me the skills I needed to succeed as a cadet at RMC, and just being solid friends.

What– in your opinion– makes a good leader?

A leader needs to think of his troops first and put himself last. He needs to lead by example in everything he does and strive for excellence in all aspects of life. By doing so, he’ll set a good example for the troops following him and promote their welfare in terms of health both mentally and physically.

Which person(s) (excluding parents / family members) inspired you the most to be the person you are today?

The person that inspired me the most to be the person I am today would be my loving girlfriend, Rachael Hill. She plays a key role in keeping me grounded and level headed and encouraging me to pursue my passions and goals in life.

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26585 OCdt Nicholas Swanson hails from Penticton, British Columbia. He is CFL of Fighter Flight. The soon-to-be Communications and Electronics Engineering Officer (CELE) is completing an Honours Physics and Space Science degree.

“I am an avid competitive swimmer and in past years have been the captain and president of the RMCC Competitive Swim Team. I also play bass guitar and tenor saxophone with the RMCC Stage Band. I am also interested in astronomy and astrophysics. Some other hobbies of mine are long-boarding, running, kayaking, and skiing.”

What motivated you to apply / accept a FYOP position?

The opportunity to instill in new officer cadets the skills they will need in order to excel both at the college as well as in the military. I also wanted to be a mentor and be able to coach these new members of the college through their first year.

What has been your biggest challenge during FYOP 2015 to date?

Finding time to relax. My staff and I work very hard to ensure that everything necessary for training is in good standing, and that the training itself is carried out well. Sometimes I can get caught up in the whirlwind job this is, and I will need to take a step back and force myself to relax of sleep so I can carry on with the training.

What kind of contribution would you like to make to FYOP?

I hope to be a role model for those first year cadets that are entering RMC this year. My goal is to exemplify the traits that a leader should have, as well as the conduct that an officer must exhibit in from of their subordinates. I hope that this will set a good first example for those who are just beginning their military career and set them on a strong start to their four years here.

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

My FYOP staff were always my biggest role models throughout my time at the college. Through their example and conduct during our orientation and training, I learned a lot of what it truly means to be a leader. The strongest influences for me came from OCdt. Justin Hanlon, and OCdt Jerimiah Eastwood.

What– in your opinion– makes a good leader?

I believe there to be four main things that define a good leader: Integrity, Dedication, Drive, and Respect. I believe that every leader needs to uphold their own personal integrity by being honest with themselves, as well as with those around them. A leader should be dedicated to their cause and to their mission and never give up when things get difficult. They should always put in all their effort because as a follower, that is the least they deserve from the one leading them. Finally a leader should always respect those who are his/her superiors, as well as their subordinates and peers.

Which person(s) (excluding parents / family members) inspired you the most to be the person you are today?

There have been an innumerable group of people who have inspired me throughout my life. They range from my Section Commanders on FYOP, to my Fire Team Partner on BMOQ-L. Each person I have had the opportunity to work with has taught me a little bit more about myself, as well as ways that I can become better.