20432 Aaron Novecosky, Class of ’96 (RRMC/RMC): Winding the clock back 20 years

Looking Back through The Memorial Arch – Twenty Years Later

20432 Aaron Novecosky, Class of ’96 (RRMC/RMC)

In no particular order, here is some unsolicited advice for my younger self. Twenty thoughts for twenty years after passing through the Arch:

1. Pay more attention to your academics, it’ll make it easier to get accepted into post-grad programs later.

2. While we’re talking about academics, take Business or Poli/Eco. You’ll be a subscriber to The Economist later in life and it will help to understand the financial section. Also your investments will probably do better.

3. Military College is artificial for a reason: you can fail spectacularly, learn your lessons, and nobody gets too badly hurt. Stop whining about it, get on with the job, and don’t get overly invested in the exercise.

4. Yes, you’re old enough to buy alcohol in second year. No, you shouldn’t keep it in your barrack box.

MORE…with some great photos

5. Don’t bother going for another bar slate position in second semester of fourth year. You’ve done your part and learned some good lessons; let somebody else have a turn. (Also, see previous comment about getting too invested.)

6. Contrary to your current opinion, you don’t know everything. Listen more and talk less.

7. You won’t be worth any woman’s time for another few years. Keep working on yourself and that will change soon enough, but for the moment try to relax about dating.

8. Don’t worry about getting a motorcycle now, you can afford a much nicer one later and you’ll be less likely to do something stupid on it. (This advice I actually followed. I just wanted to reinforce the point.)

9. Consider not trying out the new flat top haircut three days before grad parade. (Though at least the grad photos will have been long since taken by that point.)

10. Make a 5% better effort at Nav School and you’ll get your first choice of posting for your first operational tour. Or, just go to Greenwood for four and a half years, see if I care.

11. Try not to get tackled in the lower back by that big winger from West Point. You’re going to beat them anyway; the sacrifice isn’t really crucial.

12. Resist the pretty young lady’s invitation after the mess dinner in Australia. The Staff Duty Officer can see what you’re both thinking from 200 metres away.

13. Your Executive Officer in Halifax will be from the RRMC Class of ’93. But before you get too impressed with yourself, make sure to be nice to the second and third years in 11 Squadron. You are going to end up working for a member of each.

14. When you’re feeling anxious about a course or a task, always remember the Stupider Principle©. At some point stupider people than you have passed the course or done just fine at this task; therefore you’ll be fine. Calm down. [Yes, I’m aware that “stupider” isn’t a real word, but it’s still my copyright.]

15. Don’t use your bayonet scabbard to chip through the ice on your car from the freezing rain in third year. It’s not going to work out well for the scabbard.


16. Work on a third language, like Spanish or German or Chinese, or maybe Malayalam (if you really want to impress your future wife).

17. Frequently you will run into old friends out of the blue, especially in airports. There will be someone you know almost everywhere.

18. Buy-back your pension contributions for those few weeks of prior service. Now, stop reading and go now. Do it when it still only costs you $6/month as an officer cadet instead of hundreds as a captain.

19. TDV always applies.

20. You’re going to have some pretty amazing adventures. Enjoy the ride.



One Comment

  • Bill Yee

    March 15, 2016 at 8:06 am

    Nicely written and well said!

    I hope the Class of 2016 can appreciate your inspiration, insight and humour! Thanks for sharing.

    Bill Yee (’77)