Former ROTP cadet graduates twenty one years later
For newly minted 19326 2LT Jeremy D’Souza the circle is now complete. After first marching through RMC’s Memorial Arch in August 1990, he has succeeded in “marching out” of the Arch over two decades later – degree in hand!
D’Souza, was fortunate to return to the CF as a member of the Cadet Instructor Cadre (CIC), part of the Class A Reserves, after being released in 1994 from the ROTP one year prior to graduation from RMC, during the Force Reduction Plan (FRP), in the early 1990s.
“For many of the cadets in their scarlets, including myself, the Canadian Cadet Movement (CCM) was their first exposure to the military. After volunteering with both an Air Cadet Squadron and then an Army Cadet Corps for four years, I was privileged to be offered a position in uniform once again.”
The goals of the cadet program are to teach and instil good citizenship and leadership practices, physical fitness, and an interest in the related element of the Canadian Armed Forces.
One of the added bonuses for its officers is to take university courses via RMC Division of Continuing Studies (DCS)”.
During that summer following enrolment, D’Souza contacted RMC’s DCS to enquire about studying towards a new degree.
“I told them that I was once a cadet at the College and I was asked for my old college number, which I quickly rhymed off and was told to await a return phone call as they verified their records”
Within thirty minutes, he was called back and told by DCS that he would be able to “recover” his incomplete Bachelor of Science by taking just a few more courses.
D’Souza asserts, “I was off work at the time, availing myself of parental/paternity leave with my newborn daughter. My wife was extremely supportive of me which allowed me to study during the evenings whilst she settled our baby. I now have the utmost respect for UTPOs and UTPMs, who are able to complete their RMC studies while juggling home and family commitments on top of those academic, second language and military at RMC.”
D’Souza thoroughly enjoyed the online learning opportunities as well as the varied experiences, worldwide, of his “virtual classmates”, some of whom were deployed throughout the world in places such as exchanges with the USAF, Canadian embassies overseas, and even Khandahar, Afghanistan.
“The contribution that they made via online postings was invaluable to the class, as their perspectives and collective experiences complemented the learning of all students”.
Academic staff at RMC DCS were also extremely accommodating with deadlines, for example – knowing that priorities change and online access is not always available (limited internet access in different time zones across foreign lands and telecom systems).
2LT D’Souza is extremely proud to finally be a graduate of the Royal Military College of Canada. He wishes to be a standing testament to lifelong education and professional education. As an Administration Officer with an Army Cadet Corps in Tottenham, ON – he hopes that he will continue to mentor and advise young men and women who may not have thought of the innumerable benefits of a career in the CF – Regular or Reserve Forces.
Upon returning to Kingston for his 15 year, Class of 1995 Reunion and marching in the Ex-Cadet Parade on the Sunday – he was sure to mention and invite his former classmates to attend his convocation and graduation from RMC. He was fortunate to have present this past Graduation Week, classmates: Erin O’Toole, member of RMC Board of Governors, LCdr Roman Antoniewicz, C Div Comd, Major Nick Vlachopoulos of the Civil Engineering department and Secretary – Class of 1995, Captain Lee Wendland, 3 & 4 Sqn Comd, and Lt(N) Ian Flannagan (who found a sword to loan 2LT D’Souza as he made his trek through the Arch following the 4th Year Graduates).
Dr. Thomas Racey, Dean of Science and one of 2LT D’Souza’s former professors twenty years ago bestowed the Bachelor of Science Hood upon him at the convocation. His RMC Club of Canada tie was given to him by LCdr(Ret’d) Gerry Stowe, Adjutant of the Old Brigade, who he first met as a high school student on a tour of RMC in autumn 1988.
2LT Jeremy D’Souza hopes to continue in a career in educating youth as he embarks on applications to various faculties of education in an attempt to become an elementary school teacher, specializing in French language learning.