7 Days in the Life of a Squadron Commander – Pt. II

Visiting the Boat

Article by: 26972 OCdt (II) Chantel Fortier

Finding one’s way through the maze of the Stone Frigate to Captain Ready’s office was slightly intimidating, but the Squadron Commander was quick to make guests feel at ease. The second interviewee for the Seven Day Diary project, Captain Ready is another new addition to the Training Wing team. Previously, he served with the Royal Canadian Dragoons, particularly 2 CMBG, before specifically requesting a posting at the Royal Military College.

The reason for the request, he explained, was directed towards the cadets themselves. Postings at the College for military personnel vary from one to three year durations; Captain Ready wants the full three year term to work with the cadets of 1 Squadron. Like many of the other Squadron Commanders, he works closely with the third and fourth years; by shaping their attitudes toward post-College experiences and working one-on-one with the barmen, he hopes to establish the firm footing newly commissioned officers will need to succeed in their first units. But it isn’t all about the work. “I try to attend as many events as I can,” he remarked, “both formal and informal, such as the recent physical fitness tests up at the KMCSC.”

The CSL of 1 Squadron, (insert name), sat in on the interview. As the discussion unfolded, he reinforced Captain Ready’s aim, describing the importance of working closely with the senior cadets. At RMC, ‘slasher positions’ are fondly spoken of – the few positions in which seniors are not given bar duties to perform in addition to their classwork. But, as easy as it would be, preparing for the challenges of working with a unit – which would consist of so much more than the mere job description an MOC gives – will ultimately give second lieutenants the upper hand. Additionally, administration skills are a necessary evil of advanced authority. When asked what the largest portion of his work consisted of, the Captain responded ruefully, “Definitely administration.” The week he recorded for the project reflects this, giving an accurate representation of the hours required of Squadron Commanders in the office just to stay on top of daily activities. Unfortunately, much of this work is invisible to the rest of the squadron, making it difficult to participate as often as these senior officers would like in the life of squadron members.

Nonetheless, Captain Ready was distinctly proud of his position. “I would like to work with 1 Squadron for the duration of my posting,” he said, his CSL nodding enthusiastically. Being able to work with the rising years of the squadron members would, of course, be an advantage, but Captain Ready seems to have an excellent rapport with his cadets. As the years unfold, 1 Squadron will be lucky indeed to have an officer so dedicated to their future success.

Seven Days in the life of Capt Russell Ready – 1 Squadron Commander

Monday Oct 20

0530hrs Reveille

0545-0615hrs Helped girlfriend pack her belongings into car before she departed to her home in Ottawa

0715-1030hrs Admin in office (preparing VOT and PRB)

1030-1200hrs Met with OC A Div to discuss several ongoing issues and my recommended solutions

1200-1230hrs Lunch at the SSM

1300-1330hrs Met with CSL

1330-1400hrs Picked up mail from both mailboxes, met briefly with OC A Div

1400-1730hrs Admin

1800-2000hrs Watched old episodes of “The Ultimate Fighter”, had supper, shopped for Christmas gifts online

2000-2100hr Telephone call

2100-2145hrs Reading “GSP: The Way of the Fight” by Georges St Pierre

Tuesday Oct 21

0600hrs Reveille

0700-0845hrs Admin

0900-1000hrs SO Coord Meeting

1000-1030hrs Haircut

1100-1215hrs Meeting about Professional Development

1245-1315hrs Meeting with OCdt

1315-1400hrs Meeting with CSL

1400-1600hrs Admin

1600-1700hrs Two phone calls discussing guidance for OCdts

1700-1730hrs Meeting with OCdt

1730hrs-1900hrs Admin – Completion of PRB file, with nine different source documents, my commentary on the subject OCdt’s performance, and my recommendation for the best path forward

1945-2100hrs PT – weights & martial arts

2100-2215hrs Supper, hygiene, phone call with girlfriend

Wed Oct 22

0545hrs- Reveille

0545-0630hrs PT – functional movement training

0630-0730hrs Breakfast, hygiene, prep uniform, drive to work

0730-0900hrs Polish & submit PRB paperwork for review

0900-1000hrs SC Shoptalk with SC 10

1000-1030hrs Admin

1030-1100hrs TOETs for pistol range

1100-1130hrs Meeting with CSL and CSAdO

1130hrs-1330hrs RMCC Mentorship Creative Problem Solving session

1330hrs-1400hrs Counselling OCdt

1400-1430hrs Admin

1430-1530hrs Meeting with OC A Div and SC3

1530-1600hrs Admin

1600-1630hrs Interviewed OCdt

1645hrs Parade

1715- 1830hrs Admin

1830-1930hrs Chores

1930-2100hrs PT – martial arts

2100-2200hrs hygiene, prepare supper

2200-2300hrs supper, phonecall with girlfriend, scoured internet for deals on new boxing gloves, researched Kingston plumbers in case DIY plumbing is a bad idea

Thurs Oct 23

0545hrs – Reveille

0700-0800hrs Admin

0800-1245hrs 9mm Browning pistol range

1245-1330hrs Lunch at the SSM

1330-1430hrs Admin

1430-1600hrs TW Staff sports afternoon (bouldering)

1600-1800hrs SSM for TGIT & supper

1800-1930hrs Laundry & other chores at home

1930-2030hrs Set up and configuration of a tablet…a Christmas gift for a less tech-savvy person

2030-2100hrs Found good quality boxing gloves at the ‘right price’ and ordered them.

2100-2200hrs Watched “The Ultimate Fighter” and “Eastbound and Down”

Friday Oct 24

0545hrs Reveille

0645-0800hrs Admin & cleaned out email Inbox

0800-0830hrs Worked with CSAdO on going through records to find if there is any missing information

0830-0900hrs Meeting with CSL

0900-0930hrs Meeting with OC A DIv

0930-1100hrs Admin

1100-1145hrs OC A Div and myself counselling OCdt

1200-1245hrs Div O Grp

1245-1330hrs Lunch at SSM

1330-1400hrs Admin

1400-1430hrs Inspection of Stone Frigate common areas for security and working lock mechanisms

1430-1500hrs Picked up new ID card holder, checked my two mailboxes

1500-1630hrs Admin

1630-1730hrs Chores

1730-2100hrs Gananoque Home Hardware for plumbing supplies / Canadian Tire for air filters for the car, jack stands, and air compressor / grocery shopping at the Metro

2100-2200hrs Supper, then hung out with girlfriend who’d just arrived from Ottawa

Sat Oct 25

1000hrs Reveille

1000-1100hrs Read GSP’s book

1100-1400hrs Changed air filters in my car, raked leaves, mowed lawn

1400-1600hrs Hung out with girlfriend

1600-1700hrs Groceries for supper

1700-1830hrs Prepared and ate supper

1830-1900hrs Chores

1930-2100hrs PT resistance training and martial arts

2100-2230hrs PT functional movement training & hygiene

2230-0030hrs Watched “How to Train Your Dragon 2” (a great animated film)

Sun Oct 26

1000hrs Reveille

1000-1400hrs Chores, laundry, iron uniform

1400-1700hrs Video games

1700-1830hrs Supper

1830-1930hrs PT – functional movement training

1930-2030hrs Cleaned kitchen

2030-2130hrs Reading

2130-2230hrs Watched “Sons of Anarchy” & polished oxfords

7 Days in the Life of a Squadron Commander – Pt 1