CCWO Handover: Classy Event at Currie Hall
By 27832 OCdt (I) Cardona, 12 Sqn
On Tuesday May 17, for the 34th time in the history of the Royal Military College of Canada, the position of College Chief Warrant Officer (CCWO) switched hands. The appointment, formerly held by Chief Petty Officer First Class, Keith Davidson was handed over to his successor, Chief Warrant Officer Garth Hoegi.
Among the attendees were MGen Eric Tremblay, Military Personnel Generation ; BGen Sean Friday, Commandant, RMCC; and Col Stephen Kelsey, Base Commander, CFB Kingston. Also in attendance were many friends, family and colleagues of CPO1 Davidson and CWO Hoegi.
The ceremony began right on schedule at 1400 hrs with the arrival of the honoured guests and the playing of the national anthem. This was followed by a surprise presentation, by the outgoing CCWO who made a very special presentation to one Ernie Moulton. In his teenage years, CPO1 Davidson was a Sea Cadet in Woodstock, Ontario. He describes his Sea Cadet Corps as being unusual in that aside from participating in sailing and other Navy activities, they also had the opportunity to participate in Army Cadet activities, like parachuting and Air Cadet activities, notably power flying. This was possible because of the work of Ernie Moulton, who was the Commanding Officer of CPO1 Davidson’s Sea Cadet Corps. Mr. Moulton’s sons were also Sea Cadets with Keith Davidson.
The Southern Ontario farm-boy lost touch with the Moulton family until recently. In the 2012-13 school-year, one of Moulton’s sons, a Navy NCM, participated in the NCM Executive Professional Development Programme (NEPDP) at RMC. CPO1 Davidson did not recognize him until he discovered that they came from the same hometown and learned that Ernie Moulton was his father.
As a special gift to Mr. (Ernie) Moulton, CPO1 Davidson on hearing that, CPO2 Andrew Shane Moulton was due to be promoted, as he has done on numerous occasions – Keith pulled a few strings – and arranged for the promotion ceremony to take place at Currie Hall just prior to the CCWO main event.
After this touching tribute,the handover of the CWO’s Drill Cane took place. This symbolic gesture, presided over by BGen Friday, represents the change of appointment. It demonstrated the College Team’s recognition of CPO1 Davidson’s many accomplishments as CCWO and welcomes CWO Hoegi aboard the RMC family. Furthermore, it emphasizes that ceremony is both about looking back and appreciating the outgoing CCWO but also looking forward to what is yet to come.
Following the exchanging of the Drill Cane, the illustrious CPO1 Davidson gave an improvised speech. He began by giving a large box of Dad’s cookies to Mr. Doug Cameron, who’s part of RMC’s security staff, and a bag of chocolates to Ms. Nathalie Filion-Poitras, the Executive Assistant to the Commandant. As the outgoing CCWO later explained, almost every morning Mr. Cameron gives him cookies, chocolate or (on rare occasion) a carrot muffin. In fact, he never eats breakfast and usually takes what Mr. Cameron offers. Similarly, Ms. Filion-Poitras always had chocolates ready to offer him. (Click on board (left) for better viewing)
Afterwards, CPO1 Davidson discussed some of his highlights from his time at the College, including his time on the employee Health and Wellness Group, helping with the establishment of the RMC snack bar, his role in organizing and performing in concerts and his work with the Sailing team. He has no specific plans for his retirement, but he hopes to sail the Great Lakes and maybe pass by RMC on his way back. He plans to do this with the love of his life, who is also an avid lover of the sea. His greatest advice for CWO Hoegi is that he “needs to ensure that people trust him to take care of them” and then the rest comes together.
BGen Friday then expressed his appreciation for CPO1 Davidson and welcomed CWO Hoegi.
The incoming CCWO, an artilleryman by trade addressed the audience in what one would expect from a combat-arms Chief Warrant Officer – highly organized, respectful and to the point. He looks forward to meeting the members of College team and working for the historic and institution that is RMCC. Prior to this posting, he studied at the college for a year in 2012 as part of his professional development. He looks forward to interacting with and helping the cadets and hopes to carry on his predecessor’s ability to bring people together.
Among the VIPs was the RMCC club president Bryan Bailey. Mr. Bailey describes CPO1 Davidson as an outstanding friend, whom he first got to know when they were both in Halifax. He also remarked that the departing CCWO is a “different breed of modern NCO” and in a sense represents the new generation of CAF NCMs. Also in attendance was 16420 Maj John de Boer, a professor in the math department who, while not having much of a professional relationship with the outgoing CCWO, did connect with him on a personal level and got to know him during his time at RMCC.
The Real Chief Keith Part I: A Challenging Career – Interview conducted in two parts By OCdt (I) Pablo R. Cardona (27832) – Article
College Chief – Pt II: Clearly One of a Kind – Article