CMR Saint Jean – The ROKAFA 7th International Week: A cultural discovery trip

Bonjour à tous:

La 43e édition du tournoi de ballon sur glace des Anciens aura lieu au CMR Saint-Jean du 27 au 29 janvier 2017. Une trentaine d’équipes prendront part au tournoi encore cette année faisant de ce tournoi l’évènement traditionnel sportif et social rassemblant le plus grand nombres d’anciens et d’élofs années après années. Les inscriptions sont ouvertes jusqu’au 16 décembre 2016. Premiers arrivés, premiers servis. Veuillez contactez [email protected] pour plus d’information.

Greetings:

The 43rd Annual Ex-Cadets Broomball Tournament will take place at RMC Saint-Jean from January 27th to 29th, 2017. Thirty teams will take part, making of this event the largest in which old cadets and OCdts participate together year in and year out. First come, first served. To register a team, please contact [email protected] prior to 16 Dec 2016.

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The ROKAFA 7th International Week: A cultural discovery trip

Caption: The International delegation and the ROKAFA senior staff, November 4th 2016, Cheongju South Korea

The Republic of Korea Air Force Academy 7th International Week was held in South Korea from November 1st to 5th 2016. The CMR Saint-Jean, thanks to the generous support of the RMC Foundation, was able to send two CMR Saint-Jean officer-cadets Grace Evelyn Loucks (27669) and William Allard-Laverdure (27606) and one faculty teacher, Jean-François Marcoux to attend this event. This year’s International Week included delegates from France, the UK, Sweden, Italy, Greece, Indonesia and Thailand. Each delegation was made up of 2 officer-cadets and one accompanying officer or teacher.

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This event afforded Mrs. Loucks and Mr. Allard-Laverdure with the opportunity to experience a new culture and to discover the history and customs of South Korea. The ROKAFA International Week boasts a diversified list of activities and events that cover culture and military issues. There is also a networking component as the CMR Saint-Jean officer-cadets were paired with a ROKAFA officer-cadet for the duration of the activity once on ROKAFA grounds. Furthermore, CMR Saint-Jean officer-cadets also met and interacted with their counterparts from other military academies.

During this week in South Korea the CMR Saint-Jean delegation visited many sites and installations. On the first day visits included the Royal Palace and the National Museum in Seoul. The second day was a highlight for officer-cadets as we visited the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that separates South and North Korea. The insert below shows the CMR Saint-Jean officer-cadets in the negotiation building that stands on the border between North and South Korea.

 

Caption: Officer-Cadets William Allard-Laverdure (left) and Grace Evelyn Loucks (Right) in the negotiation building. Between them stands a South Korean Army Guard. The table stands on the border between the two countries. Left of it is South Korea and right of it North Korea. The visit occurred on November 2nd 2016, in Pamunjon, South Korea.

From the third to the last day, the CMR Saint-Jean delegation stayed on the Korean Air Force Academy site and took part in military briefings, ceremonies and cultural activities. The next insert shows officer-cadet Grace Evelyn Loucks using a flight simulator with the aid of South Korean Instructor.

 

Caption: CMR Saint-Jean officer-cadet Grave Evelyn Loucks using the Korean Air Force Academy flight simulator. This activity occurred on November 4th 2016 at the ROKAFA site.

One of the highlights of the International Week was the Gift exchange ceremony and exchange seminar that took place on November 3rd. In the morning, the delegations from each visiting nation participated in a briefing by the ROKAFA superintendent and his staff. This was followed by a gift exchange ceremony between each delegation and the ROKAFA superintendent. The officer cadets of CMR Saint-Jean were first introduced to the ROKAFA superintendent in the morning’s greeting ceremony.

 

 

Caption: Officer-Cadet Allard-Laverdure meeting the ROKAFA Superintendent LT. General Keon Wan Lee during the morning greeting ceremony. He was preceded by an officer-cadet from the Italian Air Academy and followed by Officer-Cadet Loucks of CMR Saint-Jean. This took place on the morning of November 3rd 2016 in front of the HQ building at the ROKAFA site.

Following the morning introductions the official gift exchange ceremony took place. Each delegation presented a gift from its Academy and received a gift in return from the ROKAFA. The picture below was taken at the gift ceremony.

 

Caption: The Official gift exchange ceremony with CMR Saint-Jean Delegation and ROKAFA superintendent and senior officer. This took place on November 3rd 2016 at the ROKAFA site. From left to right, Officer-Cadet Loucks, ROKAFA seminar coordinator, Jean-François Marcoux CMR Saint-Jean Teacher, Superintendent Keon Wan Lee and officer-cadet Allard-Laverdure.

The afternoon of November 3rd was dedicated to the exchange seminar. This is when cadets from each academy delivered a 10 to 15 minute presentation on their College or Academy and answered questions from the audience on life at their respective academies. CMR Saint-Jean’s presentation was very well received and had several unique points that distinguished it from others. Indeed, the bilingual nature of the delegation as well as the fact CMR officer-cadets from all service branches study together under the tutelage of civilian teachers and professors generated interest from the audience.

The generous support of the RMC Foundation thus allowed the officer cadets to hone their presentation skills in front of an international audience, to experience a new culture and environment and to network with cadets from other nations. This is something that will only enhance their knowledge base and that will also help prepare them for working as young officers in what is a diversified international environment.

Finally, what did the two officer-cadets learn on this trip?

For Grace Evelyn Loucks, some highlights of this experience were the chance to meet cadets from other countries, getting to visit a different country like South Korea, and seeing the DMZ itself. The briefings from other academies were also a high point as she valued the chance to learn how other military academies and colleges function. For her, sharing cultures and nurturing relationships between members of different countries and cultures is something that can only lead to increased understanding and cooperation. As a future CAF officer, this is a very valuable lesson.

For William Allard-Laverdure, an Army officer-cadet, seeing the world of the Air Force was interesting. As with his colleague, visiting the DMZ was a highlight as it the high readiness and security measures in that area were a military experience onto itself. The cooperation between South Korean and American military personnel in the DMZ area was also something he found to be impressive. Upon reaching the DMZ, cadet Allard-Laverdure was cognizant of the fact that for the first time he was experiencing a real-life high tension military situation. Officer-cadet Allard-Laverdure also felt visiting South Korea enhanced his knowledge base and deeply appreciated the opportunity to visit such a different place.

This activity should be funded in the future as it offers CMR Saint-Jean students the opportunity to travel to a new country and experience a very different culture. It also allows CMR Saint-Jean students to visit military installations in South Korea and to network with officer-cadets from all around the world. I believe the activity also helps students improve their communications skills through the exchange seminar but also their interpersonal skills as young soon to be officers. Finally, from a financial standpoint, this activity is very cost effective as the Republic of Korea Air Force Academy covers costs for meals, accommodations, visits and local transportation for the duration of the activity.

Finally, on behalf of myself and of the two CMR Saint-Jean students whom I accompanied, I wish to offer my sincere and heartfelt thanks to the RMC foundation for its generous financial support for this cultural exchange and discovery trip to the Republic of South Korea.

Jean-François Marcoux

Teacher, CMR Saint-Jean