Drillfest 2016: Ups & Downs of Week 1 – Three Perspectives
2816 WW Turner remembers: Feu de Joie – In case any Cadets have ideas this week!! A parade square story worth repeating from 40 years ago.
Drillfest 2016: Ups & downs of Week 1 – Three Perspectives
Article coordinated by: 27832 OCdt (I) Pablo Cardona
” This week, cadets of the Royal Military College have been participating in preparation for the graduation parade for the class of 2016. Graduation parade practice, commonly called “drillfest” is two weeks with almost daily practice for the graduation parade. This past week, we’ve been focussing on nailing the parade sequence and rifle drill. On Thursday, I got to fire blanks for the first time when we practiced the Feu de Joie on the parade square. Overall, drillfest has been a demanding but enjoyable learning experience.”
– 27747 OCdt (I) Zhao, 11 Sqn
“My role this year for grad parade is the CDTO for D Division. This means that I take care of organizing the division to make sure that cadets are well turned out and march onto the parade square on time and ready to go. Drill fest is certainly stressful, but it is a relief as a fourth year knowing that all of this hard work will soon end and we can be proud of what we accomplished.”
– 26678 OCdt (IV) Williams, 12 Sqn
“For me, drillfest started off pretty rocky and there was a great deal of confusion. However, throughout the practices it has gotten progressively better and come to the point where the only work needed is attention to minor details, like sharpening drill movements. We’ve come a long way from the very first practice where the parade would end up in a stand still because there was so much confusion and people didn’t know what was going on.”
– 27826 OCdt (I) Phillips, 12 Sqn
More photos Road to Grad Parade – Here
2816 WW Turner remembers: Feu de Joie – In case any Cadets have ideas this week!!
Drillfest story worth repeating…
Although the following incident did not happen during ‘Drillfest’ – leading up to Grad. It did happen on the parade square.
BGen WW Tuner was RMCC Commandant 1973-77
I was about to tell her I came from RMC, not CFB Kingston but didn’t have the chance because she continued on, “I have a son. He’s at RMC. He’s a bad boy. He doesn’t fire his gun because it makes the gun dirty and gives him extra work cleaning it.”
When I looked at her name tag, I realized that I knew her son, who had always walked the fine line of whether or not to be charged for one thing after another. Since he had been to the house three or four times, I knew him rather well.
The next day, as I walked up and down the parade square during the dress rehearsal, I found the cadet. He was in the third squadron in from the right, centre rank, fifth cadet in.
After the 700 cadets fired the first round of the Feu de Joie, I turned to the Director of Cadets (DCdts) and the College SM, who were standing with me on the balcony in front of the Currie building and said, “There’s a cadet over there that didn’t fire”. They looked at me like I had flipped my lid.
When the cadets went through present, commence a second time I said, “The same cadet didn’t fire again”. On the third time I turned and said, “Now he didn’t fire again. Sgt. Major, go down and charge him with disobeying an order. He’s in the third squadron from the right, centre row, fifth in.”
The Sgt. Major made the fellow port arms and ease springs and clink clink clink went three unfired rounds on the parade square. The DCdts nearly passed out. The SM looked stunned, picked the rounds up and returned to the balcony on the Currie building.
I never told anyone how I singled out a particular cadet from over 700 firing rifles.”