• Home
  • /
  • Pablo Cardona
  • /
  • From the Frontlines of FYOP & Insightful (I) Year Perspectives

From the Frontlines of FYOP & Insightful (I) Year Perspectives

From the Frontlines of FYOP: So long Week Two!

By 27832 OCdt (II) Pablo Cardona, 12 Sqn, e-Veritas Chief Correspondent

Congratulations First Years, you’ve officially hit the halfway mark!

The end of this week marks the end of week two of First Year Orientation Period, leaving just two more weeks until the storied obstacle course and Reunion Weekend. It hasn’t been an easy journey but the tenacity of the Class of 2020 has energized the entire College.

Over the Labour Day weekend, as the rest of Cadet Wing relaxed before beginning classes, the First Years continued to work hard on their physical training, team bonding and stress management. Although it is tragic that they missed a long weekend, they need all the time they can get to prepare for the obstacle course.

FYOP took on a new dynamic this week with the start of classes. Many in the Class of 2020 received their first exposure to University education on Tuesday. This is an exciting milestone as having a University Degree is paramount to succeeding in today’s information-based economy and in the complex climate of military operations.

MORE…plus a number of insightful First Year Perspectives

Unlike most Canadian universities, students at RMC are not treated as just a serial number or just one of 500 in a lecture hall. Due to the small student population, most classes in first year number fewer than 30, allowing for individual attention and dynamic learning. Unfortunately for the exhausted first years, this means that they can’t get away with sleeping in class!

Even though school is in full swing, the physical training and stress inducing activities haven’t stopped. Yes, academic success is a priority, but equally important it learning to manage a myriad of tasks and activities.

If last week was about learning the importance of stress management and developing an intensive PT routine, this week is about learning to balance that with a demanding academic routine. This is an important skill, one which will be vital well after graduation.

This weekend, the First Years also had a series of organized activities to fill their time. Including a fun day of sports and an ancient College tradition.

Early Saturday morning they, along with the rest of the Cadet Wing and several ex-cadets, professors and other members of the RMC community, participated in the annual Harrier Race. The College’s athletic prowess and squadron spirit were on full display during the intense 5 Km race.

After the Harrier Race, the First Years participated in a Sports Day with their squadrons. This was a welcome break for the Class of 2020, who finally had the opportunity to bond with their upper years and participate in some friendly inter-squadron competition.

Finally, the First Years  (at the time of this writing) were schedule to complete the Passing off the Square, an age-old tradition of the College. For those who don’t know, the Passing off the Square is an event where first years perform a complex drill routine and answer a trivia question pertaining to their College Knowledge. Video of Passing off the square from a previous year)

It’s been quite an eventful week for the newest members! Of course, there is still much more to come as the First Years (and the rest of College) will soon begin preparations for the obstacle course and badging parade.

***

FYOP: First Year Perspective

By 27832 OCdt (II) Pablo Cardona, 12 Sqn, e-Veritas Chief Correspondent

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my short time writing for e-Veritas, it’s to always get a multitude of perspectives when covering an event. As articulate and insightful as my writing may (or may not!) be, I can’t always tell the full story.

Due the nature of FYOP, I haven’t been able to speak or interact much with the First Years, much to the detriment of my coverage. Fortunately, thanks to the efforts of OCdt Simon Ewing, the FYOP IC, I’ve been in contact with first years from multiple flights for their perspective on this unique time in their lives.

Here’s what they have to say about FYOP:

Name: OCdt Whitford

College #: 27948

MOC: Infantry

Squadron/Flight: Alpha Flight, 1 Sqn

Degree program: Arts

How did you hear about RMC and what made you want to pursue your education here?

I’ve always wanted to join the CAF, but it wasn’t until around the tenth grade that I started to explore potential career options. RMC and the ROTP (Regular Officer Training Program) came up a lot when doing research.

What has been the most challenging aspect of FYOP so far? What has been your favourite aspect?

The most challenging aspect would definitely be motivating myself to put forward my best effort every day. It’s certainly not the easiest thing to get yourself moving when the music starts in the morning. My favourite aspect of FYOP would be all the team-building exercises that help to develop friendship and trust within the flight. And sleep. Sleep is pretty good too.

Could you describe why going through FYOP is an important first step towards your goal of becoming an Officer in the Canadian Armed Forces?

FYOP so far is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced in my very short life, and I’m sure that will change as my training continues. But right now, I see it as a critical step in officer training, as a way to develop the physical and mental fortitude required to be an effective leader of men and women in the CAF.

What does teamwork mean to you and how has your flight learned to work as a team in the past few days?

Teamwork means never letting anyone fall behind for any reason, sharing the load both physical and mental alike and making sure no one is jacked up for a messed up uniform.

***

Name: OCdt Haddow

College #: 28074

MOC: Armoured

Squadron/Flight: Whiskey Flight, 8 Sqn

Degree program: Engineering

 

How did you hear about RMC and what made you want to pursue your education here?

I heard about RMC in a few ways, all at once. I had a presentation at school while in the eleventh grade, my father brought it up at the dinner table and then I heard about it as an Army Cadet. I wanted to come here because the ROTP is a great path to becoming an officer in the CAF and RMC will provide me with the additional training I need to excel in my military occuapation.

What has been the most challenging aspect of FYOP so far? What has been your favourite aspect?

The most challenging aspect of FYOP so far would have to be the timings. Our staff always keep us going at 100%, running and jumping down the stairs or soaping up before we’ve gotten into the shower. My favourite part would have to be the downtime and fun activities we do with our staff, such as jumping off the pier, we get to know them much better and it gives us a true indication of RMC life after FYOP.

Could you describe why going through FYOP is an important first step towards your goal of becoming an Officer in the Canadian Armed Forces?

FYOP is really important to becoming a CAF officer because it lays down the basic skills that make up an officer: being able to lead, being able to tackle stressful or impossible tasks or timings by working together and never leaving a man / woman behind, being able to switch on and off when the time calls for it, operating on little sleep. All these qualities have layered the base for a new batch of over 200 great officers.

What does teamwork mean to you and how has your flight learned to work as a team in the past few days?

Teamwork has been critical over the past two weeks. We’ve learned that to be successful, it doesn’t matter that everyone is doing an equal share. Everyone puts everything they have into the task, all their time and all their skills, until it is complete. We offer help and accept without a worry of perception or dignity, for the only thing that will make the team annoyed with you is rejecting help when you need it.

***

Name: OCdt Boulter

College #: 28041

MOC: Infantry

Squadron/Flight: Hunter Flight, 12 Sqn

Degree program: Engineering

 

How did you hear about RMC and what made you want to pursue your education here?

I learned about RMC from a very close family friend who is an ex-cadet of RMC. My drive for attending RMC came from my passion for challenge and adventure, as well as my love of leadership and service. Weighing my options for education after high school, it seemed like a no-brainer to apply to RMC.

What has been the most challenging aspect of FYOP so far? What has been your favourite aspect?

The most challenging aspect of FYOP for me would have to be the constant attention to detail while under stress and exhaustion. It only took me a few days to snap into the swing of things, but I still find it is a very challenging part of FYOP. My favourite has been the team bonding over hard times. There’s no better feeling than 17 people pushing one another on our laps around Fort Frederick.

Could you describe why going through FYOP is an important first step towards your goal of becoming an Officer in the Canadian Armed Forces?

It instills good habits and a hard working attitude at the beginning of our career as well as highlighting and improving our weaknesses. This kills bad habits before they even start.

What does teamwork mean to you and how has your flight learned to work as a team in the past few days?

Teamwork to me is people bringing out one another’s strengths and utilizing every member to their fullest capacity. This allows for us to push one another and build up our weaknesses and strengths all while becoming very close friends. Our flight has learned this by putting our max effort into training sessions in order to motivate one another to do the same. Through lots of hard work and dogged determination, we have become a team and have begun to grow as a whole.

***

MOC = Military Occupation Classification

 View all posts by: Pablo Cardona – Here