From the Frontlines of FYOP: Week one, all done!

 

Early morning P.T. for the Class of 2020 (Photo by Colin de Grandpré)

From the Frontlines of FYOP: Week one, all done!

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

The Cadet Wing was in for a rude awakening Monday morning when, at precisely 0500 hrs, First Year Orientation Period (FYOP) staff woke up their flights by blasting Carl Orff’s “O Fortuna” on several loud speakers. The noise didn’t stop with the end of Orff’s masterpiece. From my room inside Fort Haldimand, I could hear the hounds of FYOP (section commanders) ‘motivating’ their flights through the morning workout.

After PT, the first years returned to their buildings to shower and prepare for morning inspection.

For the rest of the morning, all I could hear was the booming voice of OCdt (IV) Raymond, Hunter Flight’s CFL, barking orders at his confused first years.

FYOP photo by: Colin de Grandpré

 

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Although FYOP may be annoyance to the Cadet Wing, especially those living next to FYOP rooms, it’s important to keep in mind how beneficial FYOP was for us and how valuable the experience is for the class of 2020.

This week, the Class of 2020 focused on physical training, inspections and in-clearance. As the DCdts mentioned in his Arch parade speech, FYOP is time for the first years to become adjusted to the high demands of the College.

The day begins before the sun even rises. According to OCdt (III) Dolman, a third year Section commander in Hunter Flight, “first years are subject to physical training sessions six days a week before they even have breakfast.” The PT is intense and serves to physically prepare the first years for the challenging obstacle course.

Upon finishing morning PT, the first years have time to shower, change into combats, and prepare their room for inspections. However, they are giving tight time constraints to accomplish those tasks.

“Timings for setting up for inspections, changing into PT gear and any other activity the first years have on a given day have been gradually shortened throughout the week,” Said OCdt Dolman, “the focus keep a controlled and appropriate amount of pressure on the first years so that attention to detail, communication and teamwork are needed to successfully advance through the day.”

In-clearance kept the first years plenty busy during the work day. This included trips to dentist, picking up school books and completing administration. No matter where the class of 2020 ends up in their military career, in-clearance will be the first thing that they do upon arriving at their newest posting.

Additionally, the first years participated in briefings by the Academic, Training and Cadet Wings. They were taught everything from the College’s academic policy to the how the Cadet Chain of Authority works.

FYOP doesn’t end after the last briefings of the day. Before going to supper, the FYOP flights participate in recreational sports. This helps foster team spirit within the flights and a healthy sense of competition between the squadrons. In a sense, it’s preparation for succeeding at the culminating Obstacle Course.

After returning from supper, the first years usually partake in additional team building activities at the direction of their staff. When the schedule allows, they are given free time in the evening to study their “college knowledge” and use their cell phones before lights out at 2300.

As OCdt Dolman puts it, “the main efforts of the staff currently is to mould the first year cadets into a single unit, the obstacle course is the ultimate test and the first years will not succeed in this course if they do not work as a team.”

“We, their staff, will teach them techniques required for the course, and help develop mental and physical resilience in the first years through numerous challenges, activities and obstacles and by correcting unhealthy behaviour and promoting initiative within a team setting.”

 Photos of the Class of 2020 arriving through the Memorial Arch – Here