Future CAF leader: 26893 OCdt Mitchell Hewson


“It is a cliché, but I believe it: a good leader is someone who puts the mission first, shares the hardship with his or her troops, and is always aware of their well-being.”

26893 OCdt Hewson, 4th Year Honours History – CSL 4 Sqn – MOSID: 00183 Pilot

What was your motivation to attend military college?

I was motivated to attend military college because I grew up hearing stories about it from my father and my grandfather. Both of them are RMC graduates, and it is hard not to want to be part of something when both your father and his father speak so highly of it. That said, I never felt like I had a duty to go to RMC, or that I was supposed to carry on a tradition. My parents and grandparents wanted me to choose to attend on my own, and that is what I did.

What is your most favourable memory of your time at RMCC?

That is a very tough question.

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I play varsity hockey for the Paladins, and in my first year, we beat Queens University to win the Carr-Harris Cup. That was an incredible experience. Last year, I was a section commander during First Year Orientation Period (FYOP), and watching our First Years improve and then excel was very rewarding. However, I think that the best memory I have from my time at RMC so far was going to the Netherlands to participate in the Nijmegen Marches. The Dutch people gave us a warm welcome, and the places we visited before and after the marches were worth the trip on their own. What made the Nijmegen Marches a great memory for me, though, was the team I went with. We had an excellent group of people to go over and compete.

What– in your opinion– makes a good leader?

It is a cliché, but I believe it: a good leader is someone who puts the mission first, shares the hardship with his or her troops, and is always aware of their well-being. I think that if a leader can do those three simple things, he or she will accomplish the mission and will earn the respect of their people.

How will you verify that those you lead are passing on your input to their subordinates?

If I have explained the tasks and requirements to my subordinates clearly, and if the team is working effectively, there will be very little need for me to verify that my subordinates are doing what I told them to do. There should be a level of trust established where if I as the leader direct that they do something, then it will be done and nothing else needs to happen. If verification does need to happen, I will go see for myself if my subordinates are following my directions.

What does Truth, Duty, Valour (TDV) mean to you?

I feel that “Truth, Duty, Valour” gets mocked around the college sometimes. It does not mean that someone has to be living completely by the book at all times, like a robotic super-cadet. With the greatest of respect, it is not an ideal that is appropriate to reduce to an acronym, either. It means a lot more than that. It means seeing what is right, and recognizing what you have to do, and then having the courage to do what you know is right. We are expected to see the truth, to have the courage and to do the right thing. I think that is what “Truth, Duty, Valour” is trying to get at, in a few less words.

What makes your Squadron unique and / or special?

My squadron had a really tough end of the year last year with Brett and Harry passing away. We are not unique or special because we lost two of our people – we are unique and special because of how well we came together as a family through that hardship. I saw, and still see, people in my Squadron looking after each other and helping each other whenever necessary. I do not know if other Squadrons are close in the same way but I think that is what makes 4 Squadron special.