Winter Barslate Workshop
By OCdt (IV) PR Cardona, CWPIO
Last week, the Cadet Wing returned to the peninsula from Winter Break to begin their second semester of Academics. The beginning of the semester also marks the entrance of a new Cadet leadership team, or barslate, assuming the responsibility of supporting the Training Wing in leading their peers.
To help prepare the new barslate for their positions, the Training Wing organized a weekend workshop to outline their expectations for the semester, as well as lessons on leadership and resources available to cadets. Each squadron barslate also participated in team building activities. Several of these briefings were similar to the ones given to the previous semester barslate in August. The highlight of the weekend was perhaps a presentation by former RMC hockey coach, Jacques Tremblay, who discussed effective leadership.
One of the major themes of the weekend was the importance of command and leading by example. As was noted by the Director of Cadets, 20478 Colonel Chris Ayotte, himself an RMC graduate, command is a heavy burden and it is important for those in leadership positions to keep the best interests of their subordinates in mind when making decisions.
While the barslate was briefed, the rest of the Cadet Wing also participated in professional development activities. The Fourth-year class received a briefing from the Commandant, 18777 BGen Bouchard, and a presentation from the RMC Club. Additionally, every year participated in a briefing with the CWC, 27673 OCdt Zoe Price.
Overall, this was an informative and productive weekend for the barslate. They will, of course, continue to learn and face challenges as they undertake their new positions, but thanks to the training that they received this weekend, they are now equipped with the tools to succeed.
The Third Year Perspective
This Saturday’s barman workshop began with a guest speaker, Coach Tremblay, who spoke about his experience as a national hockey coach. One of his main points was the difference between confrontation and communication.
The Director of Cadets then gave a brief on how to address subordinates, and how to properly introduce and communicate with subordinates when arriving at a new unit.
The Commandant then addressed the group and spoke of the new potential PPT evaluation method and various changes happening in the upcoming semester.
“RMC is the perfect place to make mistakes”
The Second Year Perspective on the Barslate Briefings
Today was the first day of the winter semester’s barslate workshop. The barslate workshop is designed to teach and motivate students who hold leadership positions at the College. I personally hold the position of Cadet Section Commander (CSC). To be a CSC means to be the first link in the Cadet Chain of Responsibility (CCOR) for a section of six to eight Cadets. Some of my duties as CSC are to pass information up or down the chain, inspect the uniforms of my section, write disciplinary notes if necessary, and more generally keep an eye on the well-being of my section.
Today’s activities consisted of lectures given by the extraordinary hockey and life coach, Jacques Tremblay, the College’s Director of Cadets, 20478 Colonel Chris Ayotte, and the College’s Commandant, 18777 Brigadier General Sebastien Bouchard. The speeches provided us with the tools to be successful leaders in the coming months. All three speakers provided personal anecdotes and points to remind us that being a leader means to dedicate yourself to the lives of your followers. Some lessons learned throughout the day were to stay teachable, arrive on time, enhance communication with followers, maintain a positive attitude, and to trust in the decisions of superiors. The lessons learned in workshops like these do not only apply to our lives at the College, but they apply to our future lives as officers in the Canadian Armed Forces. I am proud to be an Officer Cadet at RMC, and extremely proud to be trusted with a leadership position this semester. I plan on maintaining open communication with my section, having strong organization habits, and most importantly learning from my mistakes as a leader, because after all, RMC is the perfect place to learn from mistakes.
“Expectations for the Barslate”
The First Year Perspective