Final installment in a series of 4 articles
Development Period IV – An Enhancement Year in Physical Education
By Kelly Lupton, PE Manager, RMCC
An Officer Cadet’s Fourth Year at RMCC is the year for taking leadership opportunities to the next level. For this reason the IV Year PE Program strives to provide a variety of options and opportunities for Cadets to provide enhancement to their experience at RMCC and beyond. As such Cadets are provided course options (12 weeks long) and not all Cadets will choose the same experiences. In an environment where many experiences are mandatory, the IV Year PE Program gives them some flexibility and choice which the Cadets take full advantage of!
The goal of the IV year curriculum is the provide enhancement. What does that mean, exactly? The curriculum is structured to expose Cadets to skills and knowledge that will assist them as a leader within the College and beyond. The courses provide more in-depth instruction on areas already taught in the PE Program, introduce them to new skills that will enhance active living as individuals when they graduate , and/or provide them with certifications that they can use in the future either as a CF member or for personal use.
Course Type 1: Support OCdts as future Officers in the CF
A natural continuation of the III Year Military Skills and Combatives Program, the IV Year PE Program offers the options for Cadets to select a Rappel Master Course or an Advance Combatives Course. These two courses provide skills that can be used as future CF members. Advanced Combatives participants are challenged physically and mentally and pushed beyond what they experienced in III Year to include more advanced skills and techniques.
Less physically demanding but a true test in leadership is the Rappel Master Course. Training to be a Rappel Master brings each Cadet out front, practicing their skills to be able to lead military personnel through a challenging experience very much outside of the participant’s comfort zone. In fact Cadets in the Rappel Master Class may, academic schedule allowing, have the opportunity to act as a Rappel Master in the III Year Rappel Program, giving back to the PE Program and getting real life experience.
Course Type 2: Support Cadets in maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle
One of the newest additions to the IV Year PE Program is Yoga. The course coordinator, Caitlin Salisbury, describes it as follows, “The course is intended to introduce the six dimensions of wellness, and the importance of keeping all aspects of health and wellness in balance. We test some of the physical indicators of health, and discuss the less tangible symptoms and consequences to poor health. The basics of yoga are developed to teach the Cadets some physical exercises, stretches, and breathing and relaxation techniques that they may use now or in future circumstances when they may find themselves or others they are leading stressed, sore, or overwhelmed.”
Other courses that the IV Year PE Program offers include a Canoeing skills course and wall climbing course for the outdoor enthusiasts. In support of the Army’s Combat Fitness Program, the IV Years can also choose an advanced Principles of Strength and Conditioning course.
Course Type 3: Support Cadets for future participation in the CF Sports Program
The IV Year curriculum boasts two very successful sport related courses, which they can enjoy in their future postings as they are part of the CF Sports Program. Both courses expose Cadets with little to no experience in sport with a course that starts with the basics and slowly allows them to gain confidence in their own abilities and hopefully a future love for these sports. The first is the Basic Ice Skills course which commences by teaching Cadets the basics of skating and getting them comfortable on their skates. Gradually the Cadets add hockey equipment, a stick and puck and work through basic hockey skills. Many bases in the CF run similar learn to play hockey programs, so the participants will be able to continue to grow as hockey players within the CF and have leagues to play in after they graduate.
The IV Year Racquet Sports course teaches a number of racquet sports including Badminton and Squash, both of which are very popular sports on bases across the CF. They are a great way to stay fit during the cold months of winter in more remote postings. Even better, these sports require only one other person to play. To top it all off, for those that are really interested after the course, these sports are played at the intersection, regional, and national levels in the CF, allowing Cadets to continue with the sports in the future.
The IV Year PE Program is diverse but focused on providing real enhancement experiences for Cadets. The teachers do this with success because each one is passionate about the content in the course that they teach. This rubs off on many students, and the true pleasure for the PE teachers is seeing their passion rub off on the Cadets. If the courses can do this, then the IV Year “enhancement” program has met its goal.
This concludes this the 4 article series on the Physical Education Program for Cadets at RMC in the ROTP/RETP Program. There are a number of exciting changes that will only improve the quality of Cadets leaving RMC after four years. It is PSP’s pleasure to be able to deliver this diverse, effective, and exciting program to Cadets at RMCC.