This past weekend, the first year class succesfully completed Operation Valour. This operation was an outstanding testament to the pride, fighting spirit, initiative and teamwork of the class of 2015. With the help of a command team of first years with special coordination by Ocdt Sheasby (first year class 2IC), the first year class gathered to conduct the event last Sunday. The most outstanding part was that the pilot of the aircraft, the photographer, and a good part of the command team were all first years! It is a pretty awesome statement of their college pride and devotion, that as a class they were outside spelling out Valour as a team on the cold, snowy parade square. I have great confidence in their abilities and future here at RMC, after seeing their level of competence and teamwork.
After spelling out a couple of messages as a class, they then broke into flights and divisions to present a unique message. This was done with the theme of a competition, and it’s been hard to pick a winner. Frankly, I feel that all of the class of 2015 should get a pat on the back for their work, as each flight and division worked hard to create a unique message that showed their RMC pride! I feel that with the direction they are taking now, they are making a strong case to get Civi’s in town before the semester’s end! Ultimately, Alpha flight came out on top with the best overall message, and will be recognized by the Cadet Wing HQ. The intent of the operation was to boost morale, and as you will read below, that intent was fully realized.
Outstanding work class of 2015!
25840 OCdt (III) Tucker Densmore, Cadet Wing Standards Officer
My Personal Experience With Op Valour: A Chronicling of the Epic Event that took place on Sunday February 12 2012
Article by 26343 OCdt (I) Jeffrey Vey
I awoke on Sunday morning to the oh so familiar electric chime of my alarm clock at 7 o’clock. I knew in my gut that day would be special, however in my early morning state could not quite put my finger as to why my senses were telling me so. I figured it would all come to me in time, and eventually it did. I remembered that today was the day that the first year grad class of 2015 would put into effect the complicated Operation Valour. The realisation that today was the day we would all band together and show the wing what a contingent of proud and brave first year lady and gentlemen officer cadets could accomplish when all striving to accomplish a common goal left me dumbstruck.
At breakfast, my fellow first years and I discussed which roles we would each play and how we could most effectively organize our troops for the 1600 timing. Once a concrete plan had been formulated we decided to talk of happier days and easier times, such as FYOP. This favourable activity of jesting and poking fun at one another worked wonders in improving our morale, and our spirits were heightened and our hearts felt light. We knew that without a doubt we would successfully accomplish our task of rallying the first years, and boosting the morale of the class.
At 3:30 that afternoon, the air was electric and you could hear the scuttle of first years scrambling in the halls. All had cast off their civilian attire and banded together donning their proud red and white RMC track suits. Some wore toques of black, green, and white; others let their hair down, while some just put their hoods up. Some wore black leather gloves, home-knit mittens, while there were those who were bold enough to face the frigid temperatures with their hands bare. Like a brave platoon of soldiers storming the beaches of Normandy, we blasted through the LaSalle main doors and ran a crazed mob to the flagpole where our allies from other residences had rallied. Fortunately, three older Gentlemen cadets appeared on the scene and began to get this gaggle of first years organised into divisions with which we could commence the operation.
With all of us assigned our designated places on the proud parade square, we broke into our predetermined sections and began to spell out the proud words and numbers. The educated artsmen assisted the illiterate engineers into comprehendible letters, while the engineers triangulated and gave grid references as to where the letters should be arranged to allow for proper spacing. We waited, and pretty soon a small plane began circling the parade square. Frightened at first, those of us who were bolder and braver than the others told the rest to hold their ground and not to falter or have fear! Of course an intelligence report informed us that the plane was actually on our side and was there to take the required pictures that we were working so hard create. I myself had to hold my geriatric backside on the ice cold ground fighting the urge to stand up and run to the comfort of my room.
After a few cold but bearable minutes and multiple circuits flown the tiny Cessna in the sky, we were informed that we were now able to regroup into our own desired patterns and designs. While some of the first years decided to break away from the collective group and do individual photo’s, the proud D-Division was more than happy to band together to create a masterpiece. To those of us on the ground, we seemed to have the appearance of large red worms, writhing on the ground under the direction of some divine being. From an aerial perspective however, a masterful product of art could be plainly observed. “BEER!!” the first word of our RMC Cheer, Beer Esses Emma… Battalion Sergeant Major, which was the proud image portrayed by the mighty D-Division.
Our faces appeared to glow in the dim afternoon; our beaming smiles seemed to illuminate the bleakness of the grey stone buildings around us. It was obvious that we had accomplished more than simply taking a group photo this afternoon, that we had come together and bonded as a first year class. We had immortalized ourselves not as merely confident and able individuals, but as a team. A collective group of individuals, each with their own strengths with which we could use to help overcome each other’s weaknesses and persevere. Our spirits lifted beyond a level we thought once impossible. With smiles on our faces and laughter in the air, we departed from the parade square back to our rooms. The magic of it all however, seemed to be that our rooms no longer appeared to be as small and cluttered, the food in the CDH tasted better that dinner, and first years all over the peninsula were happier than ever and conversed with one another more openly and merrily. The days objective accomplished, morale among the first year flights was at its all-time peak, an effect surely to last throughout the remainder of our RMC career!
Other views on Op Valour:
26255 NCdt (I) Kevin Morgan – On a brisk February afternoon, the Class of 2015 made their way to the parade square to take part in an event that not only boosted morale, but also got us working together for a single goal as a class. Despite the cold, we put aside all other thoughts and plans in order to participate in OP VALOUR, a way for the first years to let the rest of RMC know that we are ready to leave our mark within this institution. The first year class withstood the cold and spelled out RMC 2015 and OP VALOUR with nothing but their own bodies. And of course, each flight got together to make their own display, with each flight trying to out perform the others. A special thank you goes out to OCdt Densmore, who helped organize the event along with OCdt Tang, OCdt Bencze, and OCdt Hansen. Also a thank you to OCdt Bobowski, OCdt Powis-Clement, OCdt McDermott, and OCdt Allan for taking wonderful pictures from their plane.
26349 OCdt (I) Derek Frank – Around 1600 on Sunday February 11, 2012, the College could tell something was happening. Seemingly out of nowhere, dozens of first years, clad in red tracksuits and squadron t-shirts amassed on the parade square for no apparent reason. There had been hints throughout the day that the Class of 2015 was up to something. There were smiles and nods between conspirators; whispers and the air of excitement lingered in the air of the CDH. Finally, when it came time to act, OPERATION VALOUR was initiated. A First Year Initiative, inspired and assisted by a few select members of the upper classes, OPERATION VALOUR was designed as a test for the new first year class.
RMC has a long history of building leaders and creating great men and women for the service of Canada. During the first semester, the College is buzzing. The new First Years arrive, and FYOP puts on an amusing show for those who have already completed it. Squadron pride is shown through creative and interesting skylarks, executed in secret in the middle of the night, and College pride is a constant in everyone’s daily life. Slowly though, the excitement wanes, and the cadets begin to keep to themselves for a little longer each day. The magic of FYOP is gone after the first semester.
Leadership at the College is developed in cohesion with initiative, pride, and unity within the Cadet Wing. The ultimate aim of OPERATION VALOUR was to do just this: be the catalyst for a renaissance of the College, bring life back to the Cadet Wing, and to enable leadership in action. The first years had a vision. Aided by their mentors along with hard work and planning made this vision into reality.
Skeptical at first, the Class of 2015 was tentative during the beginning phases of the operation. But as the messages spelled out by the first year class started to come together, the cadets came alive.
Layout and Editing by 25366 NCdt (IV) Mike Shewfelt