Class of 2016 is Tried, Tested, and True
Photos by 26549 OCdt (II) Kai Zhao, 26346 OCdt (II) Daniel Ryan, 25687 OCdt (IV) Amelia Garton, and 25366 Mike Shewfelt
Article by 25366 Mike Shewfelt
They’ve been waiting for it for almost a month now, preparing for it during PT sessions, strategizing, and sizing up what they have to do. For the First Year Cadets of RMCC, that day, when they would face the toughest test the College has to offer, came this past Friday, and despite the loss of one obstacle with the departure of 13 Sqn from the Cadet Wing, the course was no less challenging than in previous years.
As the First Years and their Squadrons formed up on the Parade Square for the official start of the course, the excitement was palpable. Even senior College staff were not immune to it. “I had a speech prepared,” LCol Patrick Lemyre, the Director of Cadets, told the assembled crowd, “but I don’t want to kill the mood.” LCol Lemyre then got into the mood himself, telling parents that “the College doesn’t always look like this. Remember, we’re training officers, not interior decorators.” To the Class of 2016, he was more serious, saying “This obstacle course is impossible to do by yourself. You will have to work as a team to make it through.”
LCol Lemyre’s words proved prophetic, as those who had been through the Obstacle Course before knew they would. The First Year Cadets flipped tires, overcame the wall, and waded through the waters of Navy Bay. They encouraged those who were struggling, and made sure everyone finished together. As individuals, they never could have done it, but as a team, they took on the Obstacle Course and won. There can be only one winner, which was announced Saturday during the Badging Parade as 2 Sqn’s Fighter Flight; nevertheless, the sense of accomplishment that each member of the Class of 2016 felt after completing the course is something they will never forget.
When every First Year flight had made it to the finish line and wrung the ball to signal the end of FYOP, the First Year Orientation Period, the First Years received their initial welcome into the Cadet Wing. Although they did not yet sport the RMCC cap brass, and their official welcome was still a day away on the Badging Parade, the First Years received their College coins from members of the Old Brigade, which is composed of ex-Cadets who entered the College more than 50 years ago. Each coin is engraved with the individual Cadet’s College number, and these coins are the first tangible evidence that the Class of 2016 are now full members of the Cadet Wing.
Below are the (many) highlights of the 2012 Obstacle Course. (Click to enlarge.)