Welcome to the Family: Class of 2016 Commemorates Full Integration into Cadet Wing
Photos by 26549 OCdt (II) Kai Zhao and 25366 Mike Shewfelt
Article by 25366 Mike Shewfelt
It’s tradition at the College that, the day after the Obstacle Course, the First Year Cadets, now finished FYOP (the First Year Orientation Period), are formally welcomed into the Cadet Wing. In front of their friends and family, each First Year Cadet receives his or her RMCC cap brass from a member of the Old Brigade and swaps it out with their Canadian Forces Tri-Service cap brass. They then join their respective Squadrons as full members of the Cadet Wing.
This year’s Badging Parade took place on a gorgeous fall day (a far cry from last year’s frigid temperatures and high winds), with the stands full of friends and family. Senior members of the Canadian Forces were also in attendance, including Gen Walt Natynczyk, the outgoing Chief of the Defense Staff, who inspected the Wing, and MGen Pierre Forgues, Commander Canadian Defense Academy, who served as the parade’s reviewing officer. MGen Forgues (photo left) welcomed the Class of 2016 into the College family, saying, “Cherish the time you spend here, because it matters. The foundation you receive here will allow you to distinguish yourselves throughout your careers.”
BGen Eric Tremblay, College Commandant, (photo below left) also address the parade. He thanked everyone in attendance, and then congratulated the Class of 2016. “These last few weeks have left quite an impression on you. You have attained your first summit,” he said. “You will, in your careers, encounter other peaks and valleys, and the determination that has been so necessary during FYOP will continue to serve you well. Today is your day. You, the Cadets, are our national treasure.”
RMC Club President Robert Benn (photo, above right) underscored it, saying, “If all you get from this institution is the code of ethics, that is Truth, Duty, Valour, you’ll be richer for it.”
The Class of 2016 has a long way to go before they’ll be marching off the Parade Square as new junior officers, but they are on their way. They have proven themselves ready for the challenges of the Royal Military College.
The top 5 flights from Friday’s Obstacle Course were also announced. The standings are below:
5th Place – Grizzly Flight, 3 Sqn
4th Place – Kaeble Flight, 4 Sqn
3rd Place – Whiskey Flight, 8 Sqn
2nd Place – Papa Flight, 5 Sqn
1st Place – Fighter Flight, 2 Sqn
A number of prizes and awards were also handed out during the parade, to recognize achievements of Cadets during the last academic year. These awards, and the Cadets who received them, are listed below.
Finally, here are the (many) faces of the 2012 Badging Parade. (Click to enlarge.)
FYOP & More: I Year Perspective
By 26612 Claire Matlock
The importance of teamwork is a lesson stressed numerous times over St. Jean’s 2 week recruit camp and RMC’s 5 week First Year Orientation Period (FYOP). Making the perfect 45° hospital corners, shining boots and pruning uniforms were only half of the challenge.
More difficult was the ability to make 10 minute…8 minute…and 3 minute timings. After the first week, freshman Officer Cadets quickly learned that everybody takes their turn in the hot seat and petty frustrations towards each other were best discarded.
We learned to accept both victory and defeat as a team. Upon reflection, FYOP was a crash-course in relying on oneself and one’s team, rather than one’s surroundings, for morale. The bombardment of disciplinary stressors would be crippling if not for our learned ability to self-nurture and help each other out. We learned to laugh about a 60 lb ruck-carries up eleven flights of stairs at “The Mega.”
Week 7, when we found ourselves running uphill into a hailstorm on Fort Henry, before sunrise, peer-pressure was the only thing that kept us going. Comparing our experience to that of a civilian university’s “Frosh Week,” our college environment cultivates friendships which share the unique bond of FYOP, standards of professionalism and a mutual respect for the learning curve we are about to endure.