Q&A: 27771 OCdt (III) Catherine Boucher: Livin’ the dream

Caption: Feature photo: Aide de Camp: 27771 OCdt (III) Catherine Boucher accompanies, Anne-Lucie Bouchard, the wife of RMC’s Commandant, BGen Sean Friday. (Anne-Lucie was one of two individuals to be chosen as Honourary grads with the Class of 2017 and had the honour to ‘march off’ the parade square with the Class at the commissioning parade.)

An Interview with the Incoming Aide de Camp: 27771 OCdt (III) Catherine Boucher

Article coordinated: 27472 OCdt (IV) Eliza Bruce, e-Veritas correspondent

Where are you from?

I was born in Edmonton, Alberta, but moved back and forth between Ottawa and Kingston with my dad’s postings, as he is also in the military.

What is you current trade and field of study at RMC?

I’m currently studying in Chemical Engineering at RMC, and am aspiring to be a Signals Officer after graduation.

What is your occupation for the summer?

This summer, I am taking an Academic OJE at the college in order to take some extra classes for my degree.

Do you have any experiences from your time at RMC that you feel will lend themselves to being the new Aide de Camp?

I have had several opportunities at RMC which I believe will help me as the new Aide de Camp, the most useful being my experience as a Master of Ceremonies. As part of my experience in this role, I have gotten many chances to meet and interact with people and officers of different walks of life, as well as chances to speak in front of large groups of people. I believe this will help me in my role as ADC as I am already comfortable with public speaking, as well as with writing and editing speeches, and interacting with senior officers and VIPs.

What have you learned from the advice of/ by shadowing the previous Aide de Camp?

I was lucky enough to be able to shadow both the previous male and female ADCs (Liam Moors and Brianna Kelly) for the duration of graduation parade preparations and grad parade itself, which allowed me to see a little bit of what to expect as one of the two ADCs. They were wonderful in giving me tips and tricks, and the best advice that they gave me was to always be ready for anything –while there is always a plan in place, with timings and locations, it rarely lasts more than an hour before changes start to happen, and thinking on your feet is a crucial skill in order to be able to not only keep up with these changes, but also to anticipate what will be needed next.

What responsibilities have you been able to carry out so far in your position?

So far, I have assisted as Aide de Camp for both graduation parade and sunset ceremonies, as well as the meet and greets before and after these. The role of ADC is such that I must be ready to greet guests and VIPs, escort them where they need to be, and answer any and all questions they may have in a polite and professional manner. The taskings I have assisted in so far have been very stressful, but also very rewarding, as they went off smoothly and without any major problems.

Are there aspects of your role in the college that you see directly applicable to your future career?

The ability to think quickly, plan ahead with minimal information, and interact comfortably and professionally with officers of all ranks and VIPs are skills that I believe will be directly applicable to my future career as an officer, as I will be able to use them throughout the years to come.

What are you looking forward to most about what’s coming up for your position?

I think what I am most looking forward to in my role is the ability to travel and meet officers and VIPs from such a wide variety of backgrounds. I am really excited to be able to learn from them and ask them questions about their careers and experiences, and hopefully to be able to pick up some skills which I will one day be able to apply myself.