Editor’s Note: The French version of this article will follow in the next edition of eVeritas. / Note de l’éditrice: La version française de cet article suivra dans la prochaine édition d’eVeritas.
27941 OCdt Maxime Fleming, Cadet Wing Internal Information Officer, collected the following snapshots of cultural exchange from those cadets who made the trip to West Point for this year’s I81 Exchange. / 27941 Élof Maxime Fleming, officier d’information interne de l’escadre des élèves-officiers, a recueilli les instantanés suivants des échanges culturels des élèves-officiers qui ont fait le déplacement à West Point pour l’Échange I81 de cette année.
My experience at West Point was great for the most part. I met a lot of people who had tons of questions about Canada, and I was quite surprised about the general lack of knowledge that most of our American counterparts had about Canada. One guy I met even said, “You know, Canada really is a first world country, and I feel like a lot of people don’t realize that” as well as “So do you guys eat normal stuff for breakfast? Like eggs and bacon and stuff?” I told him “no, we eat beaver’s feet and moose jaws for breakfast” so hopefully that will spark some more stereotypes!
I was very impressed with West Point. The campus is very large, and the old buildings are kept looking pristine. Their mess hall is very beautiful and full of history. The amount of effort that is put into keeping the campus looking clean and nice, both inside and out, blew me away. The gym they have is also amazing, as it’s a multi story complex with two pools, a rock climbing gym, multiple weight rooms, and my favourite, the obstacle course room. I think we should implement something like the West Point obstacle course here at RMC. The obstacle course is potentially very dangerous, but so is being a member of the armed forces to begin with. One thing I found while running through it with the West Point Cadets was that the fear of injuring oneself on the course, forced us to plan our route cautiously while also developing our own self confidence to be able to get through it.
Overall I enjoyed myself a lot at West Point, and I encourage anyone who gets the opportunity to go there, to take it.
29055 OCdt Harley McCoy
This past weekend I travelled to West Point in order to participate in the annual West Point exchange. I was excited to go as I have hosted several West Point cadets in the past and I have heard a lot about the academy. Upon arrival I was stunned by the size of the campus and the beautiful views of the Hudson river. I found the mess hall to be the most impressive building with its six wings, each about the size of the entire CDH. We arrived on Thursday which turned out to be “Spirit Dinner Night”. The first year cadets were required to dress in mixed up uniforms and one cadet at each table was designated to tell a joke or organize a game. On Friday I attended class with my host. His first class of the day was Military Science, which turned out to be similar to our Professional Development sessions. The class focused on the doctrine and organization of a light infantry platoon. The other core academic classes that I attended felt very similar to those at RMC. I was able to observe a gym class where the cadets were preparing for the IOCT, an indoor obstacle course that is part of West Point’s fitness testing. Some elements were similar to the obstacles in Kingston, but others involved more gymnastics. There were very few activities planned for the Saturday as it was the Martin Luther King Day long weekend and most of the West Point cadets had weekend passes. Overall the exchange was a rewarding experience as I was able to learn a lot about our southern counterparts.
28169 OCdt Rochat
L’échange étudiant à Westpoint était pour moi l’opportunité de découvrir un tout autre monde militaire. I really liked how amazing the buildings are : the barracks have nice rooms, the library is six stories tall and the gyms are big enough to have up to three pools inside, which blew my mind. J’ai aussi vraiment apprécié la course à obstacles individuelle qui n’existe pas au CMR de Kingston. La compléter était un défi en tant que tel, mais j’ai adoré le faire, et je la referrais si j’avais encore l’occasion. Also, what definitely made my experience even more amazing was how the people there, especially my host, were showing me around the place and telling me all those amazing stories that makes West Point what it is nowadays. Ils m’ont acceuilli comme l’un des leurs et ils m’ont intégré à leur companie sans hésiter, et j’en suis très reconnaissant. If I had to say one thing one negative thing, the only thing that comes to mind would be how nothing went as planned. We were supposed to visit the campus and go to New York City, but none of that happened. À la place, j’ai passé mon temps avec mon hôte et ses amis dans leurs cours ou à parler avec les autres canadiens. We went to an outlet instead, but I would have really liked to see New York City as I have never been there before. En somme, j’ai bien apprécié mon séjour à Westpoint, et j’y retournerais si j’en avais l’occasion!
28421 Élof Bissonnette
Throughout my experience at West Point, I learned a lot about their way of life and the way they run their military school. I also learned a lot about the way their first years experience the school. Overall, I found that the morale at West Point is much lower among the first years. I think this is due to them only being allowed to leave once per semester for a weekend. Compared to RMC, their outlook on school life is extremely similar to ours. I saw this in simple little things, like the way they talked about certain activities. One of the things I enjoyed most about West Point was the way they ate meals. The food was passed around the tables while eating and the table was set by the first years. Because of this different eating style, when I was eating, I felt like I was at a family dinner. In addition, another thing I really liked about West Point was how well respected the rules were. No one dared to break any rules at all because the punishments are so harsh. This gave me a new respect for the cadets that attend West Point, as I did not realize they had so little freedom yet gave so much. Overall, I really enjoyed the West Point exchange and learned a lot about our fellow North Americans.
28951 OCdt Luchetta