RMC Model NATO Team Own the Podium in Washington

From left to right: Maj. Ian Rutherford, OCdt Dean Saroop, OCdt George Gillam, OCdt Joycelyn Moffat, OCdt Jesse Melnyck, OCdt Matthew Hou, OCdt Maximillian Reinthaler

RMC Model NATO Team comes home with nine gold medals!

Authors: Dean Saroop, Maximillian Reinthaler, Joycelyn Moffat, Matthew Hou

The Royal Military College of Canada won an unprecedented number of awards at the 25th Howard University International Model North Atlantic Treaty Organization Conference. Representing the United States, due to our strong showing in 2009, RMC placed first as outstanding delegation while each individual won gold medals on his or her respective committee. The Model NATO Conference is designed to provide university students with a venue to understand the purpose, organization, capabilities, and activities of NATO in a three-day simulation and embassy briefings. Each university represents the foreign policy of a NATO member state and has one delegate on the following committees: North Atlantic Council; Political Affairs; Defence Planning; Nuclear Planning; and Working Group on NATO Operations. In addition, the conference serves as an opportunity to network with some of the most talented and internationally engaged university students from both sides of the Atlantic.

RMC began preparations in November 2009. Team Leader (IV) Matthew Hou 24742, 2IC (III) George Gillam 24877 and Executive Assistant (III) Jesse Melynck M0955 conducted open try-outs over one month to choose the top three from a pool of ten: (III) Joycelyn Moffat 24981, (II) Maximillian Reinthaler 25246 and (II) Dean Saroop 25475. The increasingly rigorous selection process tested potential members’ oratory skills, current events knowledge and leadership potential in a committee setting. From December until February, training was conducted through weekly meetings that emphasized potential scenarios the six team members might face at the conference while extensive research of American foreign policy was on one’s own time.

In Washington the team met Mr. Michael MacMurray for a tour of the Pentagon. Former liaison between the Department of Defence and the Department of Homeland Security, Mr. David Des Roches, gave a briefing on the structure of both departments. In conjunction with a briefing at the State Department by Mr. Carleton Bulkin from the Policy staff, the team gained an insider’s understanding of the American worldview.

The team dominated the competition from the beginning by controlling all committee proceedings. This allowed for all draft language to be written in America’s interests and for all work to be unanimously accepted by the Model North Atlantic Council. Several faculty members from across the United States noted that the conference was a major success partly due to RMC’s superb representation.

The RMC Model NATO team cleaned house with nine of the eleven possible gold prizes. RMC placed first as the Best Overall Delegation. (II) Dean Saroop, (II) Maximillian Reinthaler, (III) George Gillam, (III) Joycelyn Moffat and (IV) Matthew Hou were elected by their peers as the Best Delegate in Committee. In addition, (III) George Gillam, (III) Joycelyn Moffat and (IV) Matthew Hou were commended by their committee chairs and received gold for Outstanding Leadership in Committee. Major Ian Rutherford’s superb mentorship and (III) Jesse Melynck’s unparalleled coordination were essential for the team’s showing.

Our delegation’s dedicated research, ability to charm and work tenaciously were undoubtedly factors in our success but, above all, RMC’s ability to work as a well-directed team carried the day. In Washington, as in Vancouver, Canada “owned the podium!”