A number of exchange officer cadets from various NATO countries are learning this semester at Royal Military College that there are major differences between the Canadian Forces, RMCC and ‘other’ military academies from their home country.
Following is an article on 2Lt Yandell who is a member of the German Armed Forces.
The article has been coordinated by – 26659 Danielle Andela (Photo upper left) – e-Veritas Sr. Correspondent
2nd Lieutenant I2359 (IV) Ester Yandell
2Lt Yandell has been a member of the German armed forces since July 2012 and a member of Germany’s military educational establishment, Helmut Schmidt University, since October 2013. An Army officer in the Logistics trade, Ester is spending a semester at the Royal Military College of Canada to continue her studies in Educational Science.
“Our universities are totally different. We focus on the academic part so when we join the military we have fifteen months of military training. After that we have three months of English language training, three months of training in our trade and three months office training which is directly focused on the office school for the Army. We learn tactics, politics, military history and other important things for an officer.
After that we join the University; the University itself is not very military anymore. We normally wear civilian clothes. We can wear uniform but we usually choose to wear civies. Our physical fitness test is different as well. For the German athletics test we have five categories which you can choose, I did throwing a heavy ball, standing long jump, sprinting, swimming, 25 meters crawling very fast and a 3k run. For the Basic Fitness Test it is a 1k run, for females with 3 minutes and 50 seconds for full marks. Then you have to hold yourself in a pull up with your chin above the bar, to not fail it’s five seconds but that’s only 5 points and you want to reach 100 points s it’s over a minute. We have a run where you lay down with your hands behind your back, run, turn around a pylon and then run back to mat, lay down with your hands behind your back and do this ten times.
For our university, we don’t have intramurals. We have sports groups that you can join if you want like the teams here but we don’t have to do sports at all. Only on Thursday. I like that here you need to either join a team or do IMs. I think it is a good idea because a lot of people otherwise would not do sports on their own. It is a good opportunity to make them do sports and be a member of a team.
I love that we are allowed to wear civilian clothes at HSU and that we are allowed to drink in our dorms. We are young and I think it is good to not baby us and it’s not to have a bit of freedom. I think a little more military and strictness would be fine at my school but what I think would be better here is to be able to choose what you wear after duty.
We have steps that need to be fulfilled to become an officer, we have the six months of basic training where some people fail because you need to be physically and mentally strong, that’s the first thing. Then the language barrier is a problem, then training within your trade. The main thing is the officer’s school, we have many tests there and there you receive a certificate that you are able to be an officer. That is the most important thing. Then you enter university and you just need to not fail in your program. Then after three years in the military you become an officer.
We have the three months trade training in Germany. For me I learned a bit about how things work in my trade. I went into every corner of logistics and looked at how they work there, what they do, how everything works, what a platoon leader does. It’s just three months though so you don’t learn too much, but after university you know a bit. After university you have one and a half years training in your trade so you learn how to drive a truck and learn the main things of logistics. We have transport, MVG (food and ammunition) and then we have NVG and EVG which are different subcategories. I would like to be a platoon leader in an MVG platoon. I have one and a half more years of university, then officer’s school again and after that trade training.
Here I am having ice skating athletics and then I have IMs hockey. I’m doing this so I can have the real Canadian experience. I can skate but not very well! I don’t fall down but with the hockey stick and puck… I also go cycling with the multi-sport club as well.
My favourite thing about Canada is that I love the English language and I have realized that the people here are so nice. Especially when we had troubles on our first day arriving, we missed our connecting flight, we had to go by train and everybody helped us so much. What I really love is the landscape. Especially when you go with the bikes and you see all the water here with Lake Ontario. Now that the leaves are turning it’s beautiful. I think a lot of people complain about your university but it’s so pretty on the water. You are so lucky to be here.
Q: What would you say to other German students thinking of coming to RMC?
Great choice and enjoy your time, don’t take too many classes. It’s very different to our university because we only have one exam or paper to write at the end. We don’t have homework, tests and it’s more reading and more self-study than here. It’s more independent. To enjoy time here you have to put a lot of effort into it. I have French classes as well and it’s very busy. I am a total beginner so I don’t know a lot of it. Enjoy the time here, go out, join clubs and meet many people.