RMC’s Nijmegen Legacy

n1c

The RMC team deploys this week to the Netherlands for Operation Nijmegen. The annual march is 160 kilometres over four days – 40 kilometres a day. A highlight of the trip is when members of the Canadian Forces stop at Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery for a remembrance service. 2,331 soldiers and airmen are buried there, including a number of Ex cadets.  Cadets will also participate in a remembrance service in Vimy Ridge, a new addition to this year’s itinerary.

 

From left to right: 24711 Wil Andersen, 24433 Maxime Mattar, 24501 Tyson Babcock, 24736 Patrick Gignac, 24810 Mélanie Rouillard-Lamy, 24606 Anjolie Demers,  24598 Caitie Clapp, 24915 Guylaine Archer, 25101 Robert Walsworth, 24695 Nick Villa, 24574 Chandler Zedic, 25008 Patricia Brunelle, 24163 Matthew Galvin, 25163  Simon Meunier, 24572 Kevin Okihiro, Lt(N) Peter Boucher

RMC Cadets well prepared for 160-km march

By OCdt (IV) 24574 Chandler Zedic

This year RMC has successfully trained and prepared 16 cadets to participate in Operation Nijmegen 2009, an international 4 day march that takes place annually in Holland.

The Nijmegen March dates back to 1909 and involves 4 consecutive days of marching 40km per day. This event attracts thousands of military personnel and civilians alike, all who seek to challenge themselves in this historic and gruelling event.

The RMC Team was selected on a volunteer basis; however, candidates were required to be SLT exempt and not otherwise occupied with trade-specific training. The team began training in April during the school year, and continued throughout May and into the summer. During the training sessions, the team endured snow, hail, rain, wind, and the sweltering summer heat. A typical training session consisted of stretching followed by marches of pre-determined distances ranging from 10 – 40km. The aim of each training session varied, some marches the aim was to increase overall distance, in others, to increase pace. The bulk of the marches focused on building endurance over consecutive long-distance marches. In total, the RMC Team has marched approximately 655km to-date.

RMC represents only one team in the CF contingent and has the standard allotment of 11 members. All CF members attending are required to complete a minimum of 500km total, as well as two marches of 40km on consecutive days. As all the members of the RMC team met these criteria without injury or serious issue, our selection was based on attitude, deportment, and dedication to the team.

The final selection was made by the team leader, Lt(N) Boucher (13 Squadron Commander). For those who were not selected, they were individually advised of the reasons by the team leader. However, Lt(N) Boucher is currently looking into the possibility of filling any vacancies on the other CF teams with some of the RMC team’s alternates.

The 2009 RMC Nijmegen team consists of: Lt(N) Boucher, IV 24711 Wil Andersen, III 24915 Guylaine Archer, IV 24501 Tyson Babcock, IV 24598 Caitlin Clapp, IV 24606 Anjolie Demers, II 25163 Simon Meunier,  IV 24695 Nick Villa, III 25101 Tony Walsworth, and IV 24574 Chandler Zedic.

Also unique to this year was the establishment of the Michelle Mendes Memorial Fund to sponsor the RMC Nijmegen Team for the years to come. The fund was created in memory of Maj. Michelle Mendes, an RMC grad who died in Afghanistan earlier this year. This fund will enable the team to purchase items such as boots, socks, hydration packs, and other essential supplies.

The RMC team deploys to the Netherlands from 17 – 27 July with the March occurring from 21 – 24 Jul. Wish us good luck and good weather!

3 Comments

  • Roy Lampard (#5496)

    July 13, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    I had the honour and privilege of commanding platoons from the 1st Battalion The Royal Canadian Regiment on 2 consecutive Nijmegen Marches while on deployment near Soest, Germany (4 CIBG), with the 1st Battalion from November 1962 to October 1965. We marched in July 1964 and July 1965. Although the above article does not mention it, we were required to carry/wear full battle gear, including C-1 rifles, on the 4 days while marching the same 40 kilometres each day. And yes, we did stop at Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery on the 3rd day where a commemorative ceremony was held.

    The marches were a long lasting memory of the three years spent in Germany.

    PS: Under separate cover I am sending some press photographs of a training march and of the marches themselves.

  • John R. Graham (#15119)

    July 13, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    I was a junior officer in 3RCR in 1988 and led our battalion’s team on the 4-Day Nijmegen March. It was one of the highlights of my (short) career.