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Stephen Kalyta: Mindfulness Makes Better Warriors & Behind the scenes with the Band Q.M.

17160 Stephen Kalyta: Mindfulness Makes Better Warriors (Part 1)

Stephen Kalyta

Lieutenant Richard Goerling, an Oregan state senior police officer, is largely credited for curbing unwarranted police violence through Mindfulness. Mindfulness as a practice, has also been deployed in the  Manchester police force to stem the stress and anxiety of its officers. In its simplest definition, Mindfulness could be considered a pragmatic form of meditation that improves outcomes in highly stressful environments.

The frequency of police violence and the natural public reaction, necessitated a change rooted in neuroscience, and a pragmatic training regimen that suited the requirements of its audience, law enforcement. To serve and protect in a measured way, acceptable to the court of public opinion, became Goerling’s “mantra” for his staff of officers.

Goerling’s Mindfulness is designed to ensure the higher reasoning components of the mind, do not revert control to the primitive, reactionary and often myopic-side of the brain. I think we can all relate to observing anger either in ourselves or others, can really influence our environmental acuity, as well as our interpretation of facts. Sadly, the reactionary brain tends to distort reality. Our media headlines both in Canada and the US, frequently report on lethal force cases where violence is not proportional to the actual threat encountered.

By remaining present in the elevated state of awareness that Mindfulness teaches, even under duress, a soldier improves the probability of the best decision or outcome. The more rational you remain while assessing information, the less likely you will assess your environment through the lens of inflammatory emotion. In the profession of arms we must use our higher reason before we act.

Over the next few articles, we will explore the matter of exercising Mindfulness as it relates to the profession of arms. Moreover, we will see how Goerling’s 7 years of success with Mindfulness’s global acceptance in policing, might somehow be integrated into our military ethos.


Previous article in this series:

Perfection versus Good Enough


‘Gratitude toward Self’

Mid-term monsters and an altered academic reality

Oh what a night!

Cadets and Valour

Calling out all cadets with bars…

17160 Stephen Kalyta weighs in on auditor general’s report and gives Officer Cadets something to ponder


Behind the scenes with the Band Q.M.

28057 OCdt (II) C.M.Bond

Colin Bond – Band QM

The Highland Band includes bagpipers, drummers, and highland dancers, and all of them need specific uniforms to match with the highland tradition. It is the job of the Quarter Master (QM) to provide them with the necessary equipment and uniforms so that they can play and look good at the same time.

Each section of the highland team has their own unique uniform which helps distinguish the sections from each other. It is the QM’s tacks of knowing the terminology of all of the highland gear and the respective persons to give the gear too. For example, a bagpiper requires a plaid (a long fabric with a tartan pattern on it) that is wrapped around the piper’s chest and draped over the shoulder, this is in comparison to a fly plaid (a shorter piece of tartan) that just drapes over the shoulder is what the drummers wear. Knowledge of the different sections and the specific highland gear that they wear is vital to making sure the highland team looks good.

A key factor, when it comes to being a QM, is insuring that both the kit room is organized as well as the paperwork. By having the room well organized it makes the job easier since all of the kits are easily accessible. It also helps keep the items in specific sections separated to help prevent confusion. It also is important to insure a well laid out paper work scheme to ensure that the kit that is being loaned out is all returned back. Both paper work and layout help make the Quarter Masters job much easier.

Another key component of the Quarter Master is the ordering of kit for the band. The QM works in tandem with other sections to order a new kit, so when sections require new gear, the QM is the one who orders it. The process of acquiring the new kit works by obtaining the necessary kit for the section. It is followed by choosing the best deal from a reputable dealer before funds are requested from the RMC Foundation. Once the Foundation has approved of the purchase of the items a representative of the club purchases the times for the band. Once acquired, it is then distributed out the appropriate personnel or stored for future use.

While the job of the band’s Quarter Master is not usually seen, the results that come from the QM are seen at events, such as the West Point weekend, Badging Parade, Concert in Scarlets, and Grad Parade.

The QM, while unsung, has a vital role inside of the band.