Class of 2014 Marches Through the Arch
By: 23712 Brent Fisher (2009)
The sun broke through the clouds just in time to welcome around 160 members of the Class of 2014 and around 100 members of the Class of 2013 from RMC St Jean to the RMC-C grounds this past Saturday. And despite having to navigate around several mounds of soil and gravel, all parents who were in attendance could not have looked prouder of those marching through the memorial arch for the first time.
The large contingent then joined the ranks of the Cadet Wing on the parade square where they were greeted by Cadet Wing Commander 24912 Jeremy Whalen and Commandant 15185 Commodore Bill Truelove. The latter warned the recruits that the journey ahead “will not be an easy one,” but then reassured them of their decision to attend this institution in stating that “it is a path that has been travelled by many before you.”
Upon the dismissal, the recruits were given one last opportunity to spend time with loved ones. Dressed sharply in their CAnadian Disruptive PATtern (CADPAT) uniforms, the recruits certainly appreciated this opportunity to spend one last moment away from their First Yer Orientation Period (FYOP) staff. The next time they will be afforded this much freedom, their combat boots will be covered in dirt and debris from the gruelling obstacle course.
Personally, I found the morning to be quite nostalgic in that it was almost four years to this day that I crossed this same threshold by marching through the arch with my classmates. Little did we realize at the time what the next month, and then the next four years, had in store for us. Now it is time for the Class of 2014 to experience FYOP and the RMC difference for themselves.
“To the recruits: With the march through the Memorial Arch today, you have crossed a threshold into a new life – a life where much is expected of you. You will be expected to excel in the four pillars of RMC: Academics, Military, Athleticism, Bilingualism. To live by the RMC Motto: Truth, Duty, Valour. To remember and honour those who came before you to serve our great country. And to set the example for those who will follow.” …Commodore Bill Truelove, Commandant, 4 September 2010
Here is what the commandant had to say in detail:
Mesdames et Messieurs, Lady and Gentlemen Cadets of the Royal Military College of Canada, Recruits;
Welcome to RMC and welcome back to the Cadet Wing. I hope that everyone had a great holiday and that you all found your summer training rewarding and enjoyable.
The RSM, Mr.Slack and I certainly enjoyed getting out visiting many of you during your training.
Bienvenue également aux élèves-officiers de 2e année qui se joignent à l’Escadre après avoir réussi leur période d’instruction au CMR de Saint-Jean. Vous faites maintenant partie de l’Escadre du CMR et nous sommes très heureux de vous compter parmi nous.
As the College comes back to life after the summer break, I encourage you all to feel and feed on the enthusiasm you are witnessing here today.
Alors que le Collège reprend vie après les vacances d’été, je vous invite tous à sentir l’enthousiasme qui règne ici aujourd’hui et à vous en nourrir.
It’s time to settle back in and prepare for the beginning of the Academic year on Tuesday and the fresh challenges and rewards ahead.
Le temps est maintenant venu de vous réhabituer à la vie du Collège et de vous préparer à la rentrée de mardi, à vos nouveaux défis et aux futures récompenses à récolter.
Of course, as you’ve seen, we have some unique challenges this year with the volume of construction- but this is great news because it is ensuring that the College remains in good health for the future.
Bien sûr, comme vous l’avez constaté, nous faisons face à des défis uniques cette année avec toute cette construction. Mais il s’agit là d’excellentes nouvelles, puisque ces rénovations assureront au Collège un avenir en bonne santé.
Welcome to the Cadet Wing Commander, OCdt Jeremy Whalen and the entire Bar Slate and congratulations on your selection to these important leadership positions.
You have been called upon to lead the Cadet Wing and I empower and expect you to do so.
Now is your opportunity to demonstrate your leadership.
Remember – I hold you responsible and accountable to ensure that the RMC Cadet Wing continues to reflect the level of excellence for which it is internationally renowned. I am confident that you are up to the challenge.
Rappelez-vous que vous avez la responsabilité de vous assurer que l’Escadre des élèves-officiers du CMR continue de faire preuve de l’excellence pour laquelle elle est réputée à l’échelle internationale. Je suis convaincu que vous saurez relever ce défi.
To the rest of the Wing, I expect you to support your Bar Slate as they lead you through the year ahead. Enable their success as you would wish them to enable yours when you hold leadership positions in the future.
Welcome also to the Military and Civilian staff – returning and new. Our cadets are successful to a large part because of your incredible commitment to them and to the College. RMC is fortunate to have such a dedicated and talented team. I want to thank each of you for your tremendous effort – You show the cadets what ‘right looks like’ each and every day.
You should also know that RMC is recognized as one of the best places to work in the entire country – Ask your peers, they will tell you how fortunate you are to be here. It is exhilarating and rewarding to work with and teach these future leaders of Canada and the Canadian Forces.
Sachez également que le CMR est reconnu comme l’un des meilleurs établissements où travailler dans tout le pays. Demandez à vos collègues. Ils vous diront que vous êtes très privilégiés de vous trouver ici. C’est exaltant et valorisant de travailler et d’enseigner dans un établissement fréquenté par les futurs leaders du Canada et des Forces canadiennes.
I would also like to say a special thank you to your families. Their support permits you to provide the level of commitment to the college that is so evident in everything you do.
Let me also recognize the families and friends of the recruits visiting RMC today for this important occasion.
Thank you for your support to the Canadian Forces.
Thank you also for your trust and confidence in RMC and for enabling your sons and daughters to attend this historic institution.
Your sons and daughters are among the best and brightest in the country today. Here at RMC, we will help them to become Canada’s leaders of tomorrow.
This journey they have embarked upon will not be an easy one.
There will be times in the weeks ahead when your loved ones may doubt themselves and their ability to succeed.
There may be angst ridden late night phone calls home. This is normal.
And I ask you to remind them and yourselves on these occasions that ‘this too shall pass.’
Tell them how proud you are of them for taking up this challenge.
Tell them how proud you will be when they march onto this parade square during the Badging Ceremony as full members of the Cadet Wing.
Then tell them to go back to bed and get some rest. There’s another challenging day ahead of them tomorrow.
To the recruits: With the march through the Memorial Arch today, you have crossed a threshold into a new life – a life where much is expected of you. You will be expected to excel in the four pillars of RMC: Academics, Military, Athleticism, Bilingualism.
To live by the RMC Motto: Truth, Duty, Valour. To remember and honour those who came before you to serve our great country. And to set the example for those who will follow.
Once you are dismissed today, the First Year Orientation Period – FYOP – begins in earnest. It will not be easy. You will be tested.
You will be pushed to levels you may not even realize you have.
The goal is to help you achieve the level of excellence required of Lady and Gentlemen Cadets of RMC.
You have already proven that you have the ability to succeed. Now you must raise your game and work even harder.
I know each and every one of you is up to that challenge and that you will all remain committed to succeeding.
To the entire Cadet Wing and College staff, your role over the weeks ahead is to enable the success of this recruit class.
Je m’adresse maintenant à toute l’Escadre des élèves-officiers et à tout le personnel du Collège. Au cours des prochaines semaines, vous aurez comme rôle d’aider les recrues à réussir.
Help these future officers prepare to enter the Wing.
Aidez ces futurs officiers à être prêts à se joindre à l’Escadre.
Lead by example and remember what I have said many times since arriving – Everything we do at RMC we do safely and always with Respect and Dignity as our guiding principles.
Menez par l’exemple et rappelez-vous ce que j’ai souvent dit depuis mon arrivée au Collège : Toutes les activités du CMR doivent se dérouler de façon sécuritaire et toujours selon les principes fondamentaux de respect et de dignité.
I thank you for the superb job you have done so far, and I’m confident that you will meet the challenges again in the year ahead.
Je vous remercie du superbe travail que vous avez accompli jusqu’ici et je suis certain que vous relèverez cette année encore les défis qui vous attendent.
I will mention once again our motto; Truth, Duty, Valour.
I expect you to live up to this motto and be living examples to the new recruits.
I also remind everyone present today of the Canadian Forces Core values of Duty, Loyalty, Integrity and Courage – Values that we must all reflect in everything we do.
Finally, I wish to also emphasize that RMC is a fully bilingual Canadian Forces unit and that achieving the required level of Bilingualism is a critical component of our program.
Finalement, je désire également souligner que le CMR est une unité des Forces canadiennes entièrement bilingue et que l’atteinte du niveau de bilinguisme exigé est une composante essentielle de notre programme.
I expect that you will all make every effort to achieve these goals and to use both languages as a matter of routine.
Je m’attends à ce que vous fassiez tous les efforts possibles pour atteindre ces objectifs et pour utiliser les deux langues de façon routinière.
In closing, let me remind you that RMC is unlike any other unit in the Canadian Forces and unlike any university in Canada.
RMC is a national treasure with an international reputation of excellence.
Succeeding here requires hard work and immense commitment.
But remember: The greatest challenges bring the greatest rewards. Undoubtedly, some days will be tougher than others.
All I ask of each of you is to do your best. Don’t forget: you aren’t alone in this endeavour.
Best of luck in the year ahead.
5 photos by: Brad Lowe