The first posting following grad: An eye opener
Article by: 27476 OCdt Danielle Fielding
The first few months after RMC are different for every graduate. Many of the cadets have moved all across the country, and are the new faces at their respective bases and trade schools.
27428 Second Lieutenant Blake Simpson from Penticton, B.C, and a few other graduates, (27408 Taylor Pratte, 27382 Reid Nelson, 27249 Michael Cambare) went to a new school, the Canadian Forces School of Communications and Electronics (CFSCE) hardly a kilometer from the college grounds.
Together they went directly from RMC to a course starting the Tuesday after grad parade. Not leaving much time for leisure. In this respect, there was no change at all from the fast paced battle rhythm commonly found at RMC and course loadings of the past, the major difference was that this summer, there would be no going back to the college.
According to 2Lt Simpson “CFSCE has been great so far. The staff is very knowledgeable, and has a wide breadth of experience. I have learned more about Signals in the past few weeks than I had in four years at the college.”
There are a few drastic changes that occur immediately after graduation. The first and most prevalent is the fact that once you march through that arch you are a commissioned officer. While this is no surprise to any RMC cadet, it never really sinks in until the first time one is addressed as Sir, or Ma’am, and it is now you returning the salute. With it, comes the realization that your every move is being watched and criticized, making it critical that you behave as a leader as this is now what is expected of you. While as a cadet you may not have been noticed, blending in at RMC, now you have presence, and in that respect, it is incumbent upon yourself to live and act professionally.
2Lt Simpson says that “in this way, RMC has prepared us to carry ourselves well, to keep a high standard of dress and deportment, and to maintain situational awareness. However, with that said, it quickly became apparent how little we really know about the CAF.”
CAF doctrine, structure, and culture are learned shortly after grad. Additionally, 2Lt Simpson quickly learned how big mess culture was. TGIT is mandatory at CFSCE and it’s often one of the highlights of the week. It gives the new candidates on course a great chance to talk with members of the school they would ordinarily never meet, and staff and students alike learn more about each other which serves as a fantastic means of welcoming junior members into their respective branch.
Some guiding words from 2Lt Simpson:
“If there was one thing I wish I knew before leaving RMC, it would be how much I was going miss my friends and fellow graduates. RMC is an experience. It is demanding, life changing, and rewarding. It builds a connection between you and your fellow graduates that will last a lifetime; which is why it makes it hard to leave those people. RMC was an experience, on to the next chapter. Truth, Duty, Valour.”