The Week That Was and More…

College Helps Kick Off Veterans’ Week

Article and Photo from 25424 NCdt (IV) Adam Reece

On November 5th, ten Officer Cadets and WO Rene Forster traveled to Ottawa to participate in the start of Veterans’ Week. The RMC contingent partook in a ceremony of Remembrance in the Senate Chambers. They sat alongside Members of Parliament, Senators, members of the Canadian Forces and veterans as the service paid special tribute to the Battle of Passchendaele, and in particular to the Victoria Cross recipients of that battle. The RMC contingent provided the back drop for the ceremony as they wore the distinct Scarlet uniform. After the ceremony, the Cadets and the training wing staff mingled with the dignitaries and veterans as they heard their stories and experiences.

As this is the official start to Veterans’ Week, the College will remember the sacrifices of soldiers, sailors and air personnel from all branches of the military, be it from the Boer War to Afghanistan. We will remember them.

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A Glimpse Into the Real World: Briefings by Element

This past Wednesday morning during PMT (Professional Military Training), the 1st, 2nd, and 4th Year Cadets received briefings in the respective elements on life in the “real world,” and some of the challenges they will face upon graduation.

Air Force Briefing: Not Just the What but the Why

Article by 26664 (I) Zacharie Marshall

Last Wednesday, all air Force Cadets in 1st, 2nd, and 4th Year received a briefing from a Captain and his senior NCO. This briefing was very attention-grabbing, covering not only their experience as forward controllers in Afghanistan but also the effect that war can have on a soldier. Instead of spending two hours hearing various stories about missions, we were told the story behind each mission and the impact that serving in the CF can have on a person and the difficult situations we are put in. We were told the realities of war and the difficulties we will face.

The Captain explained to us various problems he had faced personally, making the whole thing particularly authentic for us. He asked us difficult questions about ethical issues that seem so easy here in Kingston but which can be completely different when on the battlefield. They ended the brief with some guidance for us, as future officers, things that will help us progress in the CF but also things that would help us deal with the challenges we will face. All in all, it was an amazing briefing and I was hooked from beginning to end.

Army Briefing: Platoon Commander & Platoon WO

Article by 26404 OCdt (II) Joseph Simon

On November 7th 1st, 2nd and 4th year Officer Cadets in the Land element received a presentation on the relationship between the Platoon Commander and the Platoon Warrant Officer. The brief was given by Capt. Labonté, Squadron Commander of 8 Squadron, and WO Hamel who served under him in the same platoon in Afghanistan. The engaging presentation centered on the challenges the two soldiers faced overseas and the dynamic between the Platoon Commander and his second-in-command. Over the hour the infantrymen also spoke about the expectations they had for each other and used a variety of personal examples to illustrate their points. The morning gave Officer Cadets a better idea of life in an army unit and they clearly enjoyed the opportunity to learn from experienced and professional veterans.

Navy Briefing: Persian Gulf Firsthand

Naval Cadets received a firsthand account of life during operations aboard ship in the Persian Gulf. At  press time we were waiting for the writeup.

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Third Year So Far…

Écrit par / Article by 25639 Élof (III) Marc-André Jean and 25954 OCdt (III) Saad Sultan

La semaine dernière, la classe de 2014 s’est afféré à la routine du Collège militaire royal du Canada. Par là j’entends: l’utilisation de la langue du jour pour communiquer, le dépassement physique des Élofs au point de vue physique dans les divers sports représentatifs, mais également dans les finales d’Intra-Muros qui ont débuté dernièrement. Également, la classe de troisième a assisté à une présentation sur la résolution de conflits qui fut très enrichissante au point de vue des aptitudes nouvelles qui ont pu nous être enseignées. Finalement, l’aspect académique a peut-être diminué pour certain, compte tenu les « Mid-Terms » finis, mais il n’en reste pas moins que la période des examens finaux arrive bientôt et une bonne préparation pour ceux-ci est de mise pour finir le semestre en beauté pour la classe de 2014.

The Third Year class at RMC has begun the year with adapting to the changes in the training plan and has done so with a demonstration of professionalism as they adopt their roles as junior leaders within RMC’s chain of command. They have been given briefings on conflict resolution through PAG which showed various possible situations they may encounter as leaders in the CF and RMC. All Third Years are now qualified in sword drill which enables them to perform on parades where they have senior appointments. The Third Years had a weekend where they went through the confidence course at CFB Kingston and had the opportunity to learn more about first aid and create stronger bonds with their squadron mates. They have had briefings on how to deal with failure and how to set goals. Many Cadets in their psychology class got to attend a presentation by Anna Stephens, a Major in the British Army, about the training system at Sandhurst in the U.K.

As the new training plan kicks in, the Third Years have been given multiple briefings from the training wing on the changing requirements to graduate with an RMC degree and how these changes affect them. As Third Year Cadets, they currently face one of the toughest periods in the life of an RMC Cadet as academic work loads soar and they are required to balance this with physical fitness, military, and their roles as junior leaders.

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D Div 1st Years Round Out Training Mess Dinners

Article by 26612 OCdt (I) Claire Matlock

Wednesday evening, D-Division First Year Officer Cadets attended their first Mess Dinner. Members of the Varsity Soccer Team, as well as Squadron 10 through 12’s staff were also present. Stories from previous weeks’ mess dinners had been shared amongst the novice attendees and so not all of the traditions came as surprise. Upon entering, 26844 (I) OCdt Farouk Nejah took position at the grand piano and filled the lounge with tunes like Antônio Jobim’s, “The Girl from Ipanema.” Officer Cadets were accompanied by their respective staff, awaiting the arrival of various officers and NCOs. Many were tasked to host these individuals, whereby they would greet their guest in the foyer and proceed to the lounge for peer introductions.

Nerves ran high as First Year Officer Cadets took note of their veterans’ jackets of medals and ribbons. The younger crowd adjusted their 4s uniform, checked for scuffed oxfords and made sure each other donned a November poppy. As this dinner fell close to Remembrance Day, many of the stories and speeches held an historical relevance that entertained and humbled us. The nostalgia seemed fitting amidst the amber glow of the senior staff lounge.

Doors to the dining hall swung open and 26566 (I) OCdt Brendan Hogan piped the arrival of meal time. Attendees flooded the room and took their seats behind the intricately set, candle-lit tables. Officer Cadets would race to steal each other’s place cards for the purpose of pranking one another later in the night. These cards would be passed to the President of the Mess Committee (PMC) with comical requests written in the margins. Guest of honour, Commodore Newton, the Director General of Naval Personnel, delivered a slide-show accompanied speech on a WWI soldier, William Harcourt Smith. A table at the rear of the meal-hall was symbolically set to represent Mr. Smith and other fallen soldiers who could not toast with us that evening.

As guests ate a lovely meal prepared by the kitchen staff, the mood of the night shifted from formal to playful. Courses of Caesar salad, Italian wedding soup, chicken Parmigiana and blondie-coffee cake were divided by music from RMCC’s band and the name-card game. 25888 OCdt (IV) Joseph Martin enlightened the crowd with amusing Navy traditions. 26560 (I) OCdt Andrew Myrie listed the comical ways one could acquire a date for the Christmas Ball if they found themselves running solo two weeks to the event. Exchange students from the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA), IOO73 (IV) Keegan Peckham and I0072 (IV) Samuel Ward sang for the crowd, after which they were jokingly encouraged to keep their day jobs. 25726 OCdt (IV) Max Peetsma, having recently completed his phase 3 infantry course, was requested by the PMC to proclaim his love for the Navy in song form, to the guest of honour.

After a quick break, everyone returned to the dining hall for toasting. Decanters of port were passed down the banquet tables and the hall filled with hearty song. The gaiety continued in the lounge where First Year flights performed their prepared-skits. Eleven Squadron’s Victory flight sung a modified rendition of the FYOP favourite, Carl Orff’s, “Oh Fortuna.” Twelve Squadron’s Hunter flight performed a skit entitled, “Morning Form-Up, in D Minor.” In particular, 26854 OCdt (I) Pier-Luc Deschamps acted out a well-received impression of a female FYOP staff.

The relaxed atmosphere promoted mingling amongst the ranks and many First Years had the opportunity to converse with their Squadron Captain, Division Commander and even the Director of Cadets, 19706 LCol Patrick Lemyre. By 0030hrs, the mess had closed and the last few Officer Cadets left the Senior Staff Mess. They made their way back to the shacks on the brisk autumn night, warmed by the thought of many Mess Dinners to come.

Photos from the dinner (click to enlarge):

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RMCC & RMC St-Jean Undertake Military Skills Competition

Article by 25366 Mike Shewfelt

This past Saturday, Nov 10, Cadets from RMCC and RMC St-Jean gathered on the peninsula for a test of military skill. Five teams, of nine Cadets each, ran the competition; three from RMCC and two from RMC St-Jean. As 19706 LCol Patrick Lemyre, RMCC Director of Cadets, told the participants before the competition began, “What you are about to do will not be easy. It will challenge you.”

LCol Lemyre’s words proved prophetic, with teams averaging 6 to 7 hours through the course. The first team stepped off at 0800, with the others following at one hour intervals. The last team, which stepped off at 1200, did not finish the course until well after dark. The course took the teams from the Stone Frigate to the wall and a rope bridge behind Fort Sauve before moving on to a memory stand inside Sawyer building and then up to Fort Henry for a tire flip. They then moved back down to the RMCC pier to paddle back across Navy Bay to Fort Henry for a first aid scenario. Following that, it was up to CFB Kingston by van for a navigation exercise, and then back down to RMCC for a leadership challenge on the Commandant’s field and finally a truck pull on the Parade Square.

LCol Lemyre presented the results, and gave the trophy to the winning team, at a small ceremony held in Currie building later that evening. He congratulated all of the teams on their performance, and also thanked the approximately 80 Cadet and staff volunteers who made the day possible.

The results were as follows:

1st Place – RMCC 1

2nd Place – RMCC 2

3rd Place – RMCC 3

4th Place – RMCSJ 1

5th Place – RMCSJ 2

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RMCC Goes to the 2012 USMC Marathon

Article by 25928 OCdt (III) Andrew Jarvis

Photos by Lt Besmir Shurdha

The United States Marine Corps Marathon is held every year through Arlington, Virginia, and Washington DC. The 26 mile course, held this year on October 28th, winds through the city and the suburbs past some of Washington’s most spectacular monuments and treats competitors to an awesome barrage of Americana. This year, four trained and eager Cadets, 25928 OCdt (III) Andrew Jarvis, 26198 OCdt (III) Gordon Hallam, 26347 OCdt (II) Keith George, and 25547 OCdt (IV) Neil Gasser, as well as Lt Besmir Shurdha, were able to race alongside over 30 000 other competitors in the biggest turnout the marathon has ever had. It was the first marathon for everyone on the team, and all four toughed out the distance through the wind and rain to finish with very good times.

None of this would have been possible had it not been for the generous donation supplied by the RMC Foundation. The team is very grateful for their support; without it, it would not have been possible for the four Cadets to have this amazing opportunity. It was such a phenomenal experience being able to be part of an event that colossal. The overwhelming patriotism and energy really put into perspective the support the American people have for their troops.

The RMCC team was well received by all at the race, and many of the representatives from the American military academies commented on how great it was to see an RMCC presence at the marathon.

The experience of being able to compete in an event so colossal and so American is one that the four Cadets will never forget. The Cadets are extremely thankful to the RMC Foundation as it would not have been possible to take part in this event without their generous support.

Unless otherwise indicated, photos by 25366 Mike Shewfelt.