West Point Weekend – Home & Away

Leaders and cadets from the Royal Military College of Canada and the U.S. Military Academy continued the two military institutions’ annual exchange this past weekend.

Once again and for the third straight year, a simultaneous exchange with respective cadets and leadership visited both locations concurrently.

Commandant, BGen Tom Lawson and his wife Kelly; along with DCdt, LCol Tony O’Keeffe and wife, Major Jackie Cowley led the RMC contingent south of the border. At West Point, cadets from RMC accompanied cadets to academic classes, military and physical training, and athletic events. Teams also participated in Tae Kwon Do, water polo, debate matches, a pipe and drum demonstration and a formal banquet.

At RMC, cadets from West Point attended academic classes and training, but also participated in combined teams for the Annual Winter Sports Day Competition.

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The Power of Words: RMC debate team talk their way into a win

Article by 24445 Dan Powell, RMC Debate Society President

The RMC debate team met the United States Military Academy (USMA) speech team in two competitions this past weekend, at the annual RMC/Westpoint weekend. First, a friendly, parliamentary debate tournament was held between RMC and Westpoint teams, including a hybrid team comprising one member from each school. In the end, OCdt Matt Hou (III) and OCdt Nevin Hotson (I) went undefeated, winning the tournament for RMC. An excellent effort was demonstrated by all competitors. The team also included: OCdt DoHyun Shin (IV), NCdt Francois Bossé (IV), and OCdt Andrew Forbes (I).

The Second competition was a “Show Round” debate where OCdt Dan Powell (IV) and NCdt David Reid (I) ran a government case discussing member participation in the United Nations, against the incredibly strong USMA opposition. It was an extremely close round, however RMC triumphed once again, winning the round and claiming the historic debate trophy for yet another year.

This competition marks a new page in intercollegiate competition for RMC and USMA. This is the first year that RMC has debated against the USMA speech team, and thus old traditions have been modified and new ones have begun. RMC looks forward to hosting a similar series of events next year, where we welcome the USMA speech team to join us in our home for another series of fun, competitive competitions.

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Tae Kwon Do – Home cooking prevails!

Over the past number of years West Point and RMC hook up in a Taekwondo competition as part of the annual exchange. No team has ever won on the others home court, explained RMC highly respected coach, Joel Ridley…”as much as we were excited and focused on breaking this tradition this year it was not to be. The West Point team was much improved and the five matches they did win could have gone either way and were hotly contested.”

With the top bass from both institutions in attendance for the seven matches – The first three were very close fought matches but RMC went down 3-0. A never-say-die RMC spirit prevailed and RMC bounced back. The next two matches were won by II Year, Felix Kesserwan, in impressive fashion 8-1 score and III Year, Vanessa Larochelle Meillieur, won her bout by a one-sided 9-3 score.

West Point team took the final two matches which were again very close to take the trophy by a match score of 5-2.

Coach Ridley in his usual classy manner wrapped up his view of the “Exchange” this way. “The team represented RMC well and we continue to build friendships and lasting relationships with our brother institute south of the border.”

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Cadet Wing Winter Sports Day

Article by OCdt Lee Burrows, 24288

Photos by 24465 Nevin McFarlane

February 7th, 2009 saw another successful Winter Sports Day at RMC. The morning started off with members of 7 Squadron running around the parade square wearing nothing but spandex and grey body paint carrying their squadron flag challenging the rest of the wing. This level of enthusiasm was carried through out the day and was demonstrated by squadrons wearing costumes and face paint. During the semi-finals and finals it started to rain, yes rain in February, but it could not dampen the spirits of the Officer Cadets. The overall winners of the sports day was 2 Squadron, while 7 Squadron won the spirit award. Other award winners were 6 Sqn for Flag Football, 13 Sqn for Ball Hockey, 10 Sqn for Soccer, 7 Sqn for Tabloids and 2 Sqn for the Chain of Command relay race.

Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to all the volunteers who made this winter sports day a success.

What some cadets had to say about this year’s West Point Weekend:

“Once again RMC put together the perfect recipe for the Annual Winter Sports Day: A brisk wind, the temperature hovering around zero, a foot of snow and a handful of frozen Americans!”

24749 Christine La Rocque

“J’ai adoré ça. C’est une des meilleures expériences de ma vie. L’horaire, l’hébergement, la nourriture et les divertissements étaient parfaits. Je suis content d’avoir gagné mon match (8-1), et je suis heureux que Vanessa Larochelle-Meilleur ait remporté le sien (6-2). Le reste de l’équipe a perdu, mais l’équipe de débat a gagné!”

24887 Felix Kesserwan, taekwondoïste.

“C’était très intéressant de pouvoir partager avec nos confrères Américains, de voir les différences et les similarités entre nos 2 établissements, et de pouvoir visiter un peu d’un autre pays. En habitant avec eux et en voyant leur mode de vie, on a pu rencontrer des gens et vivre des expériences qui resteront longtemps gravés dans notre mémoire.”

24462 Benoit-Marcel Lalancette

“It’s a beautiful campus, the Americans were very welcoming. I could see great similarities between our lifestyles, and the way we see things. The fact that we work together in theatre brought us closer than ever. History is still being made there. In the cemetery, funerals are still taking place each week and people at West Point are affected by this reality. It is interesting that in the shadow on their predecessors’ grave they are still able to move forward and meet their faith.”

24714 Frederick Richings, spectator.

One Comment

  • 3010 E. P. McLoughlin

    February 9, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    In 51/52 I participated in the annual West Point visit. I am delighted to see the tradition is continuing full force. If I remember right, I was part of the pistol team and the debating crew – think we won, but am not sure. If I am correct, my West Point room mate was General MacArthur’s grandson – small world eh?

    On our train return through New York, we, my RMC crew and I, made a colourful entry into the Russian Tea Room in lower Manhattan, clad in our Astrakan hats and dark blue/black overcoats. Marching up to the bar we said one work only – “Vodka”. Our entry had silenced the crowded bar and the customers were all saying, “Look, Russians!” We were promptly descended upon as if we were denizens from an outer planet. Within the space of a few minutes a short middle aged gentleman arrived and got rid of the mob. Clicking his heels, bowing and announcing a Russian name he further stated, “Graduate of the Russian Imperial Military College 1911. I know you’re not Russians, and I apologize for my rowdy patrons. All of your drinks are on the house!!”

    It was a great weekend. Peter