The Class of 2022 has survived their first week of the First Year Orientation Period (FYOP). With the obstacle course now less than two weeks away, things are moving very quickly for them indeed. What follows are their experiences so far as they see them.
Impressions from recruits after week 1:
Articles coordinated by: 27340 OCdt (IV) Léonard Legault Cadet Wing Internal Information Officer (CWIIO)
Having been at RMC in FYOP for less than a week, teamwork, discipline and time management skills have already been instilled in myself and in my flight as we work through the challenges that are being put in front of us. Despite the physically and mentally demanding schedule, the team cohesion my flight and I share makes even the most difficult of tasks manageable, and what would otherwise be impossible on our own, possible. From strangers, to flight mates, to friends, to becoming family, we are developing as people and as a team, creating strong lifelong relationships and a support system that will be there for us on the good and bad days.
With the support and guidance of our staff, we have, as a team, learned the importance of discipline, and always exerting maximum effort in our daily tasks. Through this discipline, we learn follower-ship, and, in turn, leadership, as it is through this follower-ship that we learn what we want to see from our leaders.
Through FYOP, the emphasis on time management in unlike anything any of us have experienced before. Even though timings seem impossible, with the motivation of our staff and the rest of our flight mates, we are learning and acquiring this skill that we will use and carry on using for the rest of our careers.
Although my time at RMC has been short, FYOP has challenged and rewarded myself and my flight in ways we never thought it would. From the positivity in our team to the strenuous tasks we have accomplished, what we have experienced through FYOP is already proving to be one of the most rewarding challenges we have ever experienced. FYOP is only the beginning of our RMC journey and has only made us excited for the next four years here.
FYOP has been unique to say the least. A culmination of fast timings, PT for busting those timings, waking up at 0500 to death metal, learning how to make hospital corners in your sleep, and many other aspects, are what makes FYOP an experience unlike any other orientation program across Canada. My experience with FYOP has been outstanding, as it quickly develops many skills for incoming cadets such as: mental fortitude, attention to detail, being a good follower, and having a strong sense of urgency. But above all else, FYOP creates bonds between you, your flight mates, and even your staff. You go through all the 0500 PT sessions, the inspections, the leadership challenges, and eventually, the obstacle course, as one unit. That is what truly makes FYOP special. This does not happen anywhere else and it is why I believe FYOP is a challenging and outstanding program.
The experience of FYOP is certainly not for the faint of heart. Depending on ones experience with Basic Training, it can be either the most difficult or most engaging experience of an officer cadets first year. A seemingly perfect blend between a civilian frosh week, and a military academy, new cadets will be tested in unexpected and exciting ways. The most important aspect is the development of pride both within your squadron and within the school itself. Another important aspect is the knowledge that everything done during the course is done to prepare you for the next four years of your education at this prestigious school, although that does little to make you enjoy the early morning music blaring, and the never-ending inspections, the bonds formed with your flight mates make it all the better.
Tango Flight 2018 has brought together a wide range of diverse individuals that are now asked to become one strong and united team to pass through FYOP. The flight is led by 5 hand-picked individuals that push us past our comfort zones to expand our potential. FYOP has been challenging both mentally and physically, but over the short span of a few days the flight has come together and developed strong familial bonds. The flight member’s different experiences, opinions and beliefs as individuals have contributed to our flight’s strengths and abilities, making one persons’ weakness another’s strength. As tango approached the end of its first week, despite challenges ahead, tango will push through.
For the incoming class of RMC, FYOP seems like a daunting challenge. Although shortened this year from five to just three weeks, the newest Officer Cadets of the Canadian Armed Forces can expect to be challenged more in that short period than ever before. FYOP is designed to introduce the junior Officer Cadet to the high pace and heavy workload of military life that they will find both at the college and throughout the rest of their career in the Canadian Armed Forces.
For those officer cadets currently going undertaking FYOP, it may seem like it cannot end quick enough. But every challenge and tests they encounter has a purpose. These officer cadets are challenged mentally, physically, and academically right from the start and the whole purpose of doing so is to ensure the newest officer cadets of RMC have what it takes to live up to and be a part of the one of Canada’s oldest and most reputable institutions.
Week one of FYOP is a very stressful and challenging experience. We’re expected to do all ablutions, make both beds, get dressed and be ready for the day in about 4 minutes. Then, you generally have some very intense PT, and after a couple days you will be incredibly sore. After PT, we eat breakfast. We are fed well, with lots of healthy options, and a reasonable amount of time to eat. From this point, the days start to feel the same, we do training, inspection preparation, drill, etc., until lunch, and then this process carries on until dinner. After dinner is mostly more inspection preparation until “Personal time”, where you prepare your kit for the next day and stretch out your sore muscles. Finally, after a quick period of time for nighttime ablutions, we go to bed.
In conclusion, the first week of FYOP is a challenging and sometimes rewarding experience. It’s hard, and its not fun, but there’s a reason behind all of it. It teaches us to move fast (have a sense of urgency), it teaches us how to manage our “free” time, it teaches us how to work as a team, and finally, it teaches us how to handle stress.
Initially, my FYOP experience started off very daunting, especially waking up to “o Fortuna” at 0500hrs. The sudden and surprising sound of loud orchestra music almost made me fall out of my bed. As the day progressed, the intensity that was introduced to us in the morning continued, making basic training seem like a piece of cake. Although there were many physical and mental barriers I had to overcome, my morale was kept high by the staff and my flight mates. The best times are when we come together as a cohesive group and accomplish a seemingly impossible task. Throughout the entire time, the staff continues to motivate and help integrate me into a new lifestyle where discipline and order are crucial. Thus far, I enjoy finding new limits within myself and my teammates, and I am looking forward to being a part of the RMC family, and getting paid!
First Year Orientation Period (FYOP). There are many stories about it, stating how it is a nightmare, but I am here to put a stop to that rumour. The first week consists of waking up at 0500 hours everyday, not a second early, not a second late. Many people may have felt frustration, but all I felt was excitement, exhilaration, but most importantly, pride. I say this because there are over 200 other individuals hustling to ready for the day ahead. This past weeks filled with enjoyment, confusion, laughs, and grunts as every minute a new challenge arrived at the foot of our doorsteps. After several failed attempts at solving these problems alone, I came to realize that these obstacles will not be overcome individually, but as a team. FYOP has made me realize that, and only within a week has shown me how crucial teamwork and communication is to success. We all keep pushing forward, transforming into one unit. RMC.
Easy is not a word that comes to mind when I think of the numerous sweaty PT sessions or the very creative early morning wakeups, on top of learning the in’s and out’s of RMC, it can be exhausting. The amount of information we consume in a day is comparable to attempting to drink from a fire hose. Although these past days have no doubt been difficult I can speak for myself and many others that it has been fulfilling! If I were to take one point that our staff have thoroughly enforced on us, is that being a follower is just as important as being a leader which inevitably allows us to work as a team. It has only been a couple days into FYOP but I already feel an overwhelming sense of belonging, which is exactly what I hoped for by attending RMC. I miss my loved ones deeply but I feel comforted by the knowledge that those who surround me will become my new family.
Facile n’est pas le mot qui me viens en tête quand je pense à toutes les sessions d’entrainement physique, les réveils créatifs tous les matins, en plus d’essayer d’apprendre les petites astuces du CMR. La quantité d’information que nous avalons au courant d’une journée peut être compare avec essayer de boire d’un tuyau attacher à une borne d’incendie. Même si c’est derniers jours n’ont certes pas été facile, je sais que je peux dire pour non seulement pour moi-même, mais aussi pour mes collèges qu’ils ont été bien gratifiants ! Si je devais prendre un point que notre staff essaie vraiment de nous faire comprendre, c’est que de suivre les autres est tout aussi important que d’être un bon leader, ce qui inévitablement nous permet de travailler comme une équipe. Ça ne fait que quelques jours que le POPA à commencer mais je sens déjà un immense sentiment d’appartenance, ce qui est exactement ce que j’espérais en venant faire mon éducation au CMR. Ma famille me manque profondément, mais je me sens confortée sachant que ceux qui m’entourent deviendrons bientôt ma nouvelle famille.