A Monday in the life of the Top 4
Article by IV Nicolas St-Amant
Originally published in Precision, the RMC Journal
It’s early Monday morning.
On my way back from breakfast at 0655, there are already quite a few officer-cadets lined up in the Yeo Hall second-floor hallway. They are wearing their #4s and wait for their remedial drill as the Highland Dancers wrap up their morning rehearsal. Naval Cadet Kuzmicz is taking attendance and inspecting their dress.
In the New Gym, the CDO is passing around the attendance sheet, as the SRs exchange mail and tired looks. It’s Monday, after all. I stick around for a bit after the CDO’s briefing, answering questions.
Back in Champlain, Bryan is reviewing this week’s schedule, and getting ready for the DCadet’s O-Group. François-Olivier comes back from attending SPT, and Sami is checking his e-mail and updating his CSTOs on the week-end’s happenings. There was no parade this morning, but every time a slot opens up in the schedule, something else fills it up!
At 1015, the Top 4 meets up in the Mackenzie. We chat with the Adjutant for a few minutes, waiting for a meeting to end in the Senate Chamber. As the meeting ends, the Commandant walks out, and jokes as he sees us: “if a bomb were to go off right here at this very moment, there’d be no leadership left at the College.” We all chuckle, comment on his fence being replaced and the need to establish a new count of the number of fence posts, and it’s time for the O-Group!
The DCdt’s O-Group
In the Senate Chamber, the atmosphere is warm and welcoming. The walls hold portraits of former principals – Dr. Cowan’s being one of the most impressive. As attendees walk in, they talk about their week-ends, the weather and the news, and take their assigned seats: the CI, Division Commanders, the Adjutant, Sergeant-Major, Director of Athletics, Deputy Director of Cadets, College Logistics Officer, Padre Moore, and the Top 4.
The O-Group is an occasion to share information with everyone, and make sure we’re all on the same page. We update each other on the various projects on the go, and seek advice and opinions.
It’s really after the O-Group that the magic happens. The Top 4 lingers on to discuss with the staff – Sami with the CWSM, François-Olivier with the CI, etc. We quickly go over the points passed on at the meeting, and distribute the workload.
This part of the day always seems short for time. We often end up sitting together, discuss the O-Group, and share ideas with whoever ends up sitting at the table with us. Meals in the CDH are the best occasion to get a vibe of what the general mood of the College is with respect to specific issues or current events. This is the perfect time to come talk to any of the Top 4, or to your squadron chain of command.
After lunch, we break off to our individual classes, but we’re never very far away from our e-mails.
At 1645, it’s time for the CWC’s O-Group in the Senate Chamber. This time, the information is passed on to all CSLs. Also present are the CDSOs, the Band Officer, the PAG President, the Precision Chief Editor, the DCWC and the CWADO.
The CWC’s O-Group has two distinct components: the top-down passage of points and information to the squadrons, and the exchange of ideas between all squadrons. I would argue that the most interesting portion is the second part.
Each week selected CSLs are asked to present their Squadron’s strategies to tackle specific challenges such as academics, physical fitness or morale.
Asked why he ends all meetings with his feature double-clap, Bryan says: “it’s a way to add closure to the team-building experience.” In fact, the double-clap is a ridiculous but pervasive way to remind us that we are all a team. The experience doesn’t end at the double-clap. Formally the meeting may be over, but the spirit of synergy remains.
Together with the importance of combined effort, each Squadron has its own very unique customs, traditions, and areas of focus. For instance, 2 SQN has recently instituted a “Board of Heroes” to recognize special achievements by their members. Further down the CSL roundtable, 3 SQN has been holding Mixed Martial Arts classes on squadron mornings, and 10 SQN is working hard to improve their Squadron lines in Champlain.
Squadron character and identity are essential drivers for wing morale and esprit de corps. Each sports day is a proof of that – and the Winter Sports Day is just around the corner.
While the CSLs are hashing out the way ahead for their squadrons, the CSTOs are meeting with Sami. Their agenda is most often extremely packed, but there is a common understanding that “the meetings should be kept very informal.”
Sami has a clear idea of his role within the Top 4, and the role of CSTOs. “We are the doers – we make it happen – and we try not to philosophize too much about it. Actually, I philosophize a lot, but that’s how we lay down the law.”
At 1800, it’s the turn of ADOs to get together. These meetings can sometimes seem very dry, and that is due to the fact that the information passed on is rather technical: leave pass procedures, claims, etc.
The CWADO O-Group is nonetheless focused on making life simpler and more efficient for the rest of the Wing. Some of the most significant projects being implemented this semester have already emerged from this forum. The integration of the Wing HQ within Squadrons, and the upcoming new Cadet Duty System are just a few examples.
After all briefings are done, François-Olivier is still buzzing around talking to CSLs, CSTOs, OPIs and individuals who turned up on one of his quintessential “lists”. These lists are the backbone of RMC. They synthesize a tremendous amount of raw data into a tool that can be used by both the Cadet Wing and the Military Wing. The DCWC’s role is one of information gathering and channeling.
Despite the head-scratching and post-its slowly covering every wall space around his computer, François-Olivier gets to play an active role in some of the most visible aspects of everyday life at RMC: “working with Class seniors gets me involved with all kinds of exciting projects such as the 1st and 2nd year Hockey trip to Ottawa.”
Every now and then, the Top 4 will spend a few hours after their meetings walking together through the dormitories, engaging cadets about everything and nothing.
Living in the same corner of Champlain – dubbed the Cadet Wing Command Operations Centre by locals – means that the Top 4 is constantly exchanging ideas and sharing thoughts on what’s going on. And believe me, there’s always something going on! The amounts of e-mails that turn up in our inboxes every hour are probably the reason why Dormnet is so slow in this area of the building…
It is now just after 2200 and we had our casual hourly pow-wow in François-Olivier’s room around a pot of chocolate truffles (leftovers from the Holidays, apparently). Topic of conversation: dress in the CDH. What a challenging and sometimes passionate debate that one is… I wonder what will happen when the pot of truffles bottoms out.
Monday is almost over now, and we’re each working at our own things. Tomorrow is Tuesday: another day full of surprises, challenges and issues to debate.
So, you may wonder, what did we achieve today?
A step forward.
Oh, and we’ll have to get more truffles soon…
Ballon sur glace (Broom-ball)
Tournoi des anciens du CMR 2009
Article par III Derek Gaudreault
Publié dans Précision, le journal du CMRC
Les 23, 24 et 25 de Janvier derniers eut lieu le fameux Tournoi de ballon-balai des anciens du CMR. Cette fin de semaine au caractère festif est une occasion pour plusieurs anciens étudiants d’un des 3 collèges de se revoir dans une ambiance quelques fois très compétitive.
Cette année, 3 équipes formées d’élofs du CMR de Kingston. Les Brosseux n’ont pu que respirer l’odeur des grands honneurs en accédant à la finale participation. Un match très serré s’est soldé à la défaite de l’équipe menée par II Marc-André Lussier. Le Slapshot, dirigé par III Guillaume Hébert, n’a connu la victoire qu’à une seule reprise en terrassant les Brosseux 2-0 dans la rencontre du samedi soir. Les Coats de Cuir se voyant dans les hautes sphères du classement ont été disqualifiés en raison d’une formation illégale.
Dans la catégorie compétitive, le Showtime à nouveau représenté, a terminé 2e de son côté de l’organigramme avec 2 victoires contre 1 seule défaite en ronde préliminaire. Opposé à l’année préparatoire en demi-finale, le Showtime a connu sa part de difficultés alors que c’est la prolongation qui aura eu raison des représentants du Collège de Kingston. III Brad Spencer, le gardien de but, mérite hors de tout doute le titre de joueur par excellence de l’équipe avec une performance quasi irréprochable.
En conclusion, cette édition du tournoi de ballon-balai des anciens du CMR fut une réussite autant pour l’organisation du tournoi, que nous tenons à féliciter tout particulièrement, que pour les élofs du collège qui ont pu faire connaissance et fraterniser avec leurs prédécesseurs.