26583 OCdt John Jacob and the RMC International Affairs Association
By 27832 OCdt (I) Pablo Cardona – 12 Squadron
Between March 3and 6, the cadets from the Royal Military College of Canada (RMCC) deliberated, and in some cases resolved, some of the world’s most pressing challenges alongside 75 students from 10 universities across Ontario. This was the second time in RMC’s prestigious history that a Model United Nations (MUN) conference has ever been hosted. The conference was organized, staffed, and moderated by the RMC International Affairs Association (IAA), a team made up of approximately 50 cadets.
After arriving at the school, the visiting delegates attended the opening ceremonies where they were addressed by Lieutenant-General Christine C. Whitecross, the Commander of Military Personnel Generation. They then had an opportunity to participate in a panel Q&A featuring prominent military officers. Alongside their committee sessions, delegates were also given the opportunity to shoot on the Small Arms Trainer range and participate in a military equipment showcase.
The day ended with a black-tie formal in the cadet mess. The conference concluded with the passing of resolutions and the closing ceremonies. The ceremonies resulted in proud and exhausted delegates that relished in the challenges of the past few days. Both cadets and visiting delegates had the opportunity to forge new friendships and share unique perspectives.
This conference was undoubtedly a success for RMC’s IAA and for the College as a whole. This was the result of months of planning, dedication and strong cooperation between the Training Wing, the Academic Wing, and the efforts of the Cadets. The driving force behind making the conference a reality for the second year in a row was Officer Cadet (OCdt) John Jacob, the president of the IAA and a 4th year cadet poised to graduate in May 2016. (Photo on right – OCdt Jacob receiving the principal’s coin during RMCMUN 2015) His vision and personal drive to see the conference succeed was instrumental in its outcome. As Conference Commander, OCdt Jacob constantly demonstrated the qualities of an exceptional leader in the CAF.
“I’ve participated in MUN conferences since high school, some good and some bad, so to see RMC’s conference end with such positive feedback fills me with pride,” explains OCdt Jacob. “When I started planning this conference, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but therein lies the appeal: I love rising to a challenge, and seeing my hard work produce results. It’s very important for civilian policy makers and their military counterparts to develop an understanding of the realities on both sides of the fence so our conference topic, Briefing Room to Battlefield, was extremely relevant.” The topic spoke to the complex interface between political policy and battlefield reality. “I also knew that I couldn’t have done it alone, so I must acknowledge everyone in my team who helped me along the way,” he added.
When OCdt Jacob first arrived at RMC, the IAA did not exist. With help from a now graduated cadet, Acting Sub-Lieutenant Derek Frank, the IAA framework was established and would eventually become the current umbrella organization for a number of Cadet-run teams and organizations on campus including the RMC Model NATO (MNATO) and RMC MUN teams that attend McGill’s and Queen’s MUN conferences, as well as the RMCMUN team. OCdt Jacob is responsible for building significantly on the initial framework of the IAA since its inception. He has personally received “Best Delegate” awards at nearly every conference and led both the MNATO and Queen’s MUN teams in receiving the “Best Delegation” team awards. Having started with approximately 5 cadets, the IAA has now expanded to include at least 80 (Picture above – The conference staff for RMCMUN 2016). Much of this expansion could not have occurred without the RMC Foundation and their unwavering support and generosity for College teams and organizations. Their support enables Cadets to expand their horizons and fill their university time with experiences that will contribute to their careers as military officers.
“I have no doubt that the time I’ve invested in MUN conferences while at RMC will benefit me once I graduate and receive my commission,” said OCdt Jacob. “Understanding facets of international relations and security studies from various perspectives is a useful skill for the modern armed forces officer. Additionally, the logistical, administrative and managerial skills I have developed through the IAA have prepared me, at least in part, for the challenges of being a commissioned officer in the air force.” (Photo on left – OCdt Jacob standing in front of the Washington Monument during MNATO 2016)
OCdt Jacob has nothing but high hopes for the IAA. “It will be hard to say goodbye to the organization I’ve worked so hard to build, but I know that I’ll always have fond memories of it, and I know moving forward it will be in good hands.” The RMC IAA will have new leadership in September 2016 when the presidency is handed over to OCdt Scott Blair. As for his career goals, after his operational time as an ACSO, OCdt Jacob would like to have the opportunity to be posted to an embassy, liaise with politicians and represent Canadian interests overseas.” Given his keen interest in politics and his extraordinary gift for leadership, it is not unlikely that John Jacob may one day become our Prime Minister.