205 brand new officers headed to the CAF
27832 OCdt (I) Pablo Cardona
On Friday morning, 205 brand new officers were commissioned into the Canadian Armed Forces. Graduation parade marks the momentous occasion when OCdts are given their commissioning scrolls and take the first step towards life as a CAF officer. Witnessed by hundreds of parents, siblings and high-profile guests, Graduation parade is one of the most important events at the College. This year, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Jonathan Vance, a graduate of Royal Roads Military College, served as the reviewing officer.
The 205 graduating officers were divided into eight distinct contingents, reflecting their respective environments and occupational classifications. Six of the eight contingents were comprised of cadets who are graduating with the AFAN qualification, which signifies achievements in the four components of officership, being academics, bilingualism, athletics and military proficiency. The graduates in the remaining two contingents graduated while meeting all the CAF standards in academics, fitness and military training.
The already ecstatic spectators became even more enthused when a CC-130J Hercules flew over the parade square. The flyby was possible thanks to the contribution of 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron out of 8 Wing, Trenton.
Following this, the graduates were inspected by Gen Vance, while the Commandant of RMC, BGen Friday along with the new CCWO, CWO Hoegi and the DCdts, LCol Renahan, accompanied by the Training Wing Sergeant Major, MWO Rideout, inspected the Cadet Wing. Following the march past, awards were distributed to outstanding cadets of the class of 2016. These awards recognized special achievement in academics, athletics and leadership. Then, Padre Newhook and Padre Carter blessed the parade.
Subsequently, BGen Friday and the CDS addressed the parade and audience. BGen Friday managed to articulate the pride felt by the graduating class, their families and their younger peers. He also drew upon his own experience as an ex-cadet and discussed the challenges that the class of 2016 has overcome during their time at RMC and thanks to that they are leaving are more mature, responsible junior leaders. The CDS echoed the Commandant’s sentiment and told the class of 2016 that they had chosen a rewarding career path, filled with challenges and learning opportunities. He also stated that while this seem like the greatest day of their life, better things await them. Gen Vance also emphasized the importance of leadership and camaraderie, especially in times of tragedy.
The, then, the moment everyone was waiting for finally came. The Class of 2016 was handed their commissioning scrolls and they marched off the parade square as officers in the CAF. After this, they were marched back on by the outgoing CWC, 2Lt St. Onge, who handed the parade over to the incoming CWC, OCdt Bobis. The College then performed a Feu de Joie, accompanied by cannons, to the brand new officers. Before the Graduates marched off the parade square and toward the arch, they were joined by this year’s honorary graduates, the former College Chief, CWO Davidson and MWO Rideout. After the parade and the walk under the arch, the newly commissioned officers were surrounded by family and loved ones, ready to start a new chapter in their lives.
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