22122 Ray Townsend (’01): Expecting a Nostalgia Weekend in Sep
The next Ex-Cadet weekend will be the 15th anniversary for my classmates and I from 2001. Indeed, most have not had the chance to return to RMC since graduation and will be doing so for the first time in the fall.
For many of us, the years following graduation have been filled with technical training and operational employment in various conditions, locations, and theatres. For my part, the world of Anti-submarine warfare and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance has kept me busy as a CP-140 pilot.
I am grateful for the opportunity to have deployed and worked with such fantastic crews, support personnel, Army, Navy, and SOF operators in many different capacities and locations around the world. It will surely be interesting to catch up with long-lost classmates in the fall and discuss career experiences, family evolutions, and compare who has lost the most amount of hair since 2001!
I suspect that the nostalgia of recruit term (larks, academic difficulties and successes, athletic accomplishments, how bad some of us Anglophones were in French) will capitulate in appreciation for the life lessons that we learned through RMC and the exceptional company with whom we learned them. The experiences that cadets obtain throughout 4 years at RMC have undoubtedly helped to shape the professional military or civilian careers of my classmates. It is very interesting to keep in touch with many of them and hear about new business ventures, recent deployments, appointment to Command positions, and family adventures.
I have always appreciated the opportunity to share experiences, thoughts, and opinions on a myriad of issues with former classmates, rugby alumni, and “mil col” grads from different years. Doing so has allowed me to get unfiltered perspective on issues that they can also understand in one form or another.
In my opinion, the bonds that you forge during RMC can be some of the most beneficial relationships for your personal and professional career. Having experienced civilian university as well, I think that RMC is extremely unique in the way that leadership and success is encouraged among the entire student population. I hope that today’s graduates will also discover all the benefits that come with learning and working with a motivated and hard-working group of friends and professional colleagues.
My advice to current RMC cadets is twofold:
1) Continue to learn from your colleagues as you move on to positions of greater responsibility in the Canadian Forces and elsewhere. I think that you will be hard-pressed to find such a concentrated group of focused and like-minded people. (Yes, I am biased!) It never ceases to amaze me what RMC graduates can accomplish.
2) Remember – you may still be faster and in better shape than some of the Ex-Cadet Redmen … but we almost certainly out-weigh you now, and possession of the ball is 99% of the game …
22122 LCol Ray Townsend, CD, MA, MDS – Deputy Director Fleet Readiness – 1 Canadian Air Division