26659 OCdt (IV) Andela: e-Veritas’ Lead Correspondent
By: 27832 OCdt (I) Cardona
OCdt Danielle Andela was born and raised in Whitby, Ontario. She joined the Royal Canadian Air Cadets at the age of 13 and became heavily involved in her squadron’s debate team. Her inspiration to attend RMC was an ex-cadet whom she admired in cadets who came to RMC after her first year as an Air Cadet. She was accepted into the RMC-ROTP programme in 2012 as an Air Force Logistics Officer. She is currently pursuing a psychology degree with a minor in English. Aside from being e-Veritas’ senior correspondent, she is also a proud member of 1 Squadron, the president of the Master of Ceremonies Club and a member of the International Affairs Association. When she graduates, she will be posted to Trenton and specialize in the finance branch of the Logistics corps.
The Whitby native began writing for e-Veritas after FYOP ended. During FYOP, she and her flight were given writing assignments asking them to describe their staff. OCdt Andela’s written work stood out as “wordy and eloquent” so her DCFL suggested that she write for Bill Oliver as a correspondent for e-Veritas. She was invited to meet Bill Oliver for coffee at the Senior Staff Mess and the two of them clicked. Most of her early articles were ‘first year perspective’ pieces on the various events at the College.
In her second year, the frigateer reached out to Bill and sought to expand her role in e-Veritas. In the winter semester of second year, she became e-Veritas’ senior correspondent, a role that she would fulfill until graduation. The fact that e-Veritas is a “multi-faceted alumni paper” that appeals to current cadets, ex-cadets and families of cadets meant that she could write a diverse range of articles. Her niche was writing “about the cadet events at the College and personal profiles, mostly on exchange students and Otter Squadron members.” Writing for e-Veritas became an “outlet to talk about those interests that made [her] really happy at the College.”
The 22-year old’s most recent work for the alumni website has been coordinating ex-cadet articles. She’s tried to find young Lieutenants and Captains who graduated within the past five years because she believes that they are in the unique position where they’ve learned what the work of CAF officer entails but still remember their time at RMC. OCdt Andela thinks that these articles and the advice from experienced officers embedded within them are helpful to the fourth year cadets because at RMC “our real military experience is limited and when we get to our units, we hit the ground running, which is hard when you’ve only experienced a training environment.”
Over her four years of writing for Bill Oliver, the e-Veritas correspondent has found that both her personal professionalism and abilities as a writer have improved. Through her interviews and professional interactions, she’s learned that “you do judge people on their handshake, on their first impression, on how they look you in the eye.” For a junior officer, knowing how to carry themselves, is vital to earning the respect of their colleagues. Furthermore, the countless articles that she’s written for e-Veritas have helped her to learn to pay attention to detail and the importance of proofreading. While small mistakes in paperwork at RMC may be embarrassing, there “are no earth-shattering consequences.” According to the psychology major, now is the time to “do your learning and make your mistakes,” because those mistakes will start to count at a unit.
Between her rewarding academic experience, extracurricular activities and College events, the soon-to-be ex-cadet has enjoyed her time at RMC. “Every obstacle course is definitely the highlight of [her] year” because of how the spirit on display and cheering on the first years brings the squadron closer together. Above all, when she looks back the part that she will remember most are her friends and peers because “some of the greatest people that [she’s] ever met” are current or former RMC students. “The people here are really what got [her] through the more difficult and emotionally challenging times.”
(Photo bottom right – French Exchange Student Elodie Leroux (a previous subject of one of Danielle’s exchange student articles) and OCdt Danielle Andela get ready to support 1 Squadron in the 2015 RMCC Obstacle Course!)