26720 OCdt (IV) Kyle Ryan: On track to achieve his goals

26720 OCdt (IV) Kyle Ryan -studying history with honours; infantry:

On track to achieve his goals

What were your inspiration & motivation to attend military college?

What is your most favourable memory of your time at RMCC?

What changes would you like to see at RMCC which would make it a better overall experience for those who will be following you?

What books influenced you most as a student and how?

Which senior cadet(s) and / or staff influenced you most as a I, II, III Year and how?

What– in your opinion– makes a good leader?

What does TDV mean to you?

What is your ultimate goal after leaving RMCC?

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What were your inspiration & motivation to attend military college?

I’ve wanted to become a soldier since I was five or six. My parents are both retired Toronto police officers, but according to them I was never interested in continuing the family business. In primary school, I took every opportunity to dress in camo and play soldier like most kids; however, as my friends and I got older and their interests changed, my goal remained the same. I joined the Royal Canadian Army Cadets at twelve, and from then on the hook was in.

Since there was never any doubt about my future career choice, my parents constantly reminded me that I had to get a degree and become an officer. They always stressed the importance of getting a university education and my dad suggested I apply to RMC. After a quick search on the RMC website, and a few YouTube videos of the obstacle course, I set my sights on Kingston.

What is your most favourable memory of your time at RMCC?

It is impossible to pinpoint any one memory as the best.

Between four awesome Reunion Weekends, great skylarks, sports days, West Point weekends, nights out with classmates, and other adventures, the “best-of” list for MilCol memories is long. Two events that I will admit stand out because of their significance are the finale of my FYOP obstacle course and my experience as Nine Squadron CSL during the 2015 obstacle course.

In first year, the feeling of complete exhaustion mixed with pure ecstasy to finally be a part of the squadron was amazing. After ringing the bell with my FYOP flight, I was completely overwhelmed by the surge of emotion from all of Nine. Three years later, running the obstacle course as the CSL brought my time at RMC full circle. This final obstacle course reminded me of the importance of keeping traditions alive and that we must all be ready to grasp the next challenge. I am very proud of the new generation of cadets who will soon be taking on the barslate positions that seemed far out of reach in my first year.

Everyone has their way of measuring time at RMC. For me, the years were measured by two obstacle courses – marking the beginning and end of a great adventure.

What changes would you like to see at RMCC which would make it a better overall experience for those who will be following you?

The Training Wing (TW) has done a lot in the past four years to empower cadets to think critically and make important decisions. As a senior barman, I have been given the opportunity to have a positive impact on the lives of many cadets while practicing my leadership style. In the spirit of developing effective leaders, I would like to see even more autonomy be given to the Cadet Wing.

What books influenced you most as a student and how?

I was never an avid reader, before and after getting to RMC. I’m much more of an outdoors person, and with all that goes on at the College I just can’t seem to ever sit still long enough to get into a good book. That being said, one book that has always resonated with me is Charles Yale Harrison’s Generals Die In Bed. I first read it for a high school assignment, but was recently happily surprised to see the title on the syllabus of my HIE410: Canada And War course. The book is a first person account of the horrors of trench warfare during the First World War, told from the perspective of a young Canadian private. As a student at RMC, Generals Die In Bed enforced in me the importance of understanding my future soldiers. The book serves as a constant reminder that behind every soldier is a human being with human needs.

Which senior cadet(s) and / or staff influenced you most as a I, II, III Year and how? 

LCol (Ret’d) Douglas Delaney has had a profound impact on my education as well as my professional development as an officer. Between his teaching and mentoring, Dr. Delaney has passed on invaluable lessons to all those fortunate enough to take his courses. On a personal note, Dr. Delaney goes out of his way to make sure I am on track to achieve my goals and never hesitates to offer advice and assistance whenever possible.

Dr. Sean Maloney has been another major influence on my character and leadership development. The energy and passion for history he brings to every class makes for an incredible learning environment. Dr. Maloney ensures that his students are prepared for the challenges we will face on the modern-day battlefield, and he takes genuine pride in our successes. I owe much of my understanding of the world and of how to be a good officer to his mentorship.

Lastly, where would any of us be without a great English teacher keeping our sentences structured and commas correctly placed? In my case, Dr. Michael Hurley has been my guide on a literary journey since ENE210 in second year. His charisma and eccentricity turn the classroom into another dimension that can only be entered by those who answer the call to adventure. He has tested and improved my communication abilities, and continues to challenge my critical thinking.

What– in your opinion– makes a good leader?

Good leaders are intelligent, competent, and relatable; they stand up for their subordinates and do what is right. Good leaders attack challenges head-on, and are unafraid to accept responsibility when plans fail. One of the most important traits of a good leader is their ability to make others feel important; people want to be around them simply because of their charisma.

What does TDV mean to you?

TDV is a reminder of the unique bond I will share upon graduation with the thousands of past cadets who have gone before me. As the motto of this institution, “Truth, Duty, Valour” represents the high expectations cadets must meet if they are to uphold the RMC brand. It is our responsibility as the graduating class to continue to live by this motto, thereby reflecting the quality of officers RMC seeks to produce.

What is your ultimate goal after leaving RMCC?

After graduation this May, I will go to Gagetown, New Brunswick to complete IODP1.2 (Phase 4) of my training as an infantry officer. My short-term goals are to become a platoon commander and to finish the Private Pilot License I started while at RMC.

As far as ultimate goals are concerned, there is a lot I want to during my career ranging from commanding an infantry battalion to becoming CDS (getting back to RMC as Commandant fits in there somewhere). My priority right now is being a good leader, and earning the respect of my troops; everything else will come in time.