9253 Stan Jacobson – CWTO experience paid off down the road

9253 Stan Jacobson – was the Cadet Wing Training Officer for the Class of 1972. Stan took some time out to recall some of his experiences during his time as CWTO.

Who was the Commandant during your time in CWHQ?

The Comdt was 2530 BGen (Ret) William Kirby Lye MBE CD, ADC.  (I understand that he graduated from RMC in 1936).

Is there a particular memory (or more) of dealing with the military leadership ?

The military leadership at RMC were very supportive; and always encouraged me to take full responsibility for the “dress, deportment and discipline” of the Cadet Wing. 

I was expected to find solutions for any problems that I identified; and to implement anything, within my mandate / authority, that would solve the problem.   Notwithstanding this expectation, they were open to discussing anything that I was considering.

Was there a key person who provided coaching / mentor-ship to you? Does anything still stick out from that mentor-ship?

I was very fortunate in that there were several members of the RMC staff – military officers and non-commissioned officers, professors and admin staff – who were willing to engage with me on any topic that I wished to raise.

Of the many things that I learned, from the mentoring that I received, was a deep respect and appreciation of the knowledge and contributions that would be offered from individuals at every level in the organization.  It taught me to pro-actively reach out to everyone that I worked with, irrespective of their rank or role.

What would you consider the highlight in your CWHQ time?  Any low point that you can share?

The highlight was the successful completion of the Graduation Parade.  The Parade was executed flawlessly by the Cadet Wing; and the pride and excitement evident throughout the Cadet Wing, the family members that attended the event, and the RMC staff, was hugely satisfying.

The “low point in the year” was the realization that some of my class-mates would stray away from the standards expected of them (e.g. they would let their hair get “long and messy) and they ignored their Cadet Squadron Training Officer’s request that they “clean up their act”.   

To resolve this issue, I sought and received approval from the DCdts for a “punishment” that only applied to fourth year cadets.  The punishment was called a “restricted weekend” and would require the recipient to present themselves to the guard house – in uniform – every four (4) hours between 16:00 on Fri to 08:00 on Mon. 

On a positive note, I never had to use this punishment.  When I offered a class-mate the first option of coming to my room later that day to show me their “improvement” , or to select the second option of a “restricted weekend”; they always chose the first option.

Is there anything else that you would like to mention?

The experience at RMC was hugely educational.  We learned: self-discipline, how to live in close proximity to others, team-work, how to keep fit, to take care of clothing, to dress appropriately, to conduct yourself confidently in a formal environment, and to learn about, and be tested on, a variety of topics (academics, sports, military culture, information related to your selected military occupation, etc).

What are your overall views / memories of going through the military college(s) experience?

The primary memory is of a busy and wonderful time.  The combination of the academics, sports, social functions, summer training sessions, and living the life of an Officer Cadet was superb. 

The fact that the college was relatively small in size, was a significant factor in the strength of the relationships that were established there; and which persist today.

The positive experience that I had at RMC, caused me to encourage my two younger brothers to seriously consider attending the Military Colleges.  My middle brother joined CMR in 1970; and graduated from RMC in 1975.  My youngest brother joined RMC in 1974 and graduated in 1978.

In 1976 I was privileged to be posted to Royal Roads Military College (RRMC) as the Naval Squadron Commander. During my time there:

i.      I brought the lessons that I learned, from my days as a Cadet, and taught them to “my cadets”.  For example, each cadet – in my Squadron – had an assigned mentor who was one year ahead of them.  The mentor was obligated to understand if the junior cadet was experiencing any difficulties; and to seek assistance if needed from senior staff.  (The Cadets responded well to this internal structure, and this structure contributed to the academic and athletic success of the Squadron; and in a very high retention rate).

ii.      I was a member of the staff assigned to assess and prepare recommendations related to the introduction of females into RRMC.