Former ‘army brat’ big part of the RMCC team
By 27832 OCdt (I) Cardona, 12 Squadron
Transforming a university student into a capable CAF officer takes more than just proficiency in the four pillars. Often, cadets seek guidance, answers to their questions and advice on what they need to do to become better officers. Among their other functions, including administrative duties and training, members of the Training Wing are role models for the cadets, examples of what it means to be an effective member of the CAF.
More often than not, they are also willing to take the time to provide guidance and help cadets with personal and college related issues. To this end, every Squadron is assigned a senior Non Commissioned Member (NCM).
Sergeant Richard Fancy spent most of his childhood on army bases, so the military life came somewhat naturally. His father’s service also inspired him to serve his country and join the Canadian Army. Sgt Fancy’s career began almost 18 years ago when he joined the CAF as a Combat Engineer. After finishing his Basic Military qualification at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in St-Jean, he moved to CFB Borden where he completed his driver course. After this, he was posted to 2 Combat Engineer Regiment at CFB Petawawa as a section member in a field troop.
While he was a field troop section member, the Combat Engineer had the opportunity to travel to the United States to participate in exercises. He also did his first overseas tour in Bosnia in 2001. Following his posting at CFB Petawawa, he completed his Second Language Training and returned to CFLRS as staff for three years. After this, he was posted to 4 Engineer Support Regiment in Gagetown where he completed a tour in Afghanistan and spent time in Regimental Ops and Training and as an EROC.
Over the course of his career, the almost 18 year CAF veteran has found that “the CAF has changed [him] as a person and developed [him] as a soldier.” He has found that “being away from home for long periods of time” has been “the hardest thing to overcome.” Despite the hardship of being away from family and loved ones, Sgt Fancy’s time overseas has also been among the most rewarding of his career. Whatever career path one chooses, “the CAF has a way of challenging its members on all levels which accommodates individual changes both as a person and a soldier.”
Sgt Fancy was posted to RMC in 2013 as the supervisor of Holding Platoon personnel and then became the 12 SQN NCM and the 11 SQN NCM the year after. According to the Afghanistan veteran, “helping young people become officers is a very busy job.” The job varies day-to-day, depending on what’s happening at the College. His main duties are to assist the Squadron Commander and cadets with administration and training. On a daily basis, he interacts with all facets of the College, from the Cadet Wing to the clerks in the COR, to the academic staff. The most rewarding part of the “is working with the Cadets and the other staff that we have here.”
The 11 Squadron NCM advises cadets to be “open minded and driven to push through” as “there will be a lot of challenging times as a young officer.” Another key piece of advice for young officers is to use the experience of their senior NCMs. Young officers are never alone, they are part of time and always “have a lot of experience around them.”