From the Frontlines of FYOP: Finally Done!
By 27832 OCdt (II) Pablo Cardona, 12 Sqn, e-Veritas Chief Correspondent
Finally. It’s over.
This week, the Class of 2020’s First Year Orientation Period (FYOP), ended, symbolizing their full integration into the Cadet Wing. Upon receiving their RMC cap badges on Saturday, the first years are no longer considered recruits, but full-fledged members of the RMC family.
As FYOP drew to a close, the intensity of the physical activity and stress-inducing schedule began to tone down. FYOP staff wanted to give their flights the opportunity to tend to their injuries, rest and recover before running the obstacle course.
The major emphasis this week was on preparing the first years for the obstacle course. Flights spent hours rehearsing techniques to best conquer each of the 12 obstacles and to get a feel for the difficulty of the event. As always, FYOP staff were around to guide them and to make sure that safety precautions were followed.
Beyond simply rehearsing the obstacles, the first years chose ICs (flight leaders) to take command of the flight during the course itself. The flight leader had the responsibility of learning each obstacle and developing tactics that would allow them to maximize points.
In addition to preparing for Friday’s obstacle course, the Class of 2020 spent the week practicing for their Saturday morning badging parade. They, along with the rest of the Cadet Wing, practiced the parade numerous times to perfect the drill and well represent the College’s talent to the general public.
FYOP staff, who know the ropes of RMC quite well, also took the time to teach their recruits how to maintain and wear their uniforms. Looking sharp while in uniforms is key in the life of an OCdt. Unpolished oxfords or poorly ironed creases reflect poorly on a cadet and lead to corrective measures.
The Class of 2020 has come a long way since arriving here at the end of August. Each and every one of them has improved their physical fitness, mental resilience and self-confidence. Yet, what’s more impressive is that in just four weeks they’ve built lifelong friendships and come together as a team, accomplishing feats that no one individual could.
FYOP isn’t meant to be easy. It isn’t always enjoyable and it isn’t always fun, but in the end it is an important part of becoming a member of the RMC family. Thanks to the hard work of all the FYOP staff, the first years are ready to move on to the next great chapter of the RMC story.
As you might’ve noticed, I’ve written 3/4 “From the Frontlines of FYOP” articles over the past month. Obviously, it’s been a vastly different experience watching FYOP as a second year than living it, as I did last year. Looking from the outside and out and bringing this story, the story of the Class of 2020, has been a rewarding privilege.
I’d like to thank a few people for their help with this series. Chief among them are OCdt Raymond (CFL, Hunter Flight) and OCdt Dolman (CSC, Hunter Flight) for being my sources on the ground. I’d like to also thank OCdt Simon Ewing (FYOP IC) for helping me coordinate article responses from the FYOP staff and the first years. Finally, I’d like to thank OCdt Ortega for his stellar contribution to the series last weekend.
Congratulations class of 2020! You’ve accomplished so much and we’re all proud of what you’ve done!