Vimy Award Gala Dinner: Eye opener for officer cadets

Caption: Three of the cadets who attended the Vimy dinner: Choi, Bruce, and Cardona, pictured with the Vice-Admiral Norman.

Vimy Award Gala Dinner: Eye opener for officer cadets

Foreward: To the RMCC Club Foundation and the CDA Institute (for organizing the Vimy Award, the Vimy Award Gala Dinner, and for sourcing the corporate and private donors for all the Officer Cadets to attend the CDA Institute Vimy Award Gala Dinner)

Article by: 27472 OCdt (III) Eliza Bruce

As a third year artsman of 4 Squadron, currently studying English and occupying the bar position of Cadet Wing Choir Master, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Conference of Defence Associations Institute (CDA Institute) for organizing and sponsoring the Vimy Award Gala Dinner and the RMCC Club Foundation for supporting the Officer Cadets with the transportation costs to attend this year’s Conference of Defence Associations Institute (CDA Institute) Vimy Award Gala Dinner held in the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa on 4 November 2016.

It was truly fascinating to learn about both the prestigious award itself, and the life of this year’s deserving recipient, Dr. James Boutilier, who, aside from multiple maritime security contributions and a vast expertise of the Asia-Pacific strategic significance, had a past connection with Canada’s military academies as professor and Dean of Arts at the Royal Roads Military College in Victoria. This was a unique link to the Officer Cadets in the audience.

The evening was an incredible honour afforded to myself and my peers, most of whom were fourth year barmen, and we were better able to appreciate such an occasion after having experienced several years of college life and military training to accustom us to military culture.

Conversing with the celebrated and accomplished individuals at the dinner gave us another glimpse into our military past, and also of the careers that await us after grad. We were able to take part in professional and engaging conversations and discourse with high-ranking military and retired military members as well as honourable civilian guests, and over the course of the evening created contacts with major representatives of Canadian institutions and military branches with whom we would not normally have the chance to interact.

It ran somewhat like a mess dinner but with very much a gala flavour, where Officer Cadets could meet, talk, laugh, and learn from the knowledge and experience of superior Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers, commissionaires, and more, to develop the professional social and communication skills vital to our future as Officers.

In one night I met the Chief Justice, CDS, VCDS, commanders and ex-commanders of the air, army, and navy, former senior staff members of the military colleges, executive representatives, and other high-ranking and high-profile alumni.

On behalf of our entire group, I wish to thank the CDA Institute for organizing this premier event and for allowing us to attend. We were truly inspired.

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2016 Vimy Dinner: Second Year POV

27832 OCdt Cardona, 12 Sqn

Last Friday, I had the privilege of attending the Vimy Award Gala dinner at the War Museum in Ottawa, along with 25 other Officer-Cadets representing RMCC and CMRSJ. The dinner, hosted by the Conference of Defence Associations, is an annual event held to honour the recipient of the Vimy Award. This year, Dr. James Bouthillier won the award for his contribution to Canada’s security.

The evening began with a quick reception and we had the chance to interact with some of the defence community’s most distinguished members. I had the chance to interact with accomplished officers and NCMS from many different MOC backgrounds, who told me great stories of awaits within a career in the Forces.

Afterwards, we preceded to the dinner. In usual military fashion, the hall was beautifully decorated and the tables were elaborately set up. The meal and wine were exquisite and the dessert was definitely the evening’s highlight!

Better than the dessert, I had the privilege of sitting at a table sponsored by the Commissionaires. Through the dinner, the senior members of the organization entertained and enlightened me by sharing stories of their careers and passing on sage advice for this aspiring officer.

The night closed with a meet and greet for the dinner’s participants. I had the chance to share a few laughs and drinks with senior officers and distinguished members of the defence community. Also, I had the chance to speak with the VCDS, VAdm Norman, the CCA, LGen Wynnyk and with the former CDS, Gen Tom Lawson.

Overall, this dinner was an incredibly positive experience, beyond just the good food, wine and dessert, the company was unmatchable.

Note from editor: Special thanks to Capt Colin MacLennan – Squadron Comd 8 Squadron, Royal Military College; and M50 Tony Battista -CEO Conference of Defence Associations & CDA Institute for ensuring these two articles reached us in a timely manner. Very much appreciated!