Editor’s Note: The following was submitted as an unsigned letter to the editor.
RMC Club, RMC branches, what is in it for me?
Why should I join the Club or one of the branches? What is the value proposition of a membership to one of these organizations? Like dozens in my cohort, those who came before me and those who followed, I joined the Club while still a cadet. In my case, it was a cost-saving/effective decision based on the fact that graduation was right around the corner and the price of membership would increase soon after if I were to seek it as an ex-cadet. Unsure about the breadth of benefits at the time, I was sold on the general understanding that the Club provided an alternative vehicle for keeping in touch with classmates down the road should the likes of Facebook disappear and offered access to a large network of individuals who simply cared about the success of cadets/ex-cadets in general. Unfortunately, the Club did not present a similar value or sets of benefits for many in my class, which ultimately led to them not seeking membership. I believe that this is probably true of the graduating cohorts that followed mine; however, it is my hope that this short blurb can help stimulate further consideration as to the benefits of membership with the Club and, if geographically feasible, one of the local branches.
With regards to tangible benefits, the Club is working to provide clarity as well as a better definition of the benefits in the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, an outsider’s bird’s-eye view reveals that tangible benefits are nested in two categories: 1) the use of the Foundation to support donations to and the sponsorship of endeavors for current cadets that are beyond the scope of the Canadian Armed Forces’ mandate; and 2) the use of third-party service providers such as TD Meloche Insurance, Perkopolis, etc., to expand the types of benefits that current and ex-cadets have access to (e.g. discounted products and services).
In terms of intangible benefits, while they are the Club’s bread and butter, they are a little bit harder to define. Additionally, they are not often the recipients of the heat and light that comes with tangible benefits. This begs the question: how does the Club attract the membership of individuals who may not see it as providing “more bang for the buck”? At this time, I do not have an answer to that question but I can provide you with an example of much appreciated intangible benefits.
If you recall the February 3rd 2019 and May 25th 2020 editions of eVeritas, segments highlighting 24961 Deane Gorsline’s fight against Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), were featured. Through the help of the Club and the Ottawa/Edmonton/Vancouver branches, Deane was able to receive support from far and wide in his efforts to fight ALS but also bring renewed awareness to it. Members from the classes of 1969 to 2014 and everywhere in between poured in financial support but also contributed to his ALS burpees and walking challenge. The Club and branches answered the call to help by being facilitators in this case.
On that note, I want to once again thank the Club and the Ottawa/Edmonton/Vancouver branches for their help. I hope that this short blurb provides further consideration as to some benefits of Club membership.