OCdts. On Parade

First Years on FYOP

The following entries are from first-year cadets currently undergoing FYOP at RMC.

26510 OCdt (I) Nathan Cave, 1 Sqn

“The First Year Orientation Program is a stressful time for all of those involved. Between the staff running it, the first years taking part in it, and the rest of the student body who has to put up with being woken up at 23:00 every night by Goodnight Saigon or at 5:00 in the morning by our wake up music, little of RMCC is untouched by FYOP. Through the stress and sleeplessness your best qualities shine through: your leadership, when it is your chance to be the IC of your flight; your dedication, when you feel like you can no longer put up with the early mornings and pressure; and your own level of personal toughness, when you dig your heels in and push through. Regardless of how admirable these traits are they are not the most important lesson you learn in FYOP. The most important lesson you learn is what makes a true friend. The true friends are not the people that are there with you when things are easy, they are the ones who are right beside you on a frigid morning PT or rushing with you to meet a 30 second timing.  There are many things you can accomplish by yourself; FYOP is not one of them. Friends make the challenges bearable and the victory at the end that much more overwhelmingly powerful. As Roman philosopher Cicero once said “Friendship makes prosperity more brilliant, and lightens adversity by dividing and sharing it.” These friends are the ones who you will grow to cherish and value beyond all things material; they will become the currency with which you measure the value of your life against. After FYOP, regardless of the outcome, we will all be rich beyond measure with the pedigree of friends we have made.”

26411 OCdt (I) Rhianna Koopman, 2 Sqn

“It is funny to think that it has been almost a year since I applied to attend the Royal Military College of Canada.  Even weirder to think that I am actually at RMC now.  After my application was accepted the first thought that came to my mind was FYOP.  Throughout the summer it was always in the back of my head that left a small sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.  FYOP – First Year Orientation Program – is a different subject to explain.  So many emotions and feelings come forth when thinking of the topic.  Exhaustion, pain, frustration, nervousness…but also pride, comradeship, teamwork, country, and every once in a while, success.  FYOP is kind of like ripping off a band-aid, as long as you do everything quickly and with a set strategy it will be less painful and eventually rewarding. It is also like trying to drink water from a fire hose, there is so much information that we take on daily, memorizing names, buildings, dates, phrases, songs, learning French, all while trying to mold our flight together into a team.  The initiation period at RMC forces a group of individuals from all over Canada to come together to make one effective, cohesive unit.  Everything is done together as a team.  We eat together, train together, study together, and share in both accomplishments and defeats as a group.  Some would consider the statement that FYOP is both the hardest thing they have ever done, but also the most rewarding as cliché, however the truth is that this is one of the only circumstances that the statement actually applies.   I am very proud to be part of Fighter Flight in 2 SQN (the best flight in the wing), and am looking forward to the obstacle course, and reunion weekend.”

26233 OCdt (I) Jessica Whittaker, 9 Sqn

“At a first glance, the RMC first year experience seems to be a simple series of events; getting up early to go for jogs, making hospital corners on beds and finishing an obstacle course with your flight to finish off the FYOP course.  Unfortunately, these series of events have so far turned out to be less simple than they appear. Morning jogs turn into sprints up to Fort Henry and hospital corners transform into complete mayhem when trying to get ready for inspections. Although these experiences have so far been very challenging, it has also been very rewarding and fulfilling. It allows you to be a member of a real team that experiences and overcomes struggles together. Running off of very little sleep, we work as a team to keep energy up and try our best at our tasks. Struggling through certain obstacles and tasks together, bearing through the yelling and the pushups, and attempting to keep eachother sane has also brought us closer to one another. You are able to bond with people from around Canada and treat them like they are your brothers and sisters. This creates a unique environment to work in.  Overall, my experience thus far has been extremely different from anything I have ever experienced, but also extremely challenging and rewarding.”

26265 OCdt (I) Samuel Cole, 10 Sqn

“I have been on FYOP for about a week and a half now, and it’s been pretty stressful.  Some main points about FYOP that one should know are that the senior cadets will be yelling at you for the entire month so you need to develop some thick skin and focus on getting taskings done. You won’t have your cellphone or watch except for about two hours a week total to call home or text, and you won’t be allowed to use your computers except for studying. Morning PT is every morning except Sunday, and the training is tough.  Be prepared to have intense room inspections and short meal times.  Some aspects of FYOP are a little foggy to me, but so far I understand that we are learning the importance of respect and timings.  FYOP may not seem tough for those who haven’t been through it, but it really is.  FYOP seems negative for me right now, but once I finish then I’ll begin to see the benefits.”

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