2012 graduate: 25184 Jeffrey Campbell has this to say to the Cadet Wing
(Another in a series of articles coordinated by 26659 Danielle Andela – e-Veritas Sr. Correspondent)
I am currently in Trenton working on the AERE Practical Phase (APP) 1&2 at 429 SQN (C-17s). I will soon head to CFSATE in Borden for the AERE Officer Basic Course (AOBC) which will finish in June 2016, after which I will receive my first (second) posting. I am also working on my MBA through RMC using the Individual Learning Pla
I hail from the class of 2012. My first posting was to graduate school at Carleton University through the Post-Graduate on Scholarship program. This delayed my phase training by a few years because I did not graduate until 2014. However, PG was a smashing good time! It was well worth it in my humble estimation. Get that book learnin’ in your head while you are young.
I have to start by acknowledging how many of you must feel now.
When I arrived in first year, the college was an intimidating institution. Through the years, I became more familiar with the place and grew personally and professionally within its structure. More and more, it fell to our year to lead and shape the institution. Eventually, I felt squelched and confined within the bubble of RMC like a plant whose roots have filled its pot. I began to see RMC in the context of the real world. If this were not a common experience, there be no countdown to graduation!
Each in our own way, each starting at different times, and each with varying intensity, my colleagues and I yearned to burst the RMC bubble and graduate. At the time, these feelings were frustrating and they fed our apathy and cynicism, especially in fourth (or fifth or sixth!) year.
Now I grow in a bigger garden. I can see that a small pot forced us to grow closer together. Our roots entwined and became inseparable. In this life, happiness is a direct result of strong relationships. The connections you will have made at RMC are your treasure. RMC has made me wealthy indeed.
With the benefit of hindsight, I look back at RMC and am more aware of the advantages of having been in that pot. I had the privilege of laughing, complaining, crying, and celebrating with some of the finest men and women that I am likely ever to meet. They are not merely friends; they are family.
At this moment, I could travel almost anywhere in Canada and find a friend with whom to stay. Consider the camaraderie of the Old Brigade and you will agree that this will still be the case when I can count 30, 50, 70, or 90+ trips around the Sun. Why is this possible? When people overcome adversity together it builds a connection. For each in their own way, RMC played the role of that challenge which bonded us to one another. What was it for you? Double exam day? Extra drill for a dud-ly endeavor? Fitness frustrations? Barman blues? Shoes unshone? We have passed through these together.
A wise man told me that you will not remember much in your life except for when it involves the people around you. As you graduate, I urge the fourth years to consider not what they have gained, but who they have gained. For the rest, use the time you have left to interweave your lives with those around you and make the most of that small pot.