OCdts. On Parade

Article by 10970 Karmin McKay 

In the easy days as a cadet in 1973, our class went to BOTC between first and second year. RMC conducted pre-BOTC training before the actual course. The Squad Boss for Brock Squadron was an RCR Captain that was about 4 inches taller than the FNC1 rifle we carried. We were all lined up on one shore of a mosquito infected bog north of Kingston and were given the task of assaulting the enemy position across the swamp. We charged into the water carrying the ten man raft, we paddled and yelled our best war cries as we landed on the other side. His response” worst slow paddlers and assaulters that he had ever seen. He would show us how to do it.” Back we went, reformed and his 10 man raft took off to lead and we were to try and pass his raft. He stood in the bow of his raft, FNC1 in the bayonet attack position, ready to jump onto the enemy shore. His raft hit the shore full speed. They had paddled hard until the end. Just as the Captain started to jump into the air, the raft bounced backwards from the solid rock ledge the raft had slammed into. The Captain went up, the raft went back and the last I saw of him was his helmet going under the water, followed by the rifle barrel.

We never rafted again that week but sure did at BOTC. 10 of us entered the local raft race contest. The local population were not accustomed to seeing 10 guys jump out of a large raft, pick it up and then run with it through shallow water. We won a large purple ribbon just like the one they put on the winning cow or pig at the 4H club contests. Hint: If you decide to perform a live demo to prove your point, do it correct.  Hero to zero potential in a half second. Had he successfully made the jump, I would not remember the demo. I have a Vic 20 memory chip (look it up) in my brain and somehow the memory of him disappearing into the water refuses to get deleted. We all will have similar moments and that’s what the soldiers remember. The one’s that have them too often will get reclassified to civie street.

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