Click on photos for better viewing… More Harriers race photos here

Harrier 2014

By: 26972 OCdt (II) Chantel Fortier – 2 Squadron

“If it ain’t raining, you aren’t training….” In the fine words of many a MCpl, the 2014 Harrier Race began with glowering clouds broken only by the nervous smiles of first years swarming the parade square. As the first official event mixing FYOP with the rest of the Cadet Wing, there were shows of camaraderie and color from every corner. Especially, of course, the mascots.

It’s a tradition in the Harrier Race for first years to be entrusted with their squadron paraphernalia – a wild array of items ranging from gigantic mascot heads to flags, hats, and headbands. Despite the sullen weather, the Wing came together in a show of support for their initiates. The race began at 0830 and the Wing in its entirety thundered across the peninsula and up the familiar Fort Henry course to complete its 5k around the campus, Point Frederick, and the final stretch by the Senior Staff Mess.

For many of FYOP, still transitioning from civilian life, the race was a challenge, but the collectivity of the Wing bolstered their confidence. “I was fully qualified as a reservist before coming here,” said OCdt Sommer, a promising potential for 4 Sqn. “So I was somewhat more prepared for FYOP than my peers. Here at RMCC, the population is over a thousand, yet the level of teamwork and unit cohesion here is incredible for a unit of this size. I feel proud to be on the parade square today, and it inspires me to work hard to prove to them that I deserve a place among them.”

It was particularly inspiring to run the race and see the Wing’s support for FYOP. Despite rivalries common to Wing events, seniors ran alongside first years of all squadrons to cheer them on to the finish. At the end, the nervousness that dominated the parade square before the race had vanished, and even in the downpour, the FYOP future seems sunnier than ever.

More Regatta photos here


By: 26972 OCdt (II) Chantel Fortier – 2 Squadron

In wild contrast to the Harrier Race of Saturday morning, Regatta Day dawned bright and beautiful on the water. Pumped up from an unexpected afternoon of rest the day before, the first years marshalled themselves by the docks at 1255, eyeing the course that would be determining the next key event of FYOP 2014.

Rain or shine, the Regatta is a traditional event of FYOP that marks an opportunity for first years to truly capitalize on squadron pride. Colors ranged the docks as the squadrons gathered themselves to support their first years, and items acquired during the previous day’s race were reacquired with admirable shows of determination. The course requires cadets to gather in fifteen-man boats, rowing their way to a buoy on the far side of Navy Bay and back to their respective docks as quickly as possible. Led by OPI Anna Childerhose, 2 Sqn, the cadets were broken into their divisions for four initial rounds, with the winners (best times) progressing to the semi-finals and then the finals.

Fighter, the first years of 2 Sqn, began strong in the A Div starter round with a time of 2:18, closely followed by the victorious Romeo of 6 Sqn, B Div at 2:37, Tango of C Div and Savage, 10 Sqn, D Div tying for the best time with 2:17 each. The semi-finals placed Fighter, Savage and Grizzly on the line, with Fighter finishing at an astounding 2:12. Tango, Hunter and Victory rounded off the second heat of the semi-finals, with Tango in second place with 2:16 and Hunter bringing up the rear at 2:25. The finals were a nail-biting contest of cheers as the second years hailed in their FYOP flights, at last concluding with Fighter in at 2:16, Hunter at 2:44 and Tango at 2:45.

It was an afternoon full of bragging, competing and joy at the first years’ first weekend with the Wing. All of the times were incredibly close, ranging from just over two minutes and not once breaking three. With such a promising start, FYOP 2014 will no doubt continue to amaze and captivate their Wing, and perhaps surprise us when the obstacle course at the end of September joins them at last to the age-old community of RMCC.

Ed Note: We welcome, 26972 OCdt (II) Chantel Fortier – 2 Squadron as part of our e-Veritas team. Time permitting from her other essential commitments, we look forward to Chantel to continue submitting a number of other interesting articles from around the RMCC campus.