An Interview with OCdt Elizabeth Eldridge
By 25275 Julia Anderson
24850 OCdt Elizabeth Eldridge (RMC 2010) is one of the college’s First Year Orientation Period (FYOP) staff. Along with being Naval Logistics she is finishing an Honours in Business Administration and a minor in Psychology. She is the FYOP CFL for Papa Flight (5 Sqn). Liz is another amazing asset at RMC.
eVeritas: What did you do this summer?
Liz: This summer I was employed on OJT at CFB Esquimalt in BC. I was posted to HMCS Oriole for a period of 6 weeks. HMCS Oriole a tall ship that was acquired by the Navy in the 1940s. Built in 1921, it was originally a privately owned sailing ship that was eventually acquired by the Navy league before it went to the Canadian Navy. It is now used as a PR resource for tours, adventure trips, and team building exercises.
The trip that I was part of was a 6 week sailing trip up to the top of the Queen Charlotte Islands (on par with southern Alaska). It was an incredible experience where I learned how to sail and developed advanced rope and line handling skills. We encountered severe weather, 4-5 meter waves, and lots of rain, but also had some great weather and left with many good memories and stories.
eVeritas: What previous bar positions have you held?
Liz: I was a FYOP CSC Papa Flight in first semester of third year and was the CDSO (Cadet Divisional Staff Officer) of B Division in second semester of third year. This year I am currently the CFL FYOP for Papa Flight!
eVeritas:What did you get out of these positions of leadership?
Liz: For this one, I will speak to the two positions I had in third year. Being a FYOP CSC was the most amazing experience I have had so far at RMC. It gave me the chance to develop my leadership skills to a much higher level than I think I would have been able to do otherwise. It is hard to put into words the experience I gained from this bar position, but the best way I can describe it is that you feel like you’ve actually accomplished something and made a difference in some small way, by being able to have a hand in the development of RMC Cadets. One experience I was able to have throughout this period was to push those cadets who encountered more daily challenges, to their mental and physical limits and then watch them succeed above and beyond anything they could have possibly imagined themselves doing. Simply, I was able to develop my leadership skills, learn about myself and what kind of leader I want to be, and be able to gain experience working with and motivating a small group of people. Final statement on being a FYOP CSC…it was AWESOME!
As the CDSO for B Division, I had the opportunity to work at the wing-wide level as opposed the squadron level. I worked closely with the Top 4 and the other CDSOs to improve standardization, develop a standard for sanctions, and organize activities such as the Queen’s Day event. I learned how to administer a large group of people and had a chance to really hone my time-management skills. In this leadership position I worked more with the senior barmen and thereby gained the valuable experience of being able to work with and manage certain aspects of the jobs of my superiors.
eVeritas:What are you learning about in the FYOP barmen workshops?
Liz:The barmen workshop offers several good lessons and insights not only to FYOP staff, but also to all other senior barmen. The lessons range from how to write PDRs, to how to give a proper inspection and lead a PT session, to learning about the administration of the Wing through the CTP and QS. In addition, we receive detailed briefings by the Commandant, Director of Cadets, and the Top 4 in order to lay out the intent and goals for the year. Through this, everyone is able to be on the same page, so-to-speak, and can therefore work towards a common goal that is to the benefit of the Wing.
eVeritas: What is the general goals/motives of the FYOP staff this year?
Liz: The main focus of the FYOP staff this year is to set the first years up for success both in their RMC careers and in their future careers in the CF. Our goal is to train, develop, and evaluate the first years so that they become the RMC cadets that the Ex-Cadets would be proud to call part of the RMC family. In addition to this, we aim to bring their physical fitness, personal standard, and mental capabilities to a higher level.
(Left) Liz on Basic Officer Training at St Jean with 24645 OCdt Alex Liebersbach (RMC 2010). (Right) Liz in the center with the FYOP 2008 Papa Flight Staff.
eVeritas:What are you most looking forward to in first semester this year?
Liz: This semester, there are so many things that I am excited for. First and foremost is FYOP and being able to lead a new group of first year cadets. I am also looking forward to playing with the Women’s Rugby Club again this year as well as getting the ball rolling for the first competitive season of the RMC Rowing Club (for anyone interested in joining, please let me know and we’ll get you out on the water!!).
eVeritas:What are your goals for this semester?
Liz:This semester, my goals include scoring a try on the rugby pitch, bringing the Rowing Club up to a competitive level such that we can be a serious competitor at regattas, achieving an average of over 80% in my academics, and getting myself ready to graduate. My goal for FYOP is to have everyone pass and to come in as one of the top five flights for the obstacle course.
eVeritas:What has your best experience been at RMC?
Liz:There are too many to count in the three years that I’ve been here and there are only more to come this year. If I only had to pick a few, I would say being a FYOP staff, my first performance in the Drum Line with the Pipes and Drums at the 2008 Christmas Ball, finally bringing rowing back to RMC, learning how to play rugby, and of course, meeting so many amazing people and developing friendships that will last a lifetime as well as having the opportunity to develop my leadership skills in such a positive environment.
eVeritas:What are your post graduation plans?
Liz:Upon graduating I will be sent to Borden almost directly for approximately 6 months for logistics training. Then when I get posted out to one of the coasts, I am looking forward to getting on ship as quickly as possible so that I can increase my chances of having as many tours as possible before they put me in a desk job (haha)!
Liz smiling, and doing some volunteer work.