Family, friends and officers gathered at Kingston’s Royal Military College campus on Saturday morning to witness a time-tested tradition signifying the first step into the future for this year’s crop of officer cadets.
After a gruelling month long orientation period, they officially became full members of the college.
“The significance of today is the completion of that four-week program and the acceptance of that group into the full college proper,” said Col. Cathy Blue, Director of Cadets at RMC.
It was no walk in the park for the new officer cadets.
The orientation period is jam-packed full of learning and working, with many long days of physical training, team building and emphasis on mental toughness.
The final step the students have to take before they get their badges, is a 13-part obstacle course, that can be as physically intimidating as it is mentally.
“They’re moving large amounts of equipment, a lot of weight, through the water, under obstacles and over obstacles, it’s a bit muddy, it’s full of water,” added Blue.
But this challenge is designed to put everything they’ve learned over the past four weeks to the test, and at the end, they come out the other side better for it.
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“They realize, ‘if we work as a team, if we take all our strengths and pull those all together, we can accomplish many, many challenges,” she said.
Finally, at long last, the officer cadets are handed their badges by former graduates, signifying their full and complete acceptance into the ranks of RMC.
“That’s a huge accomplishment. There’s a lot of work that goes on in that four weeks, learning how to work as a team, how to do time management in an intense environment,” said Blue.
As they press those new badges into their headwear, they solidify their first major step into the next chapter of their lives.
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