Dear officer cadets,
I would first like to congratulate you for being selected for the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Regular Force Officer Training Plan (ROTP). This programme is one of the most demanding mentally, morally and physically, but rest assured, it is very rewarding and throughout your academic years, you will discover the leader you want to be.
This programme has four components in which you should excel: leadership, academics, sports and bilingualism.
Leadership is the component that relates to the profession of arms. In order for you to experience military life, throughout the academic year you will participate in military exercises and various competitions of a military nature. You will have the opportunity to hold a command position in your squadron or at the wing level, which will allow you to exercise your leadership right from your first years at the College. Throughout the academic year and during the summer, you will learn about military life and your trade. An open mind, curiosity and determination are what you need to make the most of your training as officer cadets in the Canadian Armed Forces. Do not shy away from responsibilities you could be assigned, as they will help you learn about yourself. Rest assured that the senior training personnel of the College and especially Officer Cadet Division staff will always be at your side to guide and teach you about military life.
The academic component is paramount, and if you do not dedicate enough time to your studies, your stay at the College could be jeopardized. Academic success has nothing to do with magic. You must attend all classes and actively listen to note the important information. To meet the standards for assignments and other assessments, it is essential you adopt attitudes and behaviours conducive to your academic success. To help you succeed, you can count on support from all the Royal Military College Saint-Jean staff, on an Academic Assistance Committee, mentoring by a faculty member, a Writing Aid Center and of course, on your classmates. At Royal Military College Saint-Jean, studies come first.
The sports component includes a complete programme based on physical fitness and training. At Royal Military College Saint-Jean, you can join our representative teams or take part in intramural activities at a rate of twice a week. As a member of the College and the CF, your ultimate goal will be to pass the Canadian Military Colleges Physical Performance Test (CMC PPT), in addition to passing the annual CAF FORCE test. You will enjoy excellent support, as we have highly qualified personnel to develop tailored training programmes to help you surpass yourselves and enhance your fitness. Make the most of this opportunity to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Maintaining physical fitness will help you overcome any challenges you will face during your career.
The fourth component is bilingualism. Royal Military College Saint-Jean is a bilingual institution where French and English are ubiquitous in daily activities. You should be well aware that you will have to meet language standards by the end of your programme. English speakers should make the most of this unique opportunity to be immersed in a francophone environment. Take every opportunity to practice your French when you order at the cafeteria or at the restaurant or when you shop in the area, and take the time to read French newspapers. Do not miss any opportunity to practice your second language, for the only way to improve is through practice. Also, if you invest the required effort and quickly reach the language requirements, you will have more flexibility in your schedule in the following academic years.
Your task is colossal and I expect a lot from for you. Our programmes and personnel will ensure you a smooth transition from high school to university as well as from civilian to military life. Your success will be marked by a parade at the end of the academic year, which will be the reward for your efforts. I hope to see you all at work on the parade square in May, your eyes filled with pride and sparkle. Never forget that you are ambassadors of Royal Military College Saint-Jean and the image you project to the public needs to be pristine. Time spent with us at the College will undoubtedly be among your best years in the CAF, and I guarantee that you will create life-long friendships.
Truth, Duty, Valour.
The Director of Cadets
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