On-the-Job-Experiences like no other for officer cadets

Photo of Officer Cadet Yang from the Mission Control Center in Wing Headquaters Taken for use with an article for the Maple Leaf. Image taken at CFB/8 Wing Trenton, Ontario on July 20, 2016. Photo by Cpl Ryan Moulton, 8 Wing Imaging © 2016 DND-MDN Canada

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More than 600 Royal Military College officer cadets enjoyed great professional development opportunities this summer.

Splitting the 14 weeks of basic training into two summer sessions, Military Personal Generation now provides officer cadets with short-term On-the-Job-Experiences (OJEs) to further develop leadership skills and immerse them in new environments like never before.

“The aim to provide everyone with meaningful work experiences is being met, and we are pleased with the quality of training and leadership experience they all receive,” said Major-General Éric Tremblay, Commander MILPERSGEN, Kingston, Ont.

The officer cadets experience unique employment opportunities, such as acting as opposition forces at the Combat Training Centre in Gagetown, N.B., working in Canada’s North, or learning a second language.

“It is meant to provide meaningful experiences and continued growth and development for junior leaders,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Colin Magee, of Professional Development at MILPERSGEN HQ. “OJEs are assigned based on their element and trade in order to make the experience as relevant and beneficial as possible.”

Some return to a Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre in their home towns, taking the opportunity to educate recruiting staff and potential recruits on what life is like at their college.

In Quebec City, OCdt Marc-Alexandre Pageau’s experience this summer was very rewarding. “I could taste a bit of military life outside the school,” he said. “The recruiting sergeants did not hesitate to ask me for information about the college, wanting to have views from current cadets to better guide future candidates.”

His experience was not limited to the recruiting centre. OCdt Pageau had the opportunity to fly in a CH-146 Griffon helicopter, liaise with military snipers, and visit the 3rd Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment parachutist installation.

“For a young man like me who dreams of one day being part of that battalion, what could be better?” he said.

Six cadets gained insight into the operation of Joint Task Force (North), getting a month of Northern exposure in Yellowknife, N.W.T.

Participating as opposition forces at the Infantry School at CFB Gagetown, combat arms other cadets got to live and work in a field environment—a great introduction to their future training.

OCdt Jinsu Yang, a future logistician, had the opportunity to work at the Canadian Beacon Registry in Trenton, Ont. Her experience there allowed her to understand and appreciate the people that make SAR missions possible and successful.

“My daily job consisted of properly decoding the beacons and associating information such as an individual’s emergency contacts and descriptions of their aircraft and watercraft,” she said.

While this initiative significantly increased efficiencies, traditional summer training opportunities also continued.

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