Happiest Happy New Year - A message from the CO

Hello Phantom Family and the Happiest of New Years to you all!

There have always been two points in every year things seem fresh and new to me - September and January. September I imagined has been ingrained into me because of the new school year, cadets startup (and that’s been more than 30 years for me), as well as groups and organizations generally start in September. So it makes sense.

The bigger one, however, is January, the start of a whole new year. Maybe it’s my inner romantic, but January 1st always seems fresh with new possibilities and new beginnings and it is truly one of my favourite times of the year. I always find it very uplifting.

With many cadet units, January and February usually represent a slower time. I generally think it’s because most people don’t like to camp in the winter! However, slow is not the Phantom way. We are on afterburners from September to June!

So what’s new? Well, first and foremost are the changes to the CTCs coming down from Formation Command in Ottawa. There has been nothing new on that but I expect more will be out soon, and as soon as I know something, I will be sure to communicate it. The big changes there are:

  1. All GT will be five days in duration (as opposed to 12) and be done in CFB Trenton. This means sea, army and air cadets will all be going there for GT.
  2. Most of the music courses will be going to Blackdown. There will be one Intermediate Musician course at HMCS Ontario, but the rest will be Blackdown. So no music in Trenton.

If there is anything I have learned in my life is that most people hate 2 things above all else, A) when things change and B) when things stay the same. These changes are interesting, to say the least, and I am looking forward to seeing how they play out.

New Routine Orders. RO 16 will cover to the end of January, then another one will be published 14 Jan which will cover the first two weeks of February. Then the one after that on 28 Jan to cover the second two weeks of Feb. The goal is to eventually post ROs once per month, which should decrease the workload on the staff that produces them and decrease information repetition. What does that mean for you? The gentle reader? You will have to READ the ROs.

Leading up to the Christmas stand down, I cannot tell you how many cadets came up to me asking about volunteer hours and my answer was always the same.... "it’s been in the WRO for weeks, tell me again that you read the WRO”. You aren’t expected to know the RO word for word of course, but you should read it every time and have an understanding of what’s in it. NCOs, I have seen on interview board questions on the RO, things like “where do you find it, what’s in it, name two things that are in the most recent version” etc. So the onus is on you to read it.

That’s the highlights of what’s new. What is coming up? Interview prep. Interview prep. And interview prep. Those vying for national courses are competing with cadets from....across the country. Most have who have done similar courses as you, be as active in their units as you. So what will set you apart? Your interview. I really can’t stress it enough.

Sports comp! Practices start this week. It’s in the RO.

Medal nominations. It’s that time of year where we hope to see some nominations for the Lord Strathcona Medal and the Royal Canadian Legion Medal of Excellence. The Squadron being as large as it is sometimes a deserving cadet goes unnoticed by staff, so we rely on you folks to help us out. We can award one of each medal per year at the ACR and now is when we start thinking about it. Please feel free to fill out and nomination form and get it to the training staff.

That’s all for now. I’m looking forward to getting rolling in the second half of the year!

See you on parade!

Excellere Contende

Major RA Robinson, CD

Commanding Officer