At the bottom of this post is David's address, if you like take the time and send him a note of encouragement.
Thanks for praying. Jeff Hallmark
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to train to be an RCMP member? What do cadets do during their 24-week training? How tough is it really? And is it true cadets get a dose of OC (commonly called pepper spray) in the face? Read about it in the following diary, written by a recent cadet.
This diary documents the camaraderie among a 30-member troop, the physical and mental challenges of training and the progression from cadet to regular member of the RCMP. This cadet met those challenges head-on and now is proudly serving as a constable in the North West Region.
Week 5: Search and Seizure
“Anyone for hide-and-seek?”
The calm before the storm is likely how I'll be referring to this week. The expectations seemed somewhat tame from what I'm used to, and I can't really explain why since the workload was no lighter. Maybe it's just the fact that I'm now accustomed to the demanding ways of Depot?! (Or perhaps because I did not let anything pile up - procrastination is your worst enemy around here.) Although it's calmer I still find myself with an involuntary eye twitch. Maybe that's an indication that my hat is too tight?! Other things that don't seem to fit properly include my new drop-holster. Because of my long arms I did need a lower holster, but it seems that with the new one I no longer fit between the seatbelts or the chairs in class with the same ease as before. One of many strange phenomenons!
On Saturday, a few of us visited the Sam Steele Residences and practised building entries and searches. If you're unfamiliar with this notion, I can best compare it to a game of hide-and-seek, where the police officer (PO) is the seeker and subject of interest is the seekee. The only major difference between our version and what kids play is that instead of saying: “Aha, I found you!” It's more along the lines of: “Gotcha!” Evidently the seeker is in many ways also the seekee. Although only for training purposes, it's still quite intense. Building searches are definitely not as easy as they are portrayed in the movies.
This week we attended our nutrition lecture. Yes, a nutrition lecture during which we received recommendations on healthy portions, as well as the importance of balance and proper eating habits. Quite ironic considering we are destined to eat at the mess, everyday, three times a day. If we're lucky, and if time permits, we may even have a few moments to chew our food before inhaling it. It's great when I can actually digest my food, especially considering our troop is still doubling (running) everywhere! [Ed.’s Note: Doubling is a marching term that refers to moving at double the regular pace.]
Friday was the first time the troop marched in the S/M’s Parade. [Ed.’s Note: S/M’s Parade is a shortened expression for the Sergeant Major’s Parade.] It was also the first official time we got to wear our boots. We were told that if we did well on parade that we would get to keep them (as opposed to wearing runners and doubling - boots are a promotion to marching from class to class). But of course nobody said anything to us so as usual we're left in the dark. We'll probably find out a week later that we could have been wearing them all along!
I must admit that overall I enjoy Drill more and more. The instructors all seem to have a good sense of humour, you just have to look beyond the raised voices, the stern looks and the intimidating march/walk. Each in his/her own way is quite entertaining in how they insult us. The ritual punishment offset with dark humour suits me well I guess. The bottom line is that Drill is responsible for making the troop look good in formation(s) and in turn this will make the RCMP look good. It's a constant reminder that the public is watching our every move (be it the tourists watching the parade or residents of the towns we'll be policing) and that we always want to conduct ourselves in a professional manner.
CDT David Hallmark
Troop # 20
RCMP Academy “Depot” Division
5600 11th Avenue - P.O. Box 6500
Regina, SK. S4P 3J7