New officer cadets join the Regular Officer Training Plan

16 new officer cadets were enrolled at a ceremony at Royal Roads University in Victoria. Photo by MCpl Brent Kenny

16 new officer cadets were enrolled at a ceremony at Royal Roads University in Victoria. Photo by MCpl Brent Kenny

Cpl Rebecca Major, CF Recruiting Group ~

On June 23, the Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre (CFRC) Detachment Victoria welcomed 16 new officer cadets into the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) at the Regular Officer Training Plan (ROTP) enrolment ceremony at Royal Roads University. On June 24, CFRC Vancouver followed suit and enrolled 47 new officer cadets at HMCS Discovery in Vancouver. Both of these ceremonies were presided over by Colonel Timothy J. Bishop, Commanding Officer of Canadian Forces Recruiting Group (CFRG).

The ROTP entry program provides fully subsidized education for students to attend either the Royal Military College in St-Jean, QC, the Royal Military College of Canada (RMCC) in Kingston, ON, or an eligible Canadian civilian university of the applicants choosing. During the course of their education, students are provided leadership training and occupation specific courses to help them build towards the foundation of skills required to be an officer.

Summer training will include Basic Military Officer Qualification and on the job training in various cities across Canada. On top of these experiences, students earn a salary during the course of their studies and will have already begun contributing towards their pension. Once they have completed their degrees, students are given full-time jobs in their field of study. These jobs are provided to the students in order for them to fulfill their military service, a small price to pay for a free education. This military service is calculated at a rate of two months of service for every one month of education provided.

With all of these benefits, it is easy to understand why this program is very competitive. Over 600 Officer Cadets will be enrolled into the Canadian Armed Forces under the ROTP, of which over 60 were recruited from British Columbia and the Yukon.

Konnor Belbeck, an ap­plicant from Prince George, BC, is excited to join under the ROTP program because he is “looking forward to making a dif­ference, not just in Canada, but across the world.”

Of the 63 candidates enrolled by both CFRC Victoria and CFRC Vancouver, two new officer cadets will be attending the Aboriginal Leadership Opportunity Year (ALOY) program. This 10-month program is designed to offer applicants of Aboriginal descent an opportunity to learn leadership skills and have a first-hand experience of life in the CAF by attending classes at RMCC in Kingston, ON. After ALOY applicants successfully complete this program, they can apply to continue studying at either RMC or another civilian post-secondary institution through the ROTP program, or return home to their communities. CFRC Vancouver also enrolled 12 women; a proud accomplishment given the Canadian Armed Forces commitment to reflect the diversity of the Canadian public.

The ceremony held at HMCS Discovery in Vancouver was well attended by over 300 people. When enrolling, applicants have the opportunity to be given their oath or affirmation by a family member who is a commissioned officer. One applicant, Robert Seed, took advantage of this option and was enrolled by his father, LCdr Seed.

As for the event in Victoria, no detail was overlooked for this significant ceremony at the beautiful and historic Royal Roads University. The University, which is rich in military history and was formerly known as the Royal Roads Military College (RRMC) from 1940-1995, acted as an ideal location to commemorate the significance of the ceremony.

Major Carolyne LeBlanc, who played the role of master of ceremonies for both events, was herself a graduate of the ROTP program. Major LeBlanc completed her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration at RMCC in 2006 and has since pursued a successful career as a Logistics Officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force. She is now a military career counsellor at CFRC Victoria where she interviews young men and women looking to join the ROTP much like she did.

For those interested in the ROTP program, you can find out more by visiting

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