Raven recruit profile: OS Ayse Golcek

Photo by SLt M.X. Déry, MARPAC Public Affairs

Photo by SLt M.X. Déry, MARPAC Public Affairs

A/SLt Michelle Scott, MARPAC Public Affairs ~

Raven recruit OS Ayse Golcek says her father wasn’t fully supportive of her decision to apply for the Raven program, and his worry continued when she left Toronto, ON, on a Victoria-bound plane at the beginning of July.

Her father, who grew up in Turkey, was subject to compulsory military service in the Turkish Army as a young man. He released as soon as he could.

“My father was initially against me going into the Raven Program, or the military at all, but in the end he let me make my own decision,” she said.

OS Golcek, 18, is one of 41 recruits in the Raven Program, which introduces Aboriginal youth to a potential career in the Canadian Armed Forces.

She is half Turkish and half Inuit – her mother is Inuit. Living in Toronto has limited her exposure to the Inuit culture, a heritage she now wants to learn more about.

“In the past year, I’ve been looking more into my Indigenous side; it was part of the reason I chose Raven,” she said. “The course was a good opportunity for me to learn more about my Indigenous background while also incorporating that with my military interest. Both things I didn’t have back home.”

She was one of the first to arrive at Work Point, and her calm demeanor hid her nervousness.

“The military atmosphere was very different from what I’m used to, but that was the whole point,” she said. “I was nervous about the physical training aspect, and about pushing myself hard enough to make my teammates proud. But when I have a tough moment, I just look at what I want to do for myself and my future, and I push through it.”

After the Raven graduation, OS Golcek will return to Toronto to complete her last year of high school. She then plans on attending either the Royal Military College of Canada or Laurentian University to study oceanography. She also intends to join Naval Reserve unit HMCS York as a Marine Technician.

As the weeks press on, the bond between the recruits grows stronger. When OS Golcek speaks about her time on Raven she doesn’t talk about the things she’s done, she mentions her family – that’s what she calls her platoon mates. Those friendships are the most valuable piece about this experience, she says, forged at the start of Culture Camp.

“Culture Camp was hard, but it was a privilege to listen to everyone’s hardships. I believe it was important to get the stuff we were carrying off our chests. It bonded us and I believe we will all graduate together because of that,” she said. “Five weeks, six months, years from now, we will still be in touch.”

To follow OS Golcek’s journey visit Maritime Forces Pacific’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/maritime.forces.pacific for video and images and all things Raven.

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