Obstacle Course

The Obstacle Course Description

The RMC obstacle course is the culmination of the First Year Orientation Program (FYOP) and the official entry of the First Year Class into the Cadet Wing.  The obstacle course consists of twelve obstacles representing each of the College’s twelve squadrons.  Each team is called a “flight”, and the skills and comradery acquired over the intense month of training are put to the test.  Cadets compete on behalf of their squadron for points towards the Commandant’s Cup: a yearlong competition for prestige and pride at the College. The flight’s time and performance on each obstacle is ranked and overall standings are determined for the entire course.  The final standings also incorporate the ability of each flight to work as a team and a cohesive unit as they must push through together as a single entity.  The winning team of the obstacle course will be the flight with the most points and is praised in front of the entire Cadet Wing and given recognition amongst the First Year Class. Below is a brief description of each obstacle and an outline as to how the First Years will have to complete the challenge.

First Year Orientation Program (FYOP) Obstacle Course


Royal Military College of Canada’s first year officer cadets, wearing their squadron colours, excitedly wait to begin the obstacle course

(Text on screen) Royal Military College of Canada
First Year Orientation Program (FYOP) Obstacle Course

(Text on screen over an image of all of the first years lined up, grouped by squadron, on the Parade Square in front of the historic McKenzie Building):
It is the culmination of FYOP
Marks the official entry into the Cadet Wing
12 obstacles representing the College's Twelve Squadrons
Each Flight must work as a cohesive unit to make it to the end
Ringing of the bell marks the end of the course
Cadets receive their College coin from the Old Brigade

The music continues

Run to the start

Assault boats

Cargo net

Log sit-ups

Maritime crossing

Tank ditch sandbag carry

Slippery slope

Tire flip

Truck pull

Rope bridge

Monkey bars

The wall

Each obstacle is a test of various combinations of agility, strength,

physical fitness, endurance, mental fortitude,

communication, cohesion, teamwork, motivation

determination, decision making, leadership,

under difficult and stressful conditions

Ringing the bell!

The Cadets then receive their College Coin from the Old Brigade

(Text on screen): the Base Video logo: Produced by: CFB Kingston Base Video Production

(Text on screen): ©  Her Majesty the Queen In Right Of Canada Represented by the Minister of National Defence 2017


Obstacle 1 - Rope Bridge

This obstacle is a test of individual upper and lower body agility and strength.  Each cadet will cross the bridge by holding onto the rope with their hands and feet/legs. To successfully complete this obstacle the entire First Year Flight must make it across the rope bridge.  If any member touches the ground before they reach the end of the obstacle, they must return to the start of the challenge and attempt to cross again.

Obstacle 2 – Truck Pull 

The aim of this obstacle is to promote cohesion and teamwork while being put under intense physical stress. To complete this obstacle each flight must pull a MSVS Truck in legs of 25m, and complete a task at the end of each leg. Cohesive teamwork and communication are essential to completing this obstacle successfully. 

Obstacle 3 - Low Crawl and Tire Flip

The aim of this obstacle is to test physical strength and mental fortitude in a high stress environment.  To this end the First Years must navigate underneath a low laying cam-net while being sprayed by a fire hose.  They will then need to finish the obstacle by flipping tires around the selected path. This will require both drive and enthusiasm as they will be barraged by a fire hose and forced to complete this task under stress. 

Obstacle 4 - Slippery Slope 

The aim of this obstacle is to test the teamwork, the level of strength, the communication, and the capability of the flight under stressful conditions. Each flight will be required to push weighted toboggans up a hill. The route will consist of a tarp, coated in soap, mud, and water. The flight must continue to push the toboggans up the hill as many times as possible to collect points for their team. 

Obstacle 5 - Tank Ditch Sand Bag Carry

To challenge the teamwork, communication, physical fitness and decision making of the FYOP flights in a mentally demanding scenario. The participants will begin the obstacle on the east side of the bridge, entering the shallow water in the ditch and passing beneath the bridge. They must then proceed underneath the cam netting to the culvert wall immediately to the west of the bridge, until pulling themselves over a small storm wall.

Obstacle 6 - Maritime Crossing 

The aim of this obstacle is to test the ability of a First Year Flight to traverse difficult terrain as a unit while maintaining the integrity of their equipment.  They have been taught that as soldiers, they must maintain a fighting readiness; their weapons must not be compromised by touching the water and they must keep their head above water. They cannot swim and will be forced to rely on others to get through this obstacle, it will require both strength of body and team cohesion. 

Obstacle 7 - The Pit 

The aim of this obstacle is to test both mental and physical fortitude of cadets, while forcing them to work as a cohesive team to achieve their objective.  Each flight is required to crawl through a trench full of mud and water, which tests their determination and drive. They will then proceed to the log sit-up portion of the obstacle that tests the physical endurance and the teamwork as all members on each log must work in unison to be successful.

Obstacle 8 - Cargo Net 

The aim of this obstacle is to test strength and endurance in an uncomfortable situation. The cadets must confront any fear of heights to climb the cargo net without freezing.  Learning to complete this obstacle familiarizes the cadets with operating in a potentially uncomfortable zone; a zone in which they will need to work as officers in the Canadian Armed Forces.  The support and teamwork that goes into this obstacle is necessary for all leaders at RMC

Obstacle 9 - Assault Boats 

The aim of the assault boat obstacle is for each team to paddle an assault boat using teamwork, cohesion, physical fitness, leadership and communication while manoeuvring their boat through a series of buoys. This obstacle in particular relies on the flight leader's ability to not only lead, but also for the flight to be led. This obstacle is impossible to accomplish if the flight leader does not control the actions of the team.

Obstacle 10 - The Sandbag Carry 

In this obstacle, cadets must carry sand bags across a challenging circuit.  This circuit contains a crawl area, a plank bridge, and a track run.  By completing this obstacle, cadets demonstrate their determination as well as their ability to motivate and assist their comrades. They must transport a large number of sandbags from one area to another after constructing a plank bridge. The physical resistance and determination is vital to their survival on the obstacle course and will help lead them through the next challenging obstacles.

Obstacle 11 - The Wall 

The Wall is a challenging obstacle and the hallmark of the RMC obstacle course.  This obstacle is the ultimate test of the flight’s ability to work as a team and to help each other to accomplish a difficult task.  They must work to get their entire team over the twelve foot wall as quickly as possible and in a manner of utmost safety. It is necessary to have a solid plan, coordination, and teamwork to achieve victory over the Wall.

Obstacle 12 – Monkey Bars

The camaraderie and perseverance that the First Years developed over FYOP is put to the test in this obstacle.  The flight must move through monkey bars that contain obstacles in order to collect points for the team. This will be the most gruelling upper body physical push of the obstacle course.

Photos (credit: Base photo)

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