It is tradition that anyone who begins their studies at Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario must march through the Memorial Arch. The tradition continues this year as a new contingent of Officer Cadets marched through the Memorial Arch under a clear blue sky on the 23rd of August, 2014. They include First Year cadets who have just arrived following a two week Indoctrination Phase (INDOC) at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in St. Jean sur Richelieu, Quebec, and Second Year cadets who have already finished their first year at Collége Militair Royale also in St. Jean sur Richelieu, Quebec.
The Arch itself was erected in 1924 to honour the lives of ex-cadets who gave the ultimate-sacrifice in service to Canada. The next time which these cadets march through the arch will be upon their graduation four years later, when they symbolically leave the college for the last time.
The parade route led the new arrivals straight to the parade square through crowds of families and friends who lined the route to cheer them on. They were then formed up in a hollow square formation on the parade to be addressed by the Director of Cadets, LCol Popov to welcome them to the college and to give them words of encouragement in their upcoming challenges.
Following dismissal of the parade, the First Years were marched away by their respective flight leaders to being their month long First Year Orientation Program (FYOP). It will be an intensive and demanding 5 weeks for the first years through which they will learn all the necessary skills to survive and succeed in the college environment, which then cumulates into the ultimate test at the end of September; the Obstacle Course during Reunion Weekend.