School has been in session for several weeks now and many of our students went home over the Thanksgiving weekend for our first Stand Down of the Year.
I expect the families and friends of those students heard some interesting phrases during that first visit home. I know they will hear many new words and phrases over the course of the school year during weekly phone calls, in letters home and during leaves.
Robert Land Academy does have its own lexicon that takes some getting used to for parents, friends and even new staff.
To help our families adjust to the new language their son seems to be speaking as a student of RLA, here are a few of the new words and phrases they are using along with the definitions:
A COY, B COY and C COY – These are the three companies the students are placed in by grade and age, A COY are the Grades 5 to 8 boys; B COY are the Grade 9 and 10 boys; and C COY are Grades 11 and 12. Within each company you will also hear the terms section and house, which simply refers to the internal organization of students into smaller groups that work together and support each other. The houses are named for Canadian historical figures so those names will come up as well.
Barracks – are the buildings in which the students sleep and includes their personal lockers, study space, washrooms and common areas. Brock Barracks is where A COYs live, Brant Barracks is for B COY and C COY lives in Butler Barracks.
Other buildings on campus include Ivey Hall - the gymnasium, Landholme Hall – the mess hall where students eat all meals; Loyalist Hall – the classrooms for senior students; Ritchie Hall – the administration building and junior classrooms; and Matron – where laundry is done and students get their names and badges they earn sewn on their uniforms. In the centre of the buildings is Eadie Square, the Parade Square where formal ceremonies and inspections take place. The square is not to be walked on unless by cadets during parade. Fitz, or Fitzgibbon Hall, is the yellow building on campus that has been part of the Academy for many years and is currently used for guests to stay, for cadets to watch TV or movies during an on campus leave, host NCO Club or for other uses as needs arise.
Cadet – The term cadet refers to all students of Robert Land Academy regardless of their rank. Cadet is also used as a specific rank and is the most common rank at the Academy. Cadets are full members of Robert Land Academy with all of its attendant rights and responsibilities.
Rank – Ranks are positions within the Academy that students can be promoted to. Cadet is the most common rank at RLA. Recruit is the lowest rank and refers to new students who have not yet completed their recruit course. Cadets can be promoted to Barman for mastering all of the skills and responsibilities of a cadet and taking on a leadership role. Cadets can become Double Barman by fulfilling the same criteria as Barman and displaying leadership. Moving up the ranks, cadets can be promoted to Leading Barman, Master Barman, Lance Corporal, Corporal, Master, Sergeant, and Warrant Officer. Students can progress through the ranks as they display appropriate conduct, leadership ability and confidence.
Along with promotions students earn awards each week for academics, athletics and citizenship. Best House is presented to the house in each company that has the best made beds, kit and polished boots overall and White Belt is presented to the cadet with the best kit including properly folded clothing and polished boots.
NCO – Non-commissioned Officer is a student who has been appointed to a rank by the Headmaster. These students are exemplars of leadership, mentors and role models for other students and positive in nature and supportive to their fellow students and staff. The top three NCO positions are: the Head Boy –serves in his senior year and is an example to all students on campus in all regards and to all aspects of Academy life. He is the highest ranking Cadet and leads the Academy during parade; Parade Sergeant Major –serves in his senior year and works with the Head Boy as a leader during parade; Aide-De-Camp – is a student who is identified as a leader and works with the other leaders at the Academy and has a prominent role in the parade.
Other leadership positions on campus are I/C – this is a student who is in charge of a certain aspect of life on campus. There are Barracks I/Cs who are leaders in the individual barracks and there are also I/C for making sure everything that is needed for meals is on the table; for ensuring phone calls home are made on time; keeping track of haircuts; and most things that require an organization aspect for students.
Kit – one of the formal definitions of the word kit is a suit of clothes and other personal effects especially for a traveller or soldier. At RLA the Cadets’ kits are their uniform for daily wear – black track pants and a black Loyalist t-shirt, their BDU uniform, which is the camouflage pants and jacket used by the Canadian military, and their boots, belts and caps and any other items they need for use on campus.
Other uniforms the boys will wear include Scarlets which are the dress uniform with black pants and a red, or scarlet coloured, jacket used during formal occasions and while boys are on parade and the Garrison Uniform which is black pants, white dress shirt and black sweater.
Stores - this is where the Cadets will get the items they need to replace the original kit that was issued to them on their first day of school as well as school supplies and personal products. Stores is operated by the QM or Quarter Master.
PO – Performance Objectives are the goals students work to achieve to earn promotions in rank and other privileges on campus. A PO Run is the time set as a goal for students to run as part of their PO.
P/T – is physical training and includes all of the physical training the boys take part in.
Laps – are laps the students run around the Lap Track, which is the track around Eadie Square, as part of their P/T or for discipline. Laps run are counted and recorded at the Lap Station.
Scoff – are the snacks students earn and can include popcorn, nacho chips or healthy snacks and are usually eaten during an All Academy Movie.