Saturday, October 29, 2011

Full Mounthe: My Days as a RCMP Cadet

A few months ago the Royal Canadian Mounted Police - Depot Division (Regina, Saskatchewan) invited me to spend a couple nights and a (full) day training as a "mountie." It's a rare opportunity. Apparently only five civilians before me had had the chance -- and I was apparently the only one to get a regulation moustache.

This Lonely Planet video sums up the misunderstood Canadian icon. It's no longer just blokes in red serge jackets, Stetson hats atop horses. The red serge, in face, is rarely worn -- only for occasions like graduation -- and horses were phased out of training in 1966.

At first glimpse, in the mess hall with Troop 5 (the most junior of the troops there), I had to ask one cadet, 'Do you ever look around and say, wow, I'm here with a bunch of COPS?' He admitted he did.

I certainly felt that way waking up at 4am to prep for the morning parade.

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