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Enrollment Ceremony at 17 Wing—new recruits heading off to RMC and an exciting career in the CAF

by Martin Zeilig

For Officer Cadet Mike Pasieka and Officer Cadet Anton Maffenbeier and seven other young men and women the Regular Officer Training Plan (ROTP) Enrollment Ceremony on June 27 marked their initial transition from civilian life to life in the military.

OCdt Julian Antoniuk

The ceremony took place in the theatre at Building 90 (Sports and Recreation Centre). Some 40 individuals, including family members and friends along with some CAF members, attended the event.

Warrant Officer Patrick Cross, Detachment Officer for the CAF Recruitment Centre in Winnipeg, noted that the nine personnel will heading off to the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario this summer.


“They should be departing in two weeks for the first portion of their basic training before they head off to Kingston for university,” he said, during an interview with the Voxair prior to the ceremony.


“The people today are all from Manitoba. Our Centre is responsible for Manitoba, North Western Ontario and parts of Nunavut. We are enrolling about 500 people every year across Canada to attend RMC. The majority of them will end up in Arts Program. They can find something that relates to occupations in the CAF there.”


OCdt Ava Sabourin

The Regular Officer Training Plan (ROTP) gives young Canadians an opportunity to obtain both an officer’s commission in the CAF and an undergraduate degree, says the Government of Canada website.

 Applicants, who have been accepted at either of our two Canadian Military Colleges (CMC), or at another Canadian university, are enrolled in the CAF as officer/naval cadets.

“As an officer/naval cadet attending either of the CMC campuses, you’ll also receive an annual salary of $30,200 (monthly room, board and mess fees will be deducted),” says the website.

“The military also provides paid vacation while in school! During the summer, all officer/naval cadets receive military training, occupation training, and second language training at bases throughout the country. On successful completion of the ROTP, officer/naval cadets receive an undergraduate degree in Engineering, Science, or Arts and become fit officers in the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army, or Royal Canadian Air Force. Those officers who complete training at the CMC will be bilingual.”

OCdt Pasieka, 18, who was born in Belleville, Ontario, is a recent graduate of College Louis Riel. Both his parents, an aunt and siblings, along with a couple of friends were at the ceremony too.

 OCdt Mykhaylo Yermolenko

“I decided to join to protect my country,” the young man said, following the ceremony.


“I’ll be studying physics at RMC. I want to be a pilot, though.”


Master Warrant Office Daniel Pasieka, who apologized for being “so emotional,” said he couldn’t be “more proud” of his son.


“He’s been in a military environment his whole life,” MWO Pasieka, who works at 2 Canadian Air Division, said.


“One of his first postings was when I was at CFB Cold Lake. He’s always been around aircraft and I’m excited that he’s going to be a pilot. He’s a fine young man, and I know that the CAF is getting a true leader, and someone who will dedicate his life to protecting this country and serving.”


Chantal Pasieka expressed pride at seeing her son “have such big goals” and to eventually achieving them. 

OCdt Inga-Kseniia Tkachuk

“I’m super proud of the direction he’s headed,” she said.


OCdt Maffenbeier, who was turning 19-years-old in a few days, is a graduate of Steinbach Regional Secondary School. He was at the ceremony with his mother and girlfriend.


“I like getting paid when you’re in university and there’s a lot more opportunities when you’re in the CAF,” OCdt Maffenbeier said.


“I’ll be studying civil engineering. I’d like to work on the bases and make sure their runways don’t end up like our roads.”

OCdt Anton Maffenbeier

Col Spott congratulated the young recruits on their choice to enter the CAF.  He called it a rewarding career choice.


“It’s probably one of the most important decisions in your life,” Col Spott said.


“You will have difficulties and challenges. Life in the military is not easy to start. I was sitting where you were 33 years ago as an ROTP entry attending Royal Roads Military College before transferring to RMC. I made it coming from a small town in Saskatchewan and a small family. You are generations ahead.

OCdt Annika Martens

“You have the future ahead of you. You are joining the CAF that has new capabilities, new equipment, new technology that we never had in  my career. The future is very bright for you, and I look forward to seeing what you can do in your careers.


“There will be challenges. Tough days. Your families are there to support you. Rely on them. You’ll be relying on them for the rest of your career. It’s a big switch from living a life with families to being part of the military.

OCdt Soren Koll

“We demand a lot. We ask a lot. But, we give a lot. You’ll have lots of opportunities to travel the world. You’ll have opportunities to lead and be in charge of small and large teams. You’ll be able to demonstrate your leadership each and every day in the CAF.  Your career will be whatever you want it to be.  I hope you have the best possible time you can have and have the best possible experience regardless of how long you stay and serve.

OCdt Mike Pasieka

“You have chosen an honourable path to serve your country. Not many people are willing to do that. To make that sacrifice. So, thank you for being willing to do that. I have a lot of faith in the future. You are the next generation of leaders.”


The other seven individuals enrolling that day were OCdt Julian Antoniuk; OCdt Soren Koll; OCdt Annika Martens; OCdt Ava Sabourin;

OCdt Henry Suffield; OCdt Inga-Kseniia; OCdt Mykhaylo Yermolenko

OCdt Henry Suffield

For further information on joining the CAF see the Government of Canada website: Apply Now | Canadian Armed Forces 

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