So last week we're starting the new training year at cadets by having a bit of chinwag and giving them an opportunity to ask questions. I'm teaching the Silver Star (third year) cadets this year.
"When do we get our VRIs?"
Meaning their Royal Canadian Regiment cap badges. Our Cadet Corps is affiliated to the 4th battalion Royal Canadian Regiment and the senior cadets are allowed to wear the regimental badge instead of the maple leaf shaped RCAC cap badge that the first and second years wear. The regiment is allowed to wear Queen Victoria's cipher "VRI" on their cap badges still.
So I ask them what it means.
Someone says 'power' thinking of the status conferred.
What does VRI mean?
More blank stares.
Who is our affiliated regiment?
More blank stares, even though they have RCR shoulder flashes on their tunics.
So I give them an impromptu seminar on the Canadian Forces, the Army, the Infantry and the RCR.
Deciding they needed some visual aides and better regimental history than I could pull out of my head, I decided to make a quick lesson for them. Last night I arrived with a 40 minute power point on the RCR history. A quick gallop through 130 years and 6 wars but I hope they at least have some idea what it means to wear the VRI now.