The Osside Institute: a source of pride for CWO West

Chief Warrant Officer Kevin West
Chief Warrant Officer Kevin West will end his military career in the next few weeks. Photo : Yves Bélanger - Servir

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By Yves Bélanger – Servir

Chief Warrant Officer Kevin West, the Canadian Forces Chief Warrant Officer (CF CWO), will retire from military life in a few weeks. He says his visits at the Chief Warrant Officer Robert Osside Institute in the past five years are probably what he will miss the most.

“Each time I come here, it’s like a breath of fresh air. It confirms the trust I have in the members of the Canadian Armed Forces,” says Chief West, adding that these visits allow him to stay in touch with the reality on the ground. “I meet non-commissioned members from all over the country who are in training here, who share their day to day with me.”

Chief West is particularly proud of the changes brought to the Osside Institute since his appointment five years ago. “We implemented a preselection process that ensures that the candidates trained at this school have the skills required to take on institutional leadership responsibilities,” he says.

Chief Warrant Officer Alain Guimond will take over as CF CWO. Chief West says he rests easy knowing that CWO Guimond “is the ideal person to ensure continuity. It is also important to ensure the personal development of the members who are trained at the Osside Institute, as the functions for which they are trained are mainly related to human resources management.”

It is vital for the CAF to adapt to the newer generations who enroll. “We can no longer afford to apply the same teaching techniques that we used forty years ago. New candidates do not perform less; they are simply different. I believe that young members have a lot to bring to the CAF and vice-versa,” notes Chief West.

CWO West may be leaving his career after more than 35 years of service, but he is not about to retire completely. In fact, he wants to start a new chapter in teaching and consulting. “I intend to take a few months’ vacation, but I look forward to carrying on with work afterwards,” says Chief West.

Training non-commissioned members

The Chief Warrant Officer Robert Osside Institute is a part of the Royal Military College Saint-Jean, and it offers four professional development programs that provide non-commissioned members with opportunities to develop their knowledge and leadership at crucial moments in their career.

The Institute was renamed in 2014, to honour the memory of the very first Canadian Forces Chief Warrant Officer Robert Osside. The Osside Insitute trains between 1700 and 1800 non-commissioned members each year. Training is delivered partly in distance learning and partly in residence.

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