Language selection


Basic Training was Tough

Heroes Remember

Basic Training was Tough

Everywhere you went you had to double. It was six months basic training and I mean it was hard. Interviewer: In what way? Well, you had to double all the time, you were going through drills all the time. It was... Interviewer: What kind of drills? Field drills, out camping overnight in the bush chasing each other around, all that kind of military training. Interviewer: So it really wasn’t specific to the navy then, it was just general? Well, that was the navy’s headquarters for basic training. Yeah. Interviewer: What were the other fellows like that you were with? Our division was, well, we were the top division in the whole training. We all got along good. I mean, people from BC, all over Canada. You’re all together. Interviewer: And what were the officers like? Some were good. Some were absolutely out of this world. Oh, they’d make you double around at night time in your shorts in the winter time. It was horrible. They'd come at two o’clock in the morning and out you go and there was nothing you could do about it. But it was good experience, I tell you. It learned you to follow orders for one thing and it learned you discipline for sure. I mean we had some good times, but basic training was very difficult.

Mr. Rochon describes how tough he found the training at HMCS Cornwallis.

David Rochon

David Rochon was born in Montreal, Quebec in 1939, and was raised in foster care. After joining the Royal Canadian Navy in 1957, he took basic training at HMCS Cornwallis and later joined HMCS Algonquin, a converted Tribal class destroyer. Mr. Rochon volunteered for and became a weapons/underwater specialist, skills which he seldom needed to use during peacetime service. He was aboard HMCS Algonquin’s deployment during the Cuban Missile Crisis, but the vessel saw no action. Mr. Rochon left the navy in 1964, holding the rank of Able Seaman.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
David Rochon
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Atlantic Ocean
HMCS Sioux
Able Seaman
Weapons / Underwater Specialist

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

Related Videos

Date modified: