CM Archive
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James McKenzie
Photographed by Lorne McClinton
Calgary, Detselig Enterprises, 1992.184pp, paper, $49.95
ISBN 1-55059-039-1. CIP.

Grades 10 and up/Ages 15 and up

Reviewed by John D. Crawford.

Volume 21 Number 3
1993 May

This book describes the experiences of a troop of recruits to the RCMP during their six-month tenure at the Training Academy in Regina. It includes pen portraits of several members of the Troop and their instructors, together with descriptions of the various aspects of their training.

Having "endured" initial training in the military, I was surprised to note the similari­ties between the RCMP "boot camp" and that which I had experienced. Quite frankly, I thought that things would have become less rigid in the intervening period, with less emphasis placed upon automatic reaction to orders. Indeed, that feature leads me to believe that the RCMP training has still a few years to go to catch up with the rest of the country. The major advantage of this "old-fashioned" approach is that it builds up a sense of teamwork among the members of the Troop.

The outline of the book is straightforward. The author takes time at the beginning to introduce us to key members of the Troop and to various instructors as the Troop meets them. The process is described carefully and the purpose of each stage is made clear. Certain aspects of the training are perhaps underlined too heavily: for example, the use of terms such as "brainwashing", "robots," automatons" and "zombies," all in a short space, to describe the apparent nature of the training. However, in general, the tone of the text is not excessive.

The book is well produced with crisp text and good quality photographs, although the latter are occasionally repetitive. The content places considerable emphasis on the human side of the training, and here lies its strength. It warns those considering a career in the RCMP what they can expect, and may dissuade many who see it as a comfortable ticket through life. Can be recommended for libraries at the secondary school level and older.

John D. Crawford is with the Greater Victoria School District in Victoria, British Columbia.
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