More Than Tanks And Guns

5 July 2013
Officer Cadet (OCDT) Michael Cowie

Officer Cadet (OCDT) Michael Cowie.  

Officer Cadet (OCDT) Michael Cowie liked tanks when he was a child so it made perfect sense to him when he decided to join the New Zealand Army as an Officer Cadet on the New Zealand Commissioning Course 2013.

The 23 year-old from Rangiora went to St Andrews College before heading to Canterbury University and looked set for a life in ICT until he looked at the Defence Force.

"I had a soft spot for tanks and had always wanted to join the Army as a child so I guess it just came back to me at the right time," said OCDT Cowie.

After signing up for the year long course at Waiouru Military Camp, OCDT Cowie said the experience so far had been everything he expected it to be.

"I’ve certainly discovered the Army is a lot more than guns. The commissioning course teaches you how to be a leader and how to challenge and get the best out of people."

OCDT Cowie and his peers are now heading into the second half of the course where they will have more exposure to the role of being a Platoon Commander in differing environments, both in field and regimental roles.

The cadets are about to embark on an exercise in the West Coast of the South Island which will test their mettle and then later in the year they will be put through their paces in the much anticipated and tough Exercise Takrouna designed to test everything the cadets have learned throughout the year.

OCDT Cowie said adjusting to a leadership role for someone of such a young age could be challenging at times but it was an opportunity he was relishing.

"You find your own way of talking to people and taking command of a group."

He said he wanted to join the Artillery Corps once he graduated and he felt he had made a wise decision in following the Army route.

"It’s not your average job that’s for sure."

He said one of the hardest parts of the course was being away from family but he had managed to get home three times.

Cadets that make it through the course will graduate in Waiouru in December.


For more information contact Emma Horsley, Communications Advisor - Central for the New Zealand Defence Force on 021 409 033

This page was last reviewed on 8 July 2013.