Meet Muhammad Fahmi Mohd Yunus
In 2018, at the age of 19, he became the first Malaysian to be accepted into the Royal Military College Saint-Jean in Canada.
Now in his second year of training, Muhammad Fahmi has shared his experiences training as a cadet in a foreign country
"It's an honour to be the pioneer representing Malaysia at the military college," the 21-year-old cadet told SAYS in an interview.
He added that he is currently completing a Bachelor of Military Arts and Science degree, a four-year degree that will ultimately lead him back to Malaysia to become a fighter pilot with the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF).
He shared how he has faced challenges while training in Canada - from being of a smaller body build to dealing with the freezing weather
He said that training was otherwise similar compared to his foundation year at the National Defence University of Malaysia (UPNM).
In military school, cadets are educated and evaluated based on their academic performance, physical aptitude, and military leadership.
However, he said it was definitely more difficult to compete with his Canadian military peers who are physically far larger and stronger than he is.
"Not to mention, they also enjoy adding more distance during our ruck march, a drill where we have to march about 19km for three hours while carrying our guns and 40kg weights," he told Harian Metro in another interview."They take bigger steps and generally march much faster. So I always try to improve my own capabilities to keep up with them."
Weather turned out to be another drawback for him while training
"Winter is brutal here, you will never know when it will be windy or a snowstorm might hit," he told SAYS.
He said a snowstorm hit Quebec during one winter and caused temperatures to drop to below -38°C, causing some cadets to experience hypothermia and frostbite.
However, Muhammad Fahmi said he strongly believes that while the training is both mentally and physically demanding, he never wants his peers to see him as inferior.
"I will always immediately pick myself up and remind myself that I would let my country down if I did not use this opportunity to train well," said the cadet who hails from Muar, Johor, and whose father also serves in the army.
Muhammad Fahmi is expected to graduate in 2022 and will return to Malaysia to train as a pilot at RMAF's Institut Penerbangan 1 (INSPEN 1)
"I hope to finish my studies and become a fighter pilot. In the long term, I plan to become the Chief of Air Force," he shared with SAYS.
If all goes well, he also said that he hopes to become the Chief of Armed Forces like General Tan Sri Datuk Sri Hj Affendi Buang, or at least, achieve a higher rank than his father.