After his admittance to the army, Robert is dispatched to join the 30th Battery, C.F.A. (Canadian Field Artillery) in training at Lethbridge, Alberta. Aiming a gun seems foreign to him, and he wishes that he had a “model” who could teach him how to kill. Robert feels that the culture of the army is a lot like his time as a cadet at St. Andrew’s College, where he was nicknamed “Blush” because he was shy and would blush with embarrassment when he raised his voice to give commands. At the army training camp, Robert goes on runs in the evening where he loses all sense of time and his surroundings.
Robert’s timidity as a cadet in boarding school shows that he is gentle and innocent at heart. This disposition contrasts with the strict and grueling duties of being a soldier. His desire to find a role model who can teach him how to fight courageously shows that at this point, he glorifies war as an opportunity to showcase his maturity and masculinity.