Author Topic: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016  (Read 22461 times)

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Offline Bruce Monkhouse

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https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/11/02/concerns-prompt-sweeping-review-of-royal-military-college.html


OTTAWA—Senior Canadian Armed Forces commanders have ordered a complete review of the Royal Military College of Canada following a number of suspected suicides and allegations of sexual misconduct at the prestigious institution in Kingston, Ont.

The rare move highlights the growing concern among top brass about the way the 140-year-old college — where future generations of military officers are groomed — is being run.
“It’s unusual,” Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, the military’s second-highest-ranking officer, acknowledged in an interview earlier this week.
“But with that unusualness comes an indication of how seriously the chief of defence staff and the entire senior leadership are taking this issue.”

An eight-member team composed of current and former military officers has been convened to look at all aspects of the college, from the institution’s climate and culture to its academic programs and infrastructure.
The review will put a heavy emphasis on assessing the mental state of the college’s approximately 1,000 full- and part-time student cadets by looking at stress levels and available support, as well as overall morale levels.
It will also examine how staff are selected and whether they have the right training and qualifications to be working at the college, as well as the structure of the program.

The team will start work on Wednesday and spend the next two months interviewing staff and cadets as well as poring through documents at the college.
It will report back to Norman by the end of the year, at which point he and other senior officers will consider what changes are required.
No single event sparked the review, said Norman, who cited instead a number of incidents over the past few months that prompted military leaders to take a closer look at the school.

“Everything from alleged infractions that weren’t necessarily being handled the way we would have expected them to be handled to some questionable behaviour in terms of cadets leading cadets under the guise of training,” Norman said. “The habitability of the residences. Just a whole range of things.”
Norman would not get into specifics, but there have been several reports of sexual misconduct at the college over the past two years. In one case, a lecturer was verbally abused while giving a presentation on sexual assault prevention.

In another, court martial documents show Officer Cadet J.C. Scott received a severe reprimand and a $2,000 fine in May 2015 after pleading guilty to one charge of assault after touching a fellow cadet without her consent on several occasions in March 2013.
Following her yearlong investigation into sexual misconduct in the military, retired Supreme Court justice Marie Deschamps reported in 2015 that sexual harassment was considered a rite of passage at the college, and sexual assault was an “ever-present risk.”

The military is also still investigating the sudden deaths of three Royal Military College cadets between May and August. Harrison Kelertas, 22, and 20-year-old Brett Cameron died on campus within days of each other, while 19-year-old Matthew Sullivan died in August in Saint John, N.B.
Officials have not confirmed the cause of death in any of the cases, though suicide is suspected. Norman said the review he is overseeing is completely separate from the investigations into the three deaths.

Senior leaders recognize the trust families put in the military when they send their children to the college, Norman said, which is why a letter will be sent to parents explaining the reasons for the review.
“My message to parents is: ‘We recognize our obligation for the care and custody, the safe development of your children, and we’re not concerned that there is an unsafe environment, per se,’” he said.
“But we want to make sure that we make their experience as enjoyable and as successful as it can be.”

Cadets and staff are also being encouraged to reach out to the review team. Norman said their help is essential to getting at the “root causes” of the problems at the college.
“This is about finding the reasons why and causes for things,” he said. “It’s not about assigning blame or responsibility. So we would like them to feel comfortable coming forward and telling us about their experiences. Positive or negative.”
Norman described the college as a “national institution,” and said closing it is not an option. However, he said the top brass is prepared to do whatever is necessary to ensure it lives up to its promise and responsibility to both the cadets and the Canadian Armed Forces.

“It is our only national military university, military college,” Norman said.
“It’s steeped in history. It is a source of incredible pride to thousands of Canadians and it’s something we really are invested in. And we want to make sure we get this right going forward.”
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Offline mariomike

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Offline dapaterson

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"Closing is not an option".

And so, the estimate being appropriately situated, let us continue...
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In other news ...
Quote
RMC staff, cadets subjected to unannounced drug test

Military staff and cadets at Royal Military College campuses in Kingston and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., received a surprise earlier this month when they were all instructed to provide urine samples.

On Oct. 12, the cadet wings were scheduled for a professional military training day, which usually includes two-hour classes for professional development. In Kingston, the day started with a morning parade, at which they were surprisingly addressed by their commandant, Brig.-Gen. Sean Friday.

He explained to them that they’d all be undergoing the first RMCC-wide anonymous, or blind, drug test.

Male cadets were instructed to return to their residences and line up outside the bathroom, and female cadets to the new gym in Yeo Hall. Officer Cadet Jonas Cancino wrote for the RMC Club’s electronic newsletter eVeritas that urine samples had to be 60 ml.

“As a result, many cadets were stuck redoing their tests after long bouts of drinking water in order to meet the required amount,” Cancino wrote.

The tests were ordered by Lt.-Gen. Christine Whitecross, commander of Military Personnel Command, under the Canadian Armed Forces Drug Control Program. For the 1,395 RMC-Kingston population, a total of 1,220 samples were collected. Of the 175 who were not tested, Navy Lt. Jennifer Fidler, public affairs officer at RMC, told the Whig-Standard that 99.5 per cent were accounted for ...

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Offline dapaterson

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Those tests are done on a cyclical basis; in one stretch, I managed to get tested in my home unit, tested while on course, then tested in my new unit, all in the stretch of five months.  I'm surprised that RMC never got dinged before.

The tests are anonymous; they are done to get baseline information on the prevalence of drug use.  They are not linked to individuals, and are not used for administrative or disciplinary actions.
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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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In other news ...

If 0.5 % of the untested 175 cadets are unaccounted for, that means the College is somehow missing .125% of a cadet somewhere.  ;D

Keep your eyes open for a hand or a foot hiding somewhere everybody!

Offline SeaKingTacco

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The CF is informing the parents of the "children" at RMC?

Well, I would say that is 90 percent of the problem, right there. The cadets are being viewed as and treated like children, rather than the adults that they are.

Offline mariomike

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I wondered the same thing when I read, "a letter will be sent to parents".
« Last Edit: November 02, 2016, 10:20:26 by mariomike »

Offline slayer14

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I look forward to the results of this review and if they will produce something of worth, I graduated eight years ago from RMC. And as history shows, RMC gets easier and more relaxed as the years go on, not higher. In my four years there, we had one suicide. As I, like many others, can personally attest, it is not like a normal university and there is a lot more extra-curriculars. But that is the point of the "University with a difference". Those who go there for the free education (and there are lots) and not willing to be part of the M in RMC, well then of course they will have a hard time dealing with Academics, PT, SLT, and Military. But guess what, leaving RMC is extremely easy, especially in the first year. So I don't think by easing up on the extra crap cadets have to do is the answer. RMC has done a great job in preparing me to properly time manage and prioritize, its a great stepping stone for your first unit assignment (I can only speak for the combat arms). Overall I had a great time there, and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat as with many of my friends.

Maybe the problem is the fact that there are a lot of overachievers that go there who have never failed or struggled with anything in their life. I know I struggled with academics my first year, I went from 88% in Highschool to 63% at RMC in the first semester, it was hard on the ego but again it was part of the learning experience. But again its good preparation for life in the military, you will fail at things (whether its an assessment on phase training, or your boss hates your plan and wants you to start over).

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I am going to agree with Slayer/Raptor,

My son is currently in his second year at RMC and the first year was tough!!! He struggled, not with the military aspect but with the academic and to an extent the leadership aspect. He was a cadet and a good one it was an adjustment to be very good to then struggle with tasks. We had many conversations about adapting and becoming mentally strong. That it wasn't about the failures it was about how you handled them and what you learned from them. Everyone is going to fail is learning strategies to deal with those failures and moving on. He struggled with worrying about failing as a leader. It took many a conversation with lots of resources for him to realize that those were skills, like any, that would improve the more he did them. No one expected him to be perfect and that those leadership skills would improve month to month and year to year.

As a parent last year was a tough year with losing so many OCdts from RMC it took its toll on the students and as a parent I searched for resources for myself to help deal with those feelings. I am proud of my son for seeking out help and talking to someone about how he was feeling. He did that throughout the whole year starting in FYOP and this year I see a huge difference in him. He has definitely learned strategies to deal with issues and that allows me to sleep at night, as I know he will be able to use those strategies throughout his life and military career.

Although we told him last year that the marks would get better we were aware of putting too much pressure on him to excel for most people there is a big drop from last year in high school to first year university and then to through in SLT, military training, and the other expectations on them for us to put pressure on him to get the same marks he did in high school was unreasonable and not helpful to him. We were there as an outlet for him to vent when needed. Do I expect to get a letter from the CAF or RMC explaining the outcome of the inquiry, no, however I agree that it should be public and hopefully there is a positive outcome to this and one that helps the current and future OCdts attending RMC.

This year he has been confident, positive, and that has transferred into a much more successful year to date, academic wise as well as the other aspects of RMC life. I hope he continues to use the resources available to him, it will only help him out in the future.


Offline slayer14

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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2016, 12:16:51 »
If there was one thing I could provide as criticism to the college, is that (at least in my day) it put too much emphasis on having academic success with excellent marks. Although I agree that striving to succeed is important, whether you get 74 or 94 as an average, you get the same degree with the same commission (and you can still do a masters with 74 later on if you choose too). So if your academics dip its not the end of the world.

Another area is the cadet leadership positions...sure learning leadership is important, but the CFL (pl commander) and CSCs (sect commanders) get a lot of leadership opportunities. There is no point in getting disappointed if you don't get one of the top 5 cadet positions... They will mean NOTHING to ANYONE when you graduate. So focus on what is important: becoming an adult, learning the military lifestyle, making friends and becoming comfortable at being uncomfortable.

Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2016, 14:27:48 »
The CF is informing the parents of the "children" at RMC?

Well, I would say that is 90 percent of the problem, right there. The cadets are being viewed as and treated like children, rather than the adults that they are.

100% agree.  Does the 18 year old private have their parents informed of how their "children" are doing at Battle School? 

They are there to learn to be Officers to LEAD soldiers, many of whom are hard men and women seasoned in Combat.  The 22 year old Corporal doesn't need some self-entitled brat standing in front of them.

I graduated from RMC and was certainly no model cadet.  I struggled academically and can't really say I enjoyed the College; however, I'm happy I went.  Failure gives you perspective and I think the failures made me better at my job at the end of the day.

One thing I think RMC gets very wrong, too much emphasis on Academics, too little focus on Military skills and instilling a warrior ethos in the Cadet Corps.

I was never impressed with the military instruction I received at the College and looked forward to my summers at the Combat Training Centre in Gagetown, NB. 

The instruction I received at the Infantry School from Senior NCOs and Captains was far better than anything I ever received at the College. 
« Last Edit: November 02, 2016, 21:17:07 by Humphrey Bogart »

Offline rmc_wannabe

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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2016, 15:48:22 »
The CF is informing the parents of the "children" at RMC?

Well, I would say that is 90 percent of the problem, right there. The cadets are being viewed as and treated like children, rather than the adults that they are.

A former Base Chief referred to them as the "Royal Military Kindergarten.

I don't know if its CAF babying the College, or the College providing a reputation for immaturity....
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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2016, 16:01:45 »
This from the Info-machine on the probe ...
Quote
As a result of growing concern over the learning environment being provided to Officer Cadets, the Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff, Vice Admiral Mark Norman, today marked the deployment of a Special Staff Assistance Visit, or SSAV, to the Royal Military College of Canada (RMCC).

Directed by the Chief of the Defence Staff, the SSAV’s purpose is to provide an assessment of all aspects of the climate, training environment, culture, and program-construct of the College and its superior headquarters, the Canadian Defence Academy.

Things that were brought to the attention of military leadership include suicides, sexual misconduct, infrastructure problems and stress amongst college staff and Officer Cadets.

As the institution principally responsible for forming future military leaders, RMCC must provide a positive and healthy learning environment for students so as to give them a solid grounding, both academically and militarily.

Today, the SSAV – accompanied by Vice-Admiral Norman – will hold town halls with Officer Cadets and the military and academic staff of the College. It will continue its work in the weeks to come, and will report its initial findings no later than the end of this calendar year.

RMCC is an elite institution responsible for preparing the future leaders of the Canadian Armed Forces. It is a school of choice for university-bound Canadians, and we count some of our most distinguished officers among its graduates. The CAF must ensure the educational framework and systems currently in use at RMCC are in keeping with best educational practices, and reflect the needs of Canadian Armed Forces of the future.

Quotes

    “By enrolling in the Royal Military College of Canada, officer cadets have chosen to pursue a calling, and have joined a highly respected and valued national institution. They have entrusted us with their futures, and we have a responsibility to provide them with the best possible training environment.”
    – Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff

Quick Facts

    An SSAV is a tool used by the highest echelons of the Canadian Armed Forces to obtain a full and accurate picture of the state of a military unit, directly and without prejudice. It can interview any individual and examine any document or file owned by the unit under review.
    The SSAV deployed to RMCC is an eight-person, multi-disciplinary team led by retired Vice-Admiral Greg Maddison. Names and biographies of SSAV members will be made available upon request. 
    Established in 1876, RMCC is a degree-granting institution in which Officer Cadets are given a university education and their foundational instruction in leadership.
    The mission of the RMCC is to produce officers with the mental, physical and linguistic capabilities and the ethical foundation required to lead with distinction in the Canadian Armed Forces.
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Offline Jay4th

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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2016, 16:44:56 »
The CF is informing the parents of the "children" at RMC?

Well, I would say that is 90 percent of the problem, right there. The cadets are being viewed as and treated like children, rather than the adults that they are.

Some most certainly are children, at least here at CMR St. Jean.
At the beginning of first semestre we have several 16 yr olds and dozens of 17 yr olds.  Our staff need to take this into consideration in many décisions.  Parents have entrusted us with the care and education of their children. Many of whom are in fact minors.  We have a responsibility to ensure we provide the best environment for the present and at the same time, provide the best peparation for the students' future.
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2016, 16:52:36 »
Will the parents of RESO, DEO and ROTP candidates also receive letters?

'Non-elite' lives matter too :)
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Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2016, 17:43:49 »
Not to be a dinosaur but perhaps it's a reflection of young people in our society today.

I was shocked to see officer cadets and 2Lts quit a course (and one release from the CAF!) after taking their cell phones away.
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Offline SeaKingTacco

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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2016, 18:45:58 »
Some most certainly are children, at least here at CMR St. Jean.
At the beginning of first semestre we have several 16 yr olds and dozens of 17 yr olds.  Our staff need to take this into consideration in many décisions.  Parents have entrusted us with the care and education of their children. Many of whom are in fact minors.  We have a responsibility to ensure we provide the best environment for the present and at the same time, provide the best peparation for the students' future.

And perhaps if RMCC has morphed into a babysitting service for children, instead of being an institution full of young adults that we are attempting to mould into leaders, then maybe RMCC has run its course and needs to quietly shuttered.

Offline dapaterson

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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2016, 19:01:10 »
Perhaps it's time to rethink enrolling anyone under the age of 18, so there will be no more "parental permission" required.
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Offline RCPalmer

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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2016, 19:08:55 »
Not to be a dinosaur but perhaps it's a reflection of young people in our society today.

I was shocked to see officer cadets and 2Lts quit a course (and one release from the CAF!) after taking their cell phones away.

I think there is definitely a generational resiliency issue at play.  However, if we see this issue at RMC more than we do in other high stress training environments, we should still be looking at leadership, program design and the institutional culture. 

This incident last year was a pretty ugly lapse in discipline.  I couldn't see this happening in too many other units in the CAF:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/julie-lalonde-sees-backlash-after-complaint-about-royal-military-college-cadets-1.3086621
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/royal-military-college-cadets-struggled-with-questions-of-sexual-consent-educator-1.3083831


Offline ballz

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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2016, 20:22:22 »
The CF is informing the parents of the "children" at RMC?

An adult might consider this a very inappropriate breach of their privacy by their employer....
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Offline George Wallace

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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2016, 20:33:56 »
An adult might consider this a very inappropriate breach of their privacy by their employer....

Furthering the mantra that they are being treated as children........Something that began creeping into the Cbt Arms back in the '80s.
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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2016, 20:41:13 »
Furthering the mantra that they are being treated as children........

Yup.
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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2016, 22:33:24 »
An adult might consider this a very inappropriate breach of their privacy by their employer....

You win the Internet for today.

Offline MCG

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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #24 on: November 03, 2016, 01:16:56 »
Maybe the problem is the fact that there are a lot of overachievers that go there who have never failed or struggled with anything in their life. I know I struggled with academics my first year, I went from 88% in Highschool to 63% at RMC in the first semester, it was hard on the ego but again it was part of the learning experience. But again its good preparation for life in the military, you will fail at things (whether its an assessment on phase training, or your boss hates your plan and wants you to start over). 
I cannot speak of RMC from any first hand experience or observations.  However, I have seen exactly what you identify get played out with ROTP OCdts going through training at CFSME.  Individuals who have never experienced failure in their lives are suddenly unable to cope with a situation not going the way they want.  They freeze or become ineffective on a task site, and they break into crying during the PRB.  crap happens, and as a society we need to expose our children to it or they will not be able to deal with it when they are adults.

Anyway, the CAF decides to investigate where it sees a potential problem and instantly those with an axe to grind declare it to be about cover-up.  I suppose nay-sayers would have been happier if the CAF did nothing.  Certainly, "nothing" would have given nothing to complain about.
Quote
Concerns raised over all-military team tasked with probing military college
'It will be seen by cadets as the military investigating itself,' says Lawyer Michael Drapeau

Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press
CBC News
02 Nov 16

The Canadian Forces came under fire Wednesday for leaving academics and other non-military personnel off the team investigating the Royal Military College of Canada, which has been rocked by a series of troubling events in recent months.

That omission was not intentional, the senior officer overseeing the probe said Wednesday; the military had been considering ways to give civilian faculty at the college some type of advisory role on the team.

But in the end, said Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, the team of eight current and former service members was convened specifically to address the college's unique status as not just a school, but also a military unit.

"At the end of the day, this is the leadership of the armed forces looking at the unit environment of a unit of the armed forces," Norman said in an interview. "And that's our business."

The review, announced Wednesday, was ordered by defence chief Gen. Jonathan Vance following several suspected suicides and concerns about a sexualized culture at the prestigious school in Kingston, Ont.

Given the serious nature of the issues that have emerged in recent years, observers largely welcomed the decision to investigate the college, where future generations of Canadian military leaders have been groomed for the last 140 years.

But the absence of non-military personnel on the investigation team raised eyebrows.

The eight-member team is being led by retired vice-admiral Greg Maddison and retired major-general David Neasmith, and includes several colonels and chief warrant officers who are still in uniform.

"I'm always concerned when a committee is made up, in this case, entirely of military personnel," said Julie Lalonde, who was verbally abused while giving a presentation on sexual assault prevention at the college in October 2014.

"I would say the same if this was a police review or what's happening with the RCMP around workplace harassment. Clearly if these institutions had the capacity to create the necessary change, they would have done so already."

Lawyer Michael Drapeau, a retired colonel who now represents many military clients, including military college cadets, wants a coroner's inquest following the suspected suicides of three students and a recent graduate over a four-month stretch earlier this year.

"I see this as a cover-your-butt exercise," Drapeau said. "It's being done in-house by the military for the military. And it will be seen by cadets as the military investigating itself."

One faculty member, speaking on condition of anonymity out of fear of reprisals, cited a rift between the college's military staff and civilian faculty, and questioned why someone from an outside university or college wasn't asked to participate.

Investigators officially started their work on Wednesday and will spend the next two months looking at all aspects of the college, from the institution's climate and culture to its academic programs and infrastructure.

The review will put a heavy emphasis on assessing the mental state of the college's approximately 1,000 student cadets by looking at stress levels and available support, as well as overall morale levels.

It will also look at how staff are selected and whether they have the right training and qualifications to be working at the college, as well as the structure of the program.

Former chief of defence staff Tom Lawson, who served as college's commandant from 2007 to 2009, said he was "heartened" that the military's senior leadership was taking action to address the problems that have surfaced at the school.

"One must characterize the loss of several cadets in a relatively short period of time as unique in its tragedy, and in the effects these losses have had on the student body and staff," he said.

"Therefore, it called for unique action."
 
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/royal-military-college-inquiry-panel-1.3833783


Offline Ostrozac

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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #25 on: November 03, 2016, 03:07:06 »
Perhaps it's time to rethink enrolling anyone under the age of 18, so there will be no more "parental permission" required.

But the model of the Canadian Forces operating a militarized university and a militarized CEGEP almost requires that we enrol 'child soldiers', as we have students finishing high school at age 16 and 17 and Canada lacks a gap year culture. Any movement to increase the enrolment age would have to be accompanied by a wholesale examination of the role of the ROTP program.

The cynic in me suspects that an organization focused on zero-tolerance for sexual misconduct and sexual humour probably has no business running a university -- young people in those numbers get up to shenanigans, some criminal, some merely inappropriate, but a military university will be a constant obstacle in the goal of zero-tolerance. If we switch to educating our officers through ROTP Civi U and IBDP then at least the CF can shift blame to Concordia or U of T's internal policies whenever there's an incident.


Offline dapaterson

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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #26 on: November 03, 2016, 08:25:48 »
But the model of the Canadian Forces operating a militarized university and a militarized CEGEP almost requires that we enrol 'child soldiers', as we have students finishing high school at age 16 and 17 and Canada lacks a gap year culture. Any movement to increase the enrolment age would have to be accompanied by a wholesale examination of the role of the ROTP program.

Precisely.  If the UK can run Sandhurst as an officer finishing school and not as a university, I fail to see why the vital ground is the preservation of the ability to issue degrees.

When founded, RMC addressed a shortfall in engineering education in Canada.  Today, we can get engineers from multiple sources.  (The true need for engineers in the CAF also needs to be re-examined - how many jobs truly require an engineering degree?)  So, if there are viable sources other than RMC, why preserve it as is?
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Offline MCG

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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #27 on: November 03, 2016, 08:36:53 »
Why?  Well, weseem to like investing in pride before capability.

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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #28 on: November 03, 2016, 08:39:41 »
Do you really need a degree to be an officer in the first place ? A small military like the CF might be better off just commissioning from Officer Candidate Schools and commission directly from civilian life for the technical or medical degrees that might be needed.

Offline dapaterson

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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #29 on: November 03, 2016, 08:51:35 »
The Degreed Officer Corps is part of the fallout of the Somalia inquiry; the Report to the Prime Minister on the Leadership and Management of the Canadian Forces in 1997 decreed it (with some limited exceptions).  Unfortunately, I do not foresee any appetite to revisit that decision - which in turn feeds the perceived importance of the Royal Military College.



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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #30 on: November 03, 2016, 09:58:14 »
Suicide: it's 'trending' with millennials....

"Feeling entitled to a special life can be problematic, especially if adults forgot to tell you:

•Life can be hard and disappointing.
•Life does not revolve around you.
•Life must not be lived in comparison to others."


What’s Happening to College Students Today?

I have a sad story to tell you...

I have a sad story to tell you. On January 17, 2014, a beautiful, talented student athlete at the University of Pennsylvania jumped off the top of a parking garage and killed herself. No one, not even her close family, saw this coming.

Her name was Madison Holleran. She was a freshman at Penn. Perhaps the saddest part is that she was the third of six Penn students to commit suicide within a period of just over a year.

Unfortunately, this is far from an isolated event in college life these days. Suicide “clusters” have become common in the last decade. This year, Appalachian State lost at least three students; Cornell experienced six suicides; Tulane lost four students just five years ago; and five NYU students leapt to their deaths in the 2004-2005 school year.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/artificial-maturity/201511/what-s-happening-college-students-today




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Offline Pusser

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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #31 on: November 03, 2016, 10:21:34 »
The Degreed Officer Corps is part of the fallout of the Somalia inquiry; the Report to the Prime Minister on the Leadership and Management of the Canadian Forces in 1997 decreed it (with some limited exceptions).  Unfortunately, I do not foresee any appetite to revisit that decision - which in turn feeds the perceived importance of the Royal Military College.

That is indeed true.  The interesting thing is that all the key officers who failed in Somalia and were the root cause of the Inquiry, all had degrees and can anyone guess from which institution(s)?  >:D
Sure, apes read Nietzsche.  They just don't understand it.

Offline RCPalmer

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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #32 on: November 03, 2016, 14:30:43 »
Suicide: it's 'trending' with millennials....

"Feeling entitled to a special life can be problematic, especially if adults forgot to tell you:

•Life can be hard and disappointing.
•Life does not revolve around you.
•Life must not be lived in comparison to others."


What’s Happening to College Students Today?

I have a sad story to tell you...

I have a sad story to tell you. On January 17, 2014, a beautiful, talented student athlete at the University of Pennsylvania jumped off the top of a parking garage and killed herself. No one, not even her close family, saw this coming.

Her name was Madison Holleran. She was a freshman at Penn. Perhaps the saddest part is that she was the third of six Penn students to commit suicide within a period of just over a year.

Unfortunately, this is far from an isolated event in college life these days. Suicide “clusters” have become common in the last decade. This year, Appalachian State lost at least three students; Cornell experienced six suicides; Tulane lost four students just five years ago; and five NYU students leapt to their deaths in the 2004-2005 school year.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/artificial-maturity/201511/what-s-happening-college-students-today

We tend to think of suicide as an issue of the young because it is a leading cause of death among that group, but that is because they are for the most part not dying of other things. If you look at suicide across the population, here are a few important things to keep in mind:

1. Suicide rates in Canada overall have been on a gentle decline since 1982.  The change is likely more dramatic due to increased reporting due to a decrease in the social stigma associated with labeling a death a suicide:
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-624-x/2012001/article/chart/11696-02-chart1-eng.htm

2. Suicide rates are highest amongst the 40-59 age group:
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-624-x/2012001/article/chart/11696-02-chart4-eng.htm

3. Suicide rates among the very young (15-19 years) have remained static for the last 40 years, but the proportion of suicide deaths compared to deaths overall have increased significantly due to decreases in mortality due to accidents:
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-624-x/2012001/article/11696-eng.htm

Attributing causality is difficult in these cases as there are a lot of factors at play. If we are thinking about generational resiliency I think we need to be cautious about blanket statements about the characteristics and upbringing of a generation.  This is not to say that there aren't any changes.  I would offer that perhaps millennials have different expectations from prior generations and are more likely to complain or articulate their anxiety when those expectations aren't met. This appears to be creating challenges for the military, academic institutions, and employers.

However, I am not convinced that the "suck it up and get on with life" model applied in prior generations was leading to better outcomes, particularly from a mental health standpoint.

Link to the full StatsCan summary:
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-624-x/2012001/article/11696-eng.htm

« Last Edit: November 03, 2016, 14:38:27 by RCPalmer »

Offline FJAG

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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #33 on: November 03, 2016, 14:58:16 »
The Degreed Officer Corps is part of the fallout of the Somalia inquiry; the Report to the Prime Minister on the Leadership and Management of the Canadian Forces in 1997 decreed it (with some limited exceptions).  Unfortunately, I do not foresee any appetite to revisit that decision - which in turn feeds the perceived importance of the Royal Military College.

Full disclosure: I'm a graduate of the OCTP program so have always felt that degreed general service officers (especially RMC) were highly overrated. The only advantage to a degree (IMHO) is that the individual has a few more years of life under his/her belt (and therefore arguably, maturity) before becoming a leader with the trade-off that his/her average potential years of service actually doing the job will be reduced by an equal amount

To me the best officer corps mix is one that has a roughly equal distribution of:

1. officers with degrees (including RMC);

2. officers coming straight in from high school and given intensive basic officer training (OCTP);

3. officers selected through a "junior" CFR program amongst young, enthusiastic and capable privates and corporals; and

4. officers selected trhough a "senior" CFR program selecting sergeants and WOs for conversion to the officer track.

That type of system brings a wider range of experience and knowledge to the officer corps as a whole and (again IMHO) would result in an officer corps more broadly connected to the troops that they lead.

 :2c:
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Offline Canuck_Jock

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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #34 on: November 03, 2016, 18:43:20 »
But the model of the Canadian Forces operating a militarized university and a militarized CEGEP almost requires that we enrol 'child soldiers', as we have students finishing high school at age 16 and 17 and Canada lacks a gap year culture. Any movement to increase the enrolment age would have to be accompanied by a wholesale examination of the role of the ROTP program.

The cynic in me suspects that an organization focused on zero-tolerance for sexual misconduct and sexual humour probably has no business running a university -- young people in those numbers get up to shenanigans, some criminal, some merely inappropriate, but a military university will be a constant obstacle in the goal of zero-tolerance. If we switch to educating our officers through ROTP Civi U and IBDP then at least the CF can shift blame to Concordia or U of T's internal policies whenever there's an incident.


You know, it took about 25 years but I finally understood something a fellow band member mentioned to me in the early 1980s. He was a Logistics Captain based at Wolseley Bks London and had been commissioned from the ranks through RMC. He mentioned that he enjoyed going to university but felt the military aspect detracted from it and it should be separate. I myself went to a civvie university and then subsequently on a commissioning course.

From the UK side of the pond:

1. The military colleges (RMAS, RAFC, BRNC) produce a junior officer: leadership, command and service knowledge, ready for their first command. There are some academics on the commissioning courses, but meant to keep minds sharp, not main effort.

2. Graduate officers receive the best education that civil academia can offer. Military universities cannot compete with civvie unis on quality. On the other hand, the UK has a partnership with a number of universities to deliver sp to service courses, e.g. KCL at JSCSC. The only HE institution run, the Royal Military College of Science (folded into Cranfield) specialised, primarily, in niche postgrad tech subjects. Arguably, an appropriate model for any military institution is a civil-military partnership that delivers through life career Staff and specialised Postgrad course.

3. Is OTC worth reviving? The Army gets....off the top of my head...40% of its officers from that source. After 3/4 years at uni in OTC, officers are better prepared to succeed on their commissioning course. Candidates can also compete for bursaries (scholarships) to subsidise education. OTC bods not going into the Regular Armed Forces often go into the Reserves. But, OTC is also seen as being civ-mil engagement for those staying civvies.

4. Degree not mandatory, only passing AOSB/OASC/AIB. Most youngsters will go to university due to that being the way things are. About <10% of my course were non-grads, I wish I had their confidence at their ages.

Just a few thoughts...

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #35 on: November 03, 2016, 18:52:11 »

That type of system brings a wider range of experience and knowledge to the officer corps as a whole and (again IMHO) would result in an officer corps more broadly connected to the troops that they lead.

 :2c:

.... especially if you shake up the hierarchy of training and your Officer Corps trains alongside and with your 'other ranks', as do some units with especially high esprit de corps, battle efficiency and unit cohesion, like the Paras and Royal Marines.

"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline clownfool

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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #36 on: November 03, 2016, 20:56:24 »
Having a degree is more than just a check off the box. It shows that you know how to LEARN. University shapes your mind, and to think critically. These skills you can't pick up anywhere else. If an officer/officer cadet isn't able to put himself/herself through university, what does that mean?

Offline Halifax Tar

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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #37 on: November 03, 2016, 21:00:00 »
Having a degree is more than just a check off the box. It shows that you know how to LEARN. University shapes your mind, and to think critically. These skills you can't pick up anywhere else. If an officer/officer cadet isn't able to put himself/herself through university, what does that mean?

Really ? :pop:
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Offline SeaKingTacco

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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #38 on: November 03, 2016, 21:11:38 »
Having a degree is more than just a check off the box. It shows that you know how to LEARN. University shapes your mind, and to think critically. These skills you can't pick up anywhere else. If an officer/officer cadet isn't able to put himself/herself through university, what does that mean?

Please- enlighten us. What does it mean?

I am not anti-education. I am a product of the military college system. That does not stop me from questioning the current value for money delivered by RMC/CMR. Or the value of having all junior officers university educated.

Online Blackadder1916

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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #39 on: November 03, 2016, 21:23:39 »
Having a degree is more than just a check off the box. It shows that you know how to LEARN. University shapes your mind, and to think critically. These skills you can't pick up anywhere else. If an officer/officer cadet isn't able to put himself/herself through university, what does that mean?

Yes, what does that mean?

With your vast experience in both the military and academia . . .
I was enrolled about two weeks before school started as an ROTP officer cadet. In all of British Columbia, there were only two of us that actually got this offer at such a weird time, so yes, very rare. I heard that this a new thing that just started this year. I wasn't even assigned a MOSID.

Everything is coming together though. I'm getting my military ID in a few weeks time, but I don't have a uniform and I have no idea when I'm going to CFLRS either.

. . . give us the benefit of your knowledge of what it takes.
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Offline ballz

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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #40 on: November 03, 2016, 21:35:25 »
Having a degree is more than just a check off the box. It shows that you know how to LEARN. University shapes your mind, and to think critically.

I, too, felt overly optimistic two weeks after I enrolled and starting my degree. By the end of year 2, I knew better.

These skills you can't pick up anywhere else.

This part, however, I cannot relate to, and makes me worry about who we've taken on board our team...
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Offline FJAG

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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #41 on: November 03, 2016, 21:39:54 »
Having a degree is more than just a check off the box. It shows that you know how to LEARN. University shapes your mind, and to think critically. These skills you can't pick up anywhere else. If an officer/officer cadet isn't able to put himself/herself through university, what does that mean?

Add me to the sceptical crowd. I've got a law degree and in order to be admitted to law we had to have two years (60 credit hours) of non legal university courses. In fact they preferred a broad education to make us "more rounded". I've got lovely credit hours in "Politics and Propaganda in the cinema" and "Macro and micro geophysics" (which has stood me in good stead by being able to wow people with such terms as "albedo") But in reality has done nothing but waste two years of my life.

On the other hand the first time that I really understood trigonometry was when I took my basic artillery officer training and saw how one applied it practically. The first time that I really learned to study was during my Staff School Course, when they actually taught us how to study.

University is, IMHO, for the most part a system designed to keep give far too many arts and general studies professors employed by teaching far too many students things which will never be of use to them in their daily or professional lives. I think that we get better value for money out of community colleges then we get out of university arts programs. How many of our general services RMC graduates actually have found any application for the engineering degrees they've worked hard to get. I generalize of course; there are many university course for professions that are highly necessary and useful, but I think that you get my point.

Officer candidates do need basic officer training which amongst other things should teach them to learn, to analyze, to plan and to lead. That, however, does not require a university setting or degree program.

 [cheers]
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Offline George Wallace

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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #42 on: November 03, 2016, 21:50:23 »
Having a degree is more than just a check off the box. It shows that you know how to LEARN. University shapes your mind, and to think critically. These skills you can't pick up anywhere else. If an officer/officer cadet isn't able to put himself/herself through university, what does that mean?

I see you have been drinking the Kool-aid.

If you didn't know how to learn, you would never have been accepted into university. 

Having a University Degree does not make you a leader.  It is just a nice piece of paper to hang on the wall and many have them.  Not all of them are officers.

A university education rarely teaches about practical matters and how to deal with them.  It definitely does not teach common sense.  Theories are great, but like Communism they may be great on paper; but in the real world dismal failures. 
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Offline cavalryman

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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #43 on: November 03, 2016, 21:55:00 »
Having a degree is more than just a check off the box. It shows that you know how to LEARN. University shapes your mind, and to think critically. These skills you can't pick up anywhere else. If an officer/officer cadet isn't able to put himself/herself through university, what does that mean?

Actually, the Infantry School taught me a heck of a lot more on how to think critically and practically than the MilCol system ever did (and it kicked my a*s into high gear, but that's another story  [:'( )

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #44 on: November 03, 2016, 22:57:24 »
Having a degree is more than just a check off the box. It shows that you know how to LEARN. University shapes your mind, and to think critically. These skills you can't pick up anywhere else. If an officer/officer cadet isn't able to put himself/herself through university, what does that mean?

Do you hear that? The lambs have gone silent.....
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline Lightguns

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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #45 on: November 04, 2016, 07:23:12 »
The best way to run a MilCol is to have everyone complete a engagement as a member and then ID the best troops in each trade, commission them and send them to MilCol with summers spent training or JOT.  Leaders are made, not born and university is not a leadership school. 
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Offline Pusser

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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #46 on: November 04, 2016, 11:33:01 »
Having a degree is more than just a check off the box. It shows that you know how to LEARN. University shapes your mind, and to think critically. These skills you can't pick up anywhere else. If an officer/officer cadet isn't able to put himself/herself through university, what does that mean?

Full disclosure:  I'm a civvy U ROTP grad with a degree in History.

The above post is not entirely right, but it's not entirely wrong either.  As with many things the truth lies somewhere in the middle. There is a place for higher education, including arts degrees, in overall society, as well as in the armed forces.  The trouble is that too many folks look at universities as job training centres and see no value in anything that doesn't have a specific and readily identifiable employment opportunity at the end of it.  University may not be a specific means to an end, but it can certainly be an important step along the way.  My military training has taught me to do specific things along the way, but my education has taught me:

1)  how to research;
2)  how to think critically;
3)  how to formulate and present an argument;
4)  how to write (unfortunately, many university grads still lack this one); and
5)  how to take my specific training and adapt it to new things that have not been taught so that I can formulate new solutions to new problems.

I think one of the biggest problems with our current system is that we have too many officers educated in the same place, meaning they are more likely to all look at things the same way.  Although this can be good from a training perspective, it has flaws if you want a true critical analysis of larger issues.  I've always maintained that we should re-structure RMC along the same lines as RMA Sandhurst (i.e. a one-year officer training school) and that if we truly want a fully degreed officer corps, then we should send them to civilian universities, ensuring that we use a wide variety of schools.  This would ensure more variety in outlook and a better collective understanding of the nation we're trying to defend.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2016, 22:49:17 by Pusser »
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Offline MCG

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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #47 on: November 04, 2016, 12:00:02 »
... or we replace ROTP with something more like the US military's Reserve Officers' Training Corps.  It is entirely possible for a RESO officer in a PRes unit to pay tuition and books from the pay earned in summer officer training and the expected amount of Class A training over the duration of the school year.  So make this the model for entry level officers' military education in Canada.  Establish a Joint Officer Training Squadron in every city with a major university.  Pers are guaranteed 3.5 months of summer employment (either to undergo career training, or to fill officer positions in PRes summer IT activities), and a minimum of 2.5 days through every month of the academic year. Include access to a small student load ($2 to 3k per year) which is interest free as long as the individual remains active in the CAF, and forgive the debt at a rate of $1.6 to 2.4k per year if one transfers to and remains in the Reg F after graduation.


Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #48 on: November 06, 2016, 01:48:38 »
I've always maintained that we should re-structure RMC along the same lines as RMA Sandhurst (i.e. a one-year officer training school nine month battlefield leader development machine) and that if we truly want a fully degreed officer corps, then we should send them to civilian universities, ensuring that we use a wide variety of schools.  This would ensure more variety in outlook and a better collective understanding of the nation we're trying to defend.

FTFY :)
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Re: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016
« Reply #49 on: November 06, 2016, 11:04:41 »
Having a degree is more than just a check off the box. It shows that you know how to LEARN. University shapes your mind, and to think critically. These skills you can't pick up anywhere else. If an officer/officer cadet isn't able to put himself/herself through university, what does that mean?

Unfortunately, many of today's universities are more about what to think, rather than how to think.
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And we have some recommendations - this from the Info-machine today:
Quote
Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) General Jonathan Vance today met with staff and students at the Royal Military College of Canada to announce upcoming changes as a result of findings and recommendations outlined in a recent report on the College.

The report, which was commissioned by General Vance on August 30, 2016, identifies areas of improvement to better enable the College to prepare future Officers of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Produced by a Special Staff Assistance Visit (SSAV), an expert team of former and current military experts, the report contains 79 recommendations, all of which have been accepted by General Vance for implementation where it is within his authority to do so.

Quotes

    “As the Chief of the Defence Staff, I am responsible for ensuring that we produce the best possible professional leaders as commissioned Officers in the Canadian Armed Forces. The report has provided me with excellent insight into the challenges faced by the College students and staff in meeting this intent, and I am taking the necessary actions to set them up for success in the future.”

    — General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff

    “The SSAV team spoke to nearly a quarter of the College’s Officer Cadets as well as military and academic staff and a variety of other stakeholders. We immediately recognized that there are a lot of good things happening at RMCC. However, there are challenges and opportunities that need to be addressed  and I am confident we provided the CDS with frank and honest insight. I am encouraged that General Vance has accepted the recommendations and personally invested himself by taking immediate action in a number of areas, demonstrating the commitment needed to ensure a strong future for the College.”

    — Vice-Admiral (Retired) Greg Maddison, SSAV Team Leader

Quick Facts

    The CDS ordered the deployment of a SSAV in response to growing concern over the learning environment at RMCC.

    Led by former Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff, Vice-Admiral (Retired) Greg Maddison, the SSAV Team was made up of experienced and highly knowledgeable former and current CAF members, supported by a civilian and academic advisor Dr. Phill Bates, RMCC Vice-Principal Academic.

    More than 400 interviews with students, staff and stakeholders were conducted by the SSAV

    Although some changes will be implemented before the next academic year, others, such as improvements to infrastructure will take more time. Examples of what to expect include:

        Officer Cadets will receive more regular, focused mentoring and coaching to better prepare them for their military careers.

        Better services to Officer Cadets on campus, such as medical, dental, administrative support, and food services.

        Improvements to staff levels at the College to ensure better administrative training support to the Officer Cadets.

        Investments in infrastructure to ensure the Officer Cadets have access to modern, well-maintained facilities.

        The Canadian Defence Academy, the command responsible for the delivery of basic and higher education for the Canadian Armed Forces, will report directly to the CDS.

        The leadership training model within RMCC will be changed to provide a better overall experience that is focused on a positive learning environment to ensure that the higher standards required for commissioning in the Canadian Armed Forces through the RMCC program are met ...
Statement from the CDS:
Quote
Dear students, staff, families and friends of the Royal Military College of Canada,

The Officer Cadets at the Royal Military College of Canada (RMCC) are a distinguished group of young Canadians who have dedicated themselves to the service of our country. I am proud of their commitment, and as the Chief of the Defence Staff, I want to ensure we continue to educate, develop and prepare Officers who will excel in an ever-evolving world.

As you may know, on 30 August 2016, I ordered a Special Staff Assistance Visit, or SSAV, to RMCC. I did this to fully assess and understand the situation at the College. A team of highly experienced military leaders, both serving and retired, was sent to RMCC. They interviewed approximately 400 people, including academic and training staff and a quarter of the student body.

I have their final report, which I invite you to read here. Thanks to their excellent work, I have a clear understanding of the environment at the College, and what we need to do to improve it. Here are some of the report's key findings:

    RMCC continues to provide Officer Cadets with the education, development and preparation they need to succeed as Officers in the Canadian Armed Forces.
    The college environment is challenging and complex, with many expectations and rules. We can improve on how the program is supported, delivered and resourced‎.
    We need to better manage schedules – The priority for Officer Cadets while at RMCC is earning their degree and we need to ensure that they are provided with an environment that permits them to excel both academically and militarily.
    While support services such as medical and dental care are provided to the Officer Cadets, these services are not readily available on campus.
    We need to improve College infrastructure, in particular the library. Officer Cadets need more study space.

Life at RMCC is challenging and demanding.  It’s supposed to be. Both higher education and military training are hard work – and that hard work has meaning; it helps young men and women grow into leaders.

In light of the findings, it is my intent to make significant improvements to RMCC. Some of the changes will be implemented immediately, while others will take more time. ‎Some of the improvements are as follows:

    Making changes to the leadership training model to provide a better overall experience that is focused on a positive learning environment and achieving the standards necessary to graduate with a commission in the Canadian Armed Forces.
    Providing more regular, focused mentoring and coaching to Officer Cadets to prepare them for their military careers.
    Providing improved coordination of schedules, such as academic and training, as well as limiting the number of external activities requiring Officer Cadet participation.
    Providing better services to Officer Cadets on campus, such as medical, dental, administrative support and food services.
    Improving staff levels at the College to ensure better administrative and training support to the Officer Cadets.
    Making the necessary investments in infrastructure to ensure the Officer Cadets have access to modern, well-maintained facilities and living quarters.

I am personally invested in the success of implementing these recommendations and will keep a close eye on the progress at RMCC. This is why I’m writing to you about these changes – you need to know about them and to know that I remain committed to providing the best possible leadership and support to our Officer Cadets attending RMCC as they meet the many challenges before them on their way to graduation and commissioned service in the Canadian Armed Forces.

They will be the face of our tomorrow so let's fulfil our commitment to them today.

Jonathan H. Vance
General
Chief of the Defence Staff
And the executive summary of the report:
Quote
... The Special Staff Assistance Visit (SSAV) Team was mandated to assess the overall climate, training environment, culture, and Regular Officer Training Plan (ROTP) programme construct at the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC), and how these factors impact the morale, welfare and success of the Naval and Officer Cadets (N/OCdts) at the College.

As the institution responsible for developing these future military leaders, RMC must provide a positive and healthy learning environment for N/OCdts to ensure they have a solid grounding, both academically and militarily.  It was with growing concern over the climate at the College that the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) directed a SSAV, a unique tool used by the senior leadership of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to obtain an understanding of the state of a unit or function.  In that regard, the SSAV Team, supported by a civilian and academic advisor, Dr. Phil Bates, RMC Vice-Principal Academic, endeavoured to conduct a thorough assessment, the results of which form the basis of the analysis and recommendations contained in this report.

RMC is a unit of the CAF facing challenges similar to those faced by any other military unit across Canada, including aging infrastructure, resource pressures, lengthy and complex processes mandated throughout the Government of Canada relating to administration, financial expenditures, information technology, and ongoing challenges in staffing both civilian and military positions.  However, with the mandate to deliver university level academic programmes in addition to military training and education, RMC is unique amongst other CAF units operating in this complex environment.

The SSAV Team interviewed and received input from more than 400 stakeholders including the leadership and staff from Canadian Defence Academy / Military Personnel Generation headquarters, RMC military, academic, and support staff and most importantly, more than 200 of the N/OCdts themselves. The Team’s open and consultative approach allowed for valuable and frank insight into the challenges and constraints, the positive and negative views and opinions, and the strengths and weaknesses of the training and learning environment at RMC.  This aided the SSAV Team in reaching a solid consensus regarding the assessments and recommendations that the Team believes are needed to address the challenges they observed. 

In broad terms, the overall climate at RMC has been influenced by a decade of resource pressures and higher priorities at the strategic level, which has resulted in RMC operating in an environment that has generally placed a lower degree of priority on the College. In that regard, the SSAV Team noted uncertainty amongst stakeholders regarding RMC’s mission and priorities, a significant level of tension between the Academic and Training Wings, N/OCdts who are cynical about their experience at RMC, and disconnects between how RMC employs more traditional learning and military training techniques, and the expectations of a new generation of tech-savvy and multi-tasking N/OCdts.

This report provides assessments and recommendations in five areas: (1) RMC’s Command and Control and Governance Framework; (2) Stressors affecting the N/OCdts; (3) Morale at the College; (4) Selection process and training of the military staff;  (5) Support programmes available to the N/OCdts; and (6) The Four Pillars programme where N/Cdts are required to meet established standards in four key areas considered germane to service as an officer in the CAF: academics, military training, physical fitness, and bilingualism (French and English) ...
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