Author Topic: Concerns Prompt Sweeping Review of Royal Military College- Nov. 2/ 2016  (Read 22551 times)

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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.

Offline tomahawk6

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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.

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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.

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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. 
Done, 34 years, 43 days complete, got's me damn pension!

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 :)
"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 ModlrMike

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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.
WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may create the illusion that you are tougher,smarter, faster and better looking than most people.
Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. (H.L. Mencken 1919)
Zero tolerance is the politics of the lazy. All it requires is that you do nothing and ban everything.