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A year to remember – Une année à se remémorer

Posted by rmcclub on 18th March 2012

A year to remember – Perspectives of a recent RMC graduate completing PG

By: 24712 A/SLT Brent Fisher – Department of Business Administration, RMCC

I cannot say that making the decision to pursue graduate studies immediately following graduation from RMC was easy. Although remaining in Kingston for an additional two years would allow me to obtain a Masters in Business Administration, it would also delay my MARS phase training and eventual arrival in the fleet. The decision would also lead to a separation from the high-paced tempo that I had come to expect following a rigorous four-year program as an officer cadet. Or so I thought.

The past year has been nothing short of extraordinary. From sitting in class with Chief Financial Officers and senior military leaders, to returning to the volleyball court to use my fifth and final year of Canadian Interuniversity Sport eligibility, to working for two months at the Naval Postgraduate School, I have maintained the active yet fulfilling lifestyle that I had come to enjoy following my undergraduate years at RMCC.

I have been extremely pleased with my first year of MBA studies. Several people have said that I should have waited and acquired more experience before entering this master’s program, but it has been these very studies that have led to so many unique experiences that I could not have otherwise imagined. For example, as a result of my accounting courses I was able to consult for a local business operating three retail stores in south-eastern Ontario, and through finance and management science courses I have been able to co-author several academic papers for publication.

Perhaps my greatest experiences have taken place during this past summer semester. I worked with Navy Capital Programming Coordination at NDHQ for three weeks in May, and during this time I learned first-hand the policies and procedures that take place throughout the DND financial planning process. While there, I created a simple capital rationing optimization model that will form the basis of my thesis. My goal is to provide the financial planners at NDHQ with a decision-making tool that will allow the organization to allocate planning space for non-strategic naval projects more efficiently for many years to come.

As much as I enjoyed my time at NDHQ, it could not compare with my experiences at the Naval Postgraduate School in California. I spent nearly two months in Monterey formulating, modeling, and implementing a scheduling optimization model for training at the American Explosive Ordnance Disposal training school. Although initially humbled by just how little I knew about modeling operational research problems, I benefited greatly from the tutelage of Drs. Rob Dell and Matt Carlyle during my stay. After reading hundreds of pages of programming manuals (many of which were read under the warm Californian sun), I felt much more capable of helping solve the problem for the training school. I wholeheartedly believe that I would never have received such high-level exposure had it not been for Dr. Bill Hurley and the RMC MBA program, and for this I am extremely grateful.

These academic experiences have been greatly supplemented by extracurricular activities such as varsity volleyball. Perhaps my greatest disappointment in the first four years at RMC was my inability to recover from a knee-injury sustained in Third Year and retake my starting position on the volleyball roster. At numerous times I felt I had let the team down from my inability to perform as I had in my first two seasons. Fortunately, my posting as a graduate student at the college allowed me to rejoin the team and compete for a fifth and final season. It was a unique feeling to no longer be part of the Cadet Wing while playing, but I thoroughly enjoyed hearing the latest college news and gossip from the perspective of officer cadets. My unique role also allowed me to mentor several teammates in both academic and military-related endeavours. I found this to be a truly rewarding aspect of my time with the team.

Only as a graduate student could I have the opportunity to so freely schedule my time around all of the activities that I enjoy. Without needing to attend daily squadron musters or visit the Cadet Dining Hall at specific times, I could finally prioritize my entire daily schedule and ensure I made the most of each day. By being able to chip away at a paper whether it was 0600 or 2330, or by taking an entire afternoon off with the understanding I could make up for it over the weekend, I was able to launch a small business partnership as well as a new fundraising effort within the Kingston Community. I feel truly blessed to have the flexibility in my daily schedule to see to all of these ventures.

My schedule certainly benefits from the fact that I am unmarried and living very close to campus. The ability to complete an additional degree before having major responsibilities such as children played a significant role in my decision to accept the Defence Research and Development Canada Scholarship in 2010. I would recommend to any officer cadet entering the Fourth Year of studies to strongly consider applying, and I will continue providing timely advice to anyone who has questions for me about my experiences or the application process. Even though I am currently removed from an operational setting, I strive to apply my academic strengths and interests to benefit both my professional development as well as the military at large. The memories from the first 15 months following my commissioning continue to assure me that I have made the right decision.


Une année à se remémorer — Perspective d’un nouveau diplômé du CMR Kingston complétant des études de deuxième cycle sur le campus

par 24712 Brent Fisher Département de l’administration des affaires

Je ne peux pas dire que la décision de poursuivre mes études immédiatement après ma collation des grades au CMR était facile. Même si rester deux ans de plus à Kingston me permet d’obtenir une Maîtrise en administration des affaires (AF), cela retarde aussi ma formation d’officier des opérations maritimes de surface et sous-marines et mon arrivée à la flotte. Cette décision m’amène aussi à délaisser le haut niveau d’intensité auquel je m’attendais après un rigoureux programme de quatre ans en tant qu’élève officier. C’est ce que je croyais.

L’année qui vient de s’écouler n’a été rien de moins qu’extraordinaire. De m’assoir avec l’officier en chef des finances et d’autres dirigeants militaires supérieurs à renouer avec les terrains de volleyball pour ma cinquième et dernière année d’admissibilité interuniversitaire, à travailler deux mois à la Naval Postgraduate School, j’ai maintenu un style de vie actif et gratifiant auquel j’avais commencé à me plaire pendant mes années de baccalauréat au CMR Kingston.

Je suis extrêmement ravi de ma première année d’étude en AF. Beaucoup de gens m’ont dit que j’aurais dû attendre et acquérir plus d’expérience avant de commencer un programme de maîtrise, mais ce sont justement ces études qui ont mené à cette multitude d’expériences que je n’aurais jamais pu imaginer. Par exemple, dans le cadre de mon cours en comptabilité j’ai été en mesure de consulter une entreprise locale qui exploite trois magasins dans le sud-est de l’Ontario. De plus, le cours de finance et de science organisationnelle m’a donné la chance de cosigner plusieurs publications universitaires.

Ma plus belle expérience fut sans doute les trois semaines de mai que j’ai passées au QGDN à travailler au programme de coordination d’immobilisation de la marine. C’est pendant ce temps que j’ai appris sur place les politiques et procédures qui sont en place pour l’ensemble du processus financier du MDN. Pendant mon court passage, j’ai créé un modèle d’optimisation de rationalisation pour un achat capital, lequel sera la base de ma thèse. Mon but est de fournir aux planificateurs financiers du QGDN un outil de prise de décision qui permettra à l’organisation d’attribuer une marge de planification plus efficacement pour les projets navals non stratégiques pour plusieurs années à venir.

Autant j’ai adoré mon temps au QGDN, cette expérience ne peut se comparer à la Naval Postgraduate School en Californie. J’ai passé presque deux mois à Monterrey à formuler, modéliser et implémenter un modèle d’optimisation d’horaire pour l’entrainement à l’American Explosive Ordnance Disposal training school. Même si au début j’étais dépassé par le peu de connaissance que j’avais à modéliser des problèmes de recherche opérationnelle, j’ai grandement bénéficié du tutorat des Drs Rob Dell et Matt Carlyne pendant mon séjour. Après avoir lu des centaines de pages de manuels de programmations — dont une bonne partie sous le chaud soleil Californien — je me sentais plus en mesure d’aider à régler des problèmes pour l’école d’entraînement. Je crois sincèrement que je n’aurais jamais été exposé à un niveau aussi élevé de connaissances sans le Dr Bill Hurley et les programmes de maîtrise en AF du CMR Kingston et j’en suis extrêmement reconnaissant.

Ces expériences académiques ont de plus été grandement agrémentées par des activités parascolaires telles que le volleyball interuniversitaire. Ma plus grande déception au cours de mes quatre premières années au CMR Kingston était mon incapacité à récupérer de ma blessure au genou subie en troisième année et de ne pas reprendre une position dans l’alignement partant. Il m’est souvent arrivé de penser que je laissais tomber mon équipe, car je ne performais pas comme au cours des deux premières saisons. Heureusement, mon affectation en tant qu’étudiant de second cycle au Collège ma permis de rejoindre l’équipe et de compétitionner pour une cinquième et ultime saison. C’était bien entendu particulier de ne plus faire partie de l’escadre des élèves officiers tout en jouant avec eux. Je me suis tout de même grandement réjoui d’entendre les dernières nouvelles et potins du collège vus et entendus par les yeux des élèves officiers. Ma position particulière m’a aussi permis d’être un mentor pour mes coéquipiers dans leurs quêtes scolaires et militaires. Je trouve réellement gratifiant cet aspect de ma relation avec mon équipe.

Ce n’est vraiment qu’en tant qu’étudiant de deuxième cycle que j’ai l’opportunité d’organiser mon horaire du temps librement en fonction des activités qui me réjouissent. Sans le besoin de me présenter aux rassemblements d’escadrons ou de manger à la cafétéria à des heures déterminées, je peux enfin prioriser mon horaire journalier pour accomplir le plus de tâches chaque jour. Que ce soit de travailler sur une rédaction à 0600 ou 2330 ou de prendre un après-midi entier de repos sachant qu’il m’est possible de me reprendre pendant la fin de semaine, j’ai été en mesure de lancer conjointement une petite entreprise en plus de mettre sur pied une nouvelle initiative de collecte de fonds pour la communauté de Kingston. Je me sens vraiment béni d’avoir la flexibilité de mon horaire pour mener à bien tous ces projets.

Mon horaire reflété bien le fait que je ne suis pas marié et que j’habite près du campus. Le fait de compléter un autre niveau d’éducation avant d’avoir des responsabilités importantes, telles que des enfants, à joué un rôle significatif dans ma prise de décision pour accepter la bourse de Recherche et Développement du Canada en 2010. Je recommande sérieusement à tout élève officier entament un programme d’étude de quatre ans de postuler et je répondrai à toutes les questions sur mon expérience et les démarches requises. Même si je ne suis pas actuellement dans un milieu opérationnel, j’aspire à appliquer mes forces et intérêts académiques au bénéfice de mon développement professionnel et au monde militaire dans son ensemble. Mes souvenirs des quinze mois après ma commission continuent à me rassurer que j’ai pris la bonne décision.

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15907 Colonel J Sylvain Sirois (RMC 1987), Commander, 5 Area Support Group

Posted by rmcclub on 18th March 2012

E3161 Victoria Edwards (RMC 2003) interviewed 15907 Colonel J Sylvain Sirois, O.M.M, C.D, P.Eng. (RMC 1987) who was appointed Commander 5 Area Support Group on 3 June 2011.

e-veritas: Which Military College(s) did you attend?

15907 Col Sylvain Sirois: From Montreal, I joined the Canadian Forces in June 1982 as an Officer Cadet at the College Militaire Royal in St-Jean (Québec) from 1982-83. I graduated from the Royal Military College in Kingston (Ontario) in 1987 with a degree in Civil Engineering.

e-veritas: What were your main extracurricular activities while at the colleges?

15907 Col Sylvain Sirois: In Saint-Jean, I was the goaltender for the varsity handball team. Upon transferring to Kingston, there was no handball at the varsity level, so I joined the “varsity” Unarmed Combat team. This team trained and travelled with the bands and the Highbox team, showcasing the colleges around Ontario and Québec. In addition, I was a drummer (tenor) in the Pipes and Drums. Like most cadets, I organized parties and dances. I was also the cadet deputy class leader in first, second and third year, handing tasks to other cadets. Let’s just say that I was not very popular…

e-veritas: What have you been doing since you graduated? Any highlights/lessons learned?

15907 Col Sylvain Sirois: I have been very fortunate in my career. I have had the opportunity to command at every level, including command at troop and squadron level overseas. I was lucky enough to serve in two combat units, 2 CER Petawawa and 5e RGC Valcartier. I served in Croatia, Bosnia and Afghanistan. I went on a disaster relief operation, before the advent of the DART. I have served at the tactical, operational and strategic levels. I have served in very influential positions in the Army and in NDHQ. I have been able to develop several different facets of my career – combat engineering, infrastructure engineering, trade and operational training. I have been involved in the construction of roads, bridges, buildings, and camps. It has been and continues to be fun.

e-veritas: You deployed to the Caribbean in 1989 for two months after Hurricane HUGO.

15907 Col Sylvain Sirois: My key lessons learned from that deployment is do not mess with logistics. The British Engineers had made a mistake with their ration supplies. They had three months worth of 10 man rations. Consequently, their personnel ate nothing but chicken and rice, for every meal. This deployment was phenomenal. As a young lieutenant, I was charged with supporting the Island authorities on behalf of the Canadian government. We rebuilt the airport infrastructure, the tower and the runway lights. We installed generators to restore their water system. The Authorities were very pleased with our support.

e-veritas: You were involved with the Aboriginal crisis in 1990 in Akwasasne (Ontario).

15907 Col Sylvain Sirois: This was a very “timely” event. The regiment was on a bridging camp in the Prescott, Glengarry, Barrie area of Ontario. We had most of the Army floating and bridging equipment when we were called to build a raft to access the Akwasasne site. One day we were on pontoon on exercise with all safety precautions, including wearing personal floating device. The next, on the same rafts, we were wearing flak vests.

e-veritas: You deployed in 1995 as a staff officer in the Engineer Branch of the United Nations Peace Force in Zagreb (Croatia) and later in Sarajevo (Bosnia). You redeployed to Bosnia for a six-month tour under OP ALLIANCE, the Canadian operation in support of IFOR.

15907 Col Sylvain Sirois: The shift in mentality was immense. Under a UN Chapter 6 operation, we had to request permission from the various factions to go anywhere. Under NATO and a Chapter 7 UN mandate, we ordered the factions where to go and we had the might and the will to employ forces. It was a huge shift for our soldiers in terms of force management.

e-veritas: In February 1997, you were involved with the Quebec ice storm.

15907 Col Sylvain Sirois: You have to keep an eye on the mandate and make sure that great ideas do not turn into commitments for the CF. It was also surreal to walk downtown Montreal with no lights. It reminded me of Sarajevo, without the holes in the buildings and the pavement. (Well, there are holes in the pavement in Montreal but from a different source…)

e-veritas: In June 2002, you were appointed as Commanding Officer of 5e Régiment du génie de combat. During your command, you deployed to Operation ATHENA in Kabul as the National Command Element Chief of Staff.

15907 Col Sylvain Sirois: Most of my regiment was deployed but I did not have command of it. The squadrons were parceled between the various units. We had a doctrine to employ Engineers within a Bde and a Div but we decided to stray from it. We could have achieved a lot more with the Engineer resources at hand. We also had a very different structure within the National Command Element. We were sort of NDHQ Fwd. There were some advantages and disadvantages. It worked well from my vantage point. The Canadian Bde Comd had a different point of view…

e-veritas: You completed a Master’s degree in Security and Defence Management Policy. What are your research interests?

15907 Col Sylvain Sirois: My thesis was about ways to improve the project management and the decision cycle for infrastructure projects in DND.

e-veritas: Concurrently to your formal assignments, from April 2006 to October 2009, you also filled the duties of Director Engineers. What does that position involve?

15907 Col Sylvain Sirois: It involved a lot of extra work in terms of career planning, succession planning and force development. You work from the strategic to the tactical levels. It was most enjoyable when I was able to help the lives of my fellow Engineers either with their career progression or accommodating their life needs for posting and operational pauses.

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Where are they now? Ex-Cadets in the News

Posted by rmcclub on 11th March 2012

“Four members of the RMC class of 1969 (left to right, 8003 Norm Gervais, 7964 Don Bell, 7855 Paul Hession and 7956 Paul Corriveau) were among 27 ex-CMR Cadets who joined the Cadet Wing at the Mess Dinner which was held on March 8 at Saint-Jean campus in the General J.A.Dextraze Pavilion. The guest of honour for the evening was Major-General Chris Whitecross, Chief Military Engineer of the Canadian Forces. MGen Whitecross’ dinner address included 60th anniversary greetings to the staff, students and alumni of CMR as well as special recognition of the role of women in the CF – particularly appropriate as the event was held on International Women’s Day.”

3521 Charlie Simonds, Class of ’56 will be a special guest at the RMC Athletic Sports Award Night later this month. Charlie will be on hand to present the prestigious Guy Simonds Memorial Trophy to the fencing MVPs. Charlie is the son of late 1596 Lieutenant-General Guy Simonds, Class of ’21 whom the trophy is named.

5564 Norm Hass, Class of ’62, is an Exercise Training Mentor at Pearson Peacekeeping Centre; he acts as Guru to personnel manning simulated Brigade-level Headquarters during High Level training exercise at Corps level for Turkish, German,Dutch and other NATO participants. and Exercise Controller at Calian/DLSE.

6601 Ernie Cable, Class of ’65, retired from CF after 35 years spent mostly associated with Argus/Aurora operations. A three year exchange with the US Navy at the Naval Air Development Center provided excellent experience for developing and operating the Aurora. After retirement Ernie became involved in researching Air Force and naval aviation history. Currently he is helping two fourth year RMC cadets with a project about Argus/Aurora operations in the Cold War. Ernie and wife, Carol, reside in Dartmouth, NS.

6804 Alec Calder, Class of ’66, retired in 2005 from a lifelong career in the helicopter business. He returned to the family home in Elora Ontario where he spends many happy hours tending the gardens and renovating the house. Do not disturb at siesta hour.

10238 Ron Guidinger, Class of ’74 – the former Base Commander at 4 Wing – CFB Cold Lake (1996-98); retired as VP&GM Raytheon Canada Support Services Division in 2011 he is currently the President at Guidinger Military Insights Ltd.

10569 Gary Hook, Class of ’76 has been the President at SET International in Winnipeg for the past nine years; prior to this position he was an Instructor at Southern California Safety Institute in Torrance, CA.

11001 William (Bill) Schultz, Class of ’76 is the Process Manager at Canadian Pacific Railway in Calgary. Canadian Pacific Railway Limited, through its subsidiaries, operates a transcontinental railway in Canada and the United States and provides logistics and supply chain expertise.

M0121 Jim Grecco, Class of ‘78 finds himself living and working in Calgary these days. After spending 27 years in the CF he is currently the Team Lead at Cenovus Energy Inc and Board Chair at Aero Space Museum Association of Calgary.

12341 Al Stephenson, Class of ‘79 has been a full-time PhD student at Carleton University since August 2010. The RRMC BSc, Physics & Physical Oceanography grad hold a MA, Strategic Studies Air University / Air War College in ’02.

12606 Brian Read, Class of ’80 who owns Horizon Plastics International Inc in Cobourg Ontario has been appointed as the Honorary Colonel for ATESS at CFB Trenton. He has recently started a solar panel manufacturing facility which was expanded in 2012 and relocated to Welland Ontario. He and Kym have an 18 month old Grandson and they currently reside in Cobourg.

14082 Michael Sharon, Class of ’83 is Chief Pilot, Transport Canada Aircraft Services. Prior to this position he was: Chief, Safety at TC Aircraft Services; Senior Accident Investigator at Transportation Safety Board of Canada. His last position in the CF was as a pilot at 421 Sqn.

14831 Yves Tessier, Class of ’85 is currently a pilot with GX aviation near Hartford Connecticut; the former CF Fighter Pilot also had a position with Bombardier as a Demonstration Pilot for over 10 years.

16147 Brett Stewart, Class of ’87  brought his collection of Royal Roads Military College uniforms, badges, yearbook, album, memory box, and photos for the show-and-tell part at the (March) monthly meeting of the Bytown Militaria Collectors’ Association last week in Ottawa.

16169 Andrew (Andy)  Anderson, Class of ’88 is now working and living in the Seattle area and along and with Heidi spending just about every free moment in hockey rinks on both sides of the border following Daniel’s hockey.

17846 Shirley Greenwood, Class of ’91 has been a Logistics Officer at Department of National Defence since May 2007.

19350 Lieutenant-Colonel Carla Harding, Class of ’94, will be handing over her job as Canadian Army G4 Operations as she prepares to deploy to Op PROTEUS in Jerusalem for one year. Op PROTEUS is the Canadian contribution to the Officer of the United States Security Coordinator which has a mandate to encourage co-ordination on security matters between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

21443 Cheng-Hsin Chang, Class of ’99 and wife Penny are proud to announce that Philip Edward was born on Tuesday, March 6 within 3.5 hrs after arriving at the hospital weighing 5lbs 10oz (only 3 weeks early). The proud father reports that Penny and baby are doing great and were expected to be home last Thursday.

E3161 Victoria Edwards, Class of ’03 presented on Military College insignia memorialized in various media (silk, silver, stone, stamps, stained glass) at the Bytown Militaria Collectors’ Association (BMCA) on Wednesday March 7. Her powerpoint slideshow and talk was based on her ongoing research as a staff writer for e-Veritas for which she was awarded the RMC Club President’s Award.

Ex-Cadets & More in the News…

Muskoka Mosaic: Introducing 19052 Jason von Kruse and 19016 Tanya Sprathoff – Class of 1993

“When we were going to Moose Jaw everyone was divvying up who was going to be roommates. The only person I knew was Tanya,”


Captain Crosier reached for a dream and landed a very large plane

“I have always wanted to fly, even when I was 10 or 11, and I guess it might have been from going to all the air shows. My dad (Brian) was a navigator in the military and I enjoyed hearing all his stories, as well.”

24204 Elizabeth Crosier (RMC 2008)  Article


RCAF flies Arctic Ram

“Today’s operations were extremely successful,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Nick Grimshaw, Chief of Staff, 1 CMBG, regarding the Feb. 19 activities. “The airborne insertions into Whati and Gameti were executed according to plan through the dedicated support of the Air Component Commander and its affiliated Royal Canadian Air Force elements.”

19033 Nick Grimshaw (Class of 1993) Article


Presenter on clean energy

 “It’s not the first time I’ve talked about it,” she says with a smile. “I was pretty comfortable. Knowing what level to break things down to was the most difficult.”

22777 Sarah Roberge (Class of  2004) Article


Vet serving in Afghanistan arrives home

“He said it was quite a hero’s welcome,” she wrote. “They had 15-20 police cruisers escorting them through the city (they didn’t have to stop at a single intersection) from the Edmonton airport to the base where they were reunited with their families. On all bridges and overpasses fire trucks were pulled over with firemen saluting.”

23165 Tom Hammond (Class of 2005) Article

An update on the Royal Canadian Air Force

Mise à jour sur l’Aviation royale canadienne


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12339 LCol Randy Smith, Director, Office of the DND/CF Legal Advisor

Posted by rmcclub on 11th March 2012

E3161 Victoria Edwards (RMC 2003) interviewed 12339 LCol Randy Smith, Director, Office of the DND/CF Legal Advisor/ Legal Advisory Services.

e-veritas: Which Military College(s) did you attend?

12339 LCol Randy Smith: I attended Royal Roads Military College from 1975-77, in the same class as 12320 General Walter Natynczyk. I opted to attend College Militaire Royal from 1977-79, to learn French and to earn a practical degree so I studied for a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.

Since I attended Military College under the RETP program, I had no commitment to join the Regular Force. Nevertheless, I joined the Regular Force as a supply officer (logistics) and was posted to Shilo where I stayed for a year until attending McGill Law.

e-veritas: What were your main extracurricular activities while at Military College?

12339 LCol Randy Smith: Although I played sports, I was not a jock. I focused on doing well academically and on trying to stay out of trouble. I recall that my main extracurricular activity while at CMR was trying to get caught up on sleep, often during the period when I should have been playing sports. In my last year at CMR, I served as Cadet Flight Leader for 4 Squadron (35 preps), which was a challenging task.

e-veritas: Did defending yourself in a college code of conduct case inspire your JAG career?

12339 LCol Randy Smith: Yes. While in first year, I was pressing my pants in the “ironing room” at RRMC, my DND ID card fell out and was later found on the floor by a third year officer cadet. A cadet-run system enforces transgressions of the College Code of Conduct, with protocols in place that detail punishments. I defended myself with an argument pointing out extenuating circumstances existed, which were that I was being medicated due to wisdom teeth extraction when I lost the ID card, and that I didn’t have my wits about me. I was pleased that this defense worked and I was found not guilty under the college code of conduct. However, I did not fare so well in respect of other college charges. I was later inspired to apply to law school by an undergraduate military law course that I took at CMR, Business Law, taught by a lawyer by the name of Denis Dion, who sadly now has passed. He felt that I had what it takes to become a lawyer and he strongly encouraged me to apply to McGill Law.

e-veritas: What is your best memory from Military College?

12339 LCol Randy Smith: Some of my best memories are of skylarks at Royal Roads. Some of those skylarks will not be mentioned. I recall complicated schemes to “liberate” Squadron Flags. We also “liberated” pies out of the College kitchen. One time, we filled the Cadet Flight Leader’s room with crumpled up paper. The skylarks were excellent for morale. Attending Military College was the most incredible challenge of my life. I appreciate having had the opportunity to achieve success in the physical, military, academic and language pillars. The cadets I attended College with have become friends for life. When you are placed in such a challenging environment, you really get to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and pull together as a team with the aim to help everyone be successful. I know that I will never again have an opportunity to experience this. It was like doing “Survivor” for 4 years as opposed to 30 days or so.

e-veritas: What university studies have you undergone since CMR? Where did you article?

12339 LCol Randy Smith: I transferred to the Reserves in 1980. I completed a four year civil/common law program at McGill in 1984. While attending law school, I served as a Logistics Officer in the Air Reserves; 712 Communication Squadron and 2 Field Engineer Regiment, in Montreal, Winnipeg, and Wainwright. I articled in my hometown, Georgetown, Ontario at Helson, Kogan & Ashbee, then completed the Bar Admission Course in Toronto. I taught in Borden at the Supply Officer Training Company while waiting to be called to the Law Society of Upper Canada. When I was selected as a JAG Officer, I transferred back to the Regular Force. I earned a Master of Laws at the US Army JAG School in Charlottesville 1991-92. I completed Canadian Forces Staff College in 1997. My area of practice has mainly been in administrative and personnel law.

e-veritas: You have also done operational deployments as a JAG officer?

12339 LCol Randy Smith: In 2006, I deployed to Afghanistan as Legal Advisor with the National Command Element at KAF. I was the advisor to BGen. (Now MGen) David Fraser, who was the commander of the Multinational Brigade for Regional Command South in Afghanistan’s southern provinces in 2006. I was indeed fortunate to serve for MGen Fraser as his senior legal advisor on Canadian legal matters; he was a real leader and a gentleman. I later presented a paper based on my experience on the Rule of Law in Afghanistan “Law, reality on the ground, and the “no-man’s land” in between” at the Canadian Council on International Law 35th Annual Conference: Individuals, States and Organizations (Oct 26th, 2006).

e-veritas: You returned to develop curriculum and teach law at RMC from 2000-2.

12339 LCol Randy Smith: In 2000, I was posted to the Office of Military Legal Education or OMLE (now called the Canadian Forces Military Law Centre (CFMLC)) at RMC Kingston., a joint effort of the Canadian Defence Academy and the Office of the JAG to provide innovative legal research, education and training to the CF. Developing curriculum and teaching two 3-4th year courses at RMC took up 70% of my time. Within the broader context of Public International Law, The Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) course POE488 considers LOAC`s two branches, the jus ad bellum (the right to the use of force) and the jus in bello (the law applicable in conflict). POE486 Air and Space Law focuses on the international and national law applicable to air operations and outer space activities, particularly of a military nature.

e-veritas: The other 30% of your time was spent as legal advisor to RMC from 2000-2.

12339 LCol Randy Smith: I advised the Commandant on all types of legal matters including contracts, insurance, civil liability, grievances (both military and civilian), professor disputes, and officer cadet alleged misconduct that was serious and warranted MP/NIS investigation.

e-veritas: Your current position is varied compared to a traditional practice in administrative and personnel law.

12339 LCol Randy Smith: As Director, Office of the DND/CF Legal Advisor/ Legal Advisory Services, I supervise a team of 5 Justice lawyers, 4 Military lawyers, and 2 administrative assistants. The DND/CF LA provides legal services to the DND/CF in all areas of the law, except those related to military law, military discipline, and the military justice system for which the Office of the Judge Advocate General (JAG) is responsible. The DND/CF LA is organized into four divisions: Litigation and Legal Advisory Services; Commercial Law Advisory Services; Public Law Advisory Services; and Support Services (e.g. finance, human resources, information technology). The DND/CF LA provides legal services on issues relating to public law (e.g. human rights, Charter of Rights, Aboriginal matters, access to information and privacy, labour and employment law, official languages), national security law, legal risk management, contracting and procurement, environmental law, real property law, claims and civil litigation, intellectual property law, Defence Administration Orders and Directives (DAOD) drafting, and legislative support.

e-veritas: What are the other highlights of your legal career in JAG?

12339 LCol Randy Smith: I started my career in JAG serving as defense counsel and prosecutor in both official languages.

As a legal advisor with Chief Military Personnel, I served as counsel on many cases related to the principal of “universality of service” within the larger context of human rights. Universality of Service requires members to perform general military duties, such as maintaining physical fitness, in order to continue service with the Canadian Forces.

I served as legal advisor to Canada Command from 2007-10, which is responsible for the day-to-day oversight of domestic and continental routine and contingency Canadian Forces operations. The Command has a lead role in: Daily domestic and continental operations, including in the Arctic and through NORAD; Support for major events held in Canada, such as the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games; Response to a terrorist attack; and Support for civilian authorities during a domestic crisis such as a natural disaster. This posting was exciting, and involved very long hours, often in the middle of nights and on weekends.

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RMC’s 2011 Rhodes Scholar “Sails Up” / Boursier Rhodes 2011 du CMR « Louvoie vers le haut »

Posted by rmcclub on 11th March 2012

RMC’s 2011 Rhodes Scholar “Sails Up”

15595 Dr. Billy Allan, RRMC/RMC 86

On Saturday 24 September 2011, 24862 2Lt Brendan Alexander was feted with his 10 newest friends and classmates (see the 2011 Rhodes Scholars from Canada – at the Château Laurier in Ottawa. The Sailing Dinner is so-named since it harks back to the days when North American Scholars Sailed from New York City on the Queen Mary or one of her sister liners. I am sure our Naval friends will bridle at concept of sailing “up” but , by tradition, this is the only direction one can take to Oxford. In fact, Brendan will have a “Coming-Up Dinner” at Rhodes House with the other 82 Scholars from around the world soon upon his arrival at Oxford. (While it sounds like most of this is about fancy dinners, those who have encountered English cuisine will see the flaws in this assumption.) Brendan will leave the trenches of Gagetown behind for some serious schooling: He has been accepted at New College, Oxford where he will study (or “read” which is what a student does there) International Relations. Saturday evening in Ottawa was enchanting for the assembled Rhodes Scholars from Canada, those from elsewhere who now call Canada home. Professor Don Markwell, the Warden of Rhodes House who happened to be in Ottawa, capped it with a stirring presentation: Speaking at length on a long and storied tradition of Canadians at Oxford, he gave the 11 stars of the night a sense of the path that lies before them. Brendan and the others withstood the glare of thorough introductions, his as flattering as it was true, when the host for the evening highlighted some of the merits that had attracted the attention of the Selection Committees last fall. Brendan will join 23988 Gino Bruni, (RMC 2009, Prairies & Jesus College, 2010) currently in his second year at Oxford, reading Jurisprudence. And the cobbles are not yet cold from the footsteps of Lt. Stephen Brosha, NS & Merton, 2007, ROTP from St. Thomas University, NB. Stephen and his family Came Down over the summer of 2011 to return to his flight training.

Boursier Rhodes 2011 du CMR « Louvoie vers le haut »

15595 M. Billy Allan, PhD, RRMC/RMC 86

Le samedi 24 septembre 2011, 24862 2Lt Brendan Alexander a été célébré avec ces amis les plus nouveaux (voir les Boursiers Rhodes du Canada, 2011– au Château Laurier à Ottawa. Le Dîner Sailing est si-nommé car dans le passé, tous les boursiers de l’Amérique du Nord ont embarqué le transatlantique Queen Mary ou un de ces navires-jumeaux. Je suis confient que nos amis dans la Marine protesteront le concept d’un voilier louvoyant verticalement, mais selon la tradition, c’est la seule façon d’aller à Oxford. Brendan assistera un Dîner “Coming-Up” à Rhodes House avec les 82 Boursiers d’autour du monde suite de son arrivée à Oxford. (Néanmoins l’air que son expérience n’est qu’une série des dîners formels, ceux qui ont déjà rencontré la cuisine Anglaise reconnaîtront les limites avec cette supposition.) Brendan part des tranchées de Gagetown pour des études supérieures : Le Maître du New College lui a accepté afin d’étudier (ou plutôt rédacter, comme on dit à Oxford) l’International Relations. Le samedi soir à Ottawa était magique pour les boursiers y assemblés du Canada et ceux d’ailleurs qui habitent maintenant au Canada. Le Professeur Don Markwell, Préfet du Rhodes House et invité d’honneur, qui visitait Ottawa par hasard, a livré un présentation vivante sur la tradition des exploits légendaires des Canadiens à Oxford, et il a donné aux 11 vedettes de la soirée, un soupçon de la piste qui les attende. Brendan et ces confrères résistaient l’éclairage des descriptions détaillés de leurs accomplissements, la sienne aussi flattante qu’elle est vraie, quand l’hôte du dîner a souligné certaines des mérites qui ont attrayé l’intérêt des Comités de sélection l’année passée. Brendan rejoindra 23988 Gino Bruni (RMC 2009, Prairies & Jesus College, 2010), présentement dans sa deuxième année de Jurisprudence à Oxford. Et des pierres des rues d’Oxford sont encore chaudes des pas de Lt. Stephen Brosha (NS & Merton, 2007, PFOR du St. Thomas University, NB). Stephen est descendu avec sa famille durant l’été 2011 afin de continuer l’entraînement de vol.

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18903 Lieutenant-Colonel Jeff Smyth, M.S.M., C.D. Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Posted by rmcclub on 11th March 2012

E3161 Victoria Edwards (RMC 2003) interviewed 18903 LCol Jeffery Douglas Smyth, MSM, CD, who is currently based in Kingston as the Chief of Staff for 1 Wing Headquarters. He is known to his friends, acquaintances and relatives as “Smytty”.

e-veritas: Which College(s) did you attend?

18903 LCol Jeff Smyth: I joined the Canadian Forces in 1989. At RMC I studied Engineering and Management (a combination known affectionately as MOOSE) and graduated in 1993.

e-veritas: What were your main extracurricular activities while at the college? In recent years?

18903 LCol Jeff Smyth: My main extracurricular activity was playing varsity Basketball for 1st and 2nd year. My other main activity was having a beer or two with all of my friends on the rugby team. In recent years, I have become an avid mountain biker.

e-veritas: What is your worst memory, if any, from Military College?

18903 LCol Jeff Smyth: I’m not sure if I really have a worst memory from RMC. Recruit term was definitely challenging, but it created a bond within the Squadron and within our first year class that has lasted a lifetime.

e-veritas: What is your best memory/skylark from Military College?

18903 LCol Jeff Smyth: This is not so much a particular memory, since there were so many good times. There were a few good skylarks; one time we filled a guy’s room with popcorn while he was in Florida on spring break and the rest of us had to stay behind to finish our engineering theses. We spent the entire week popping popcorn in Fort Haldimand. In fact, the guys who organised it actually put people on shifts to keep the hot air poppers going.

e-veritas: When you were CO of 408 Tac Hel Sqn (THS) in Edmonton, you received the original sketch of “Right Gun, Ready” from artist Robert Bailey.

18903 LCol Jeff Smyth: It certainly made a lot of folks proud to see that their contributions to Afghanistan have been ‘immortalized,’ so to speak, in a bona fide piece of fine aviation art. The sketch reminds me that sometimes we need to be prepared to fight for what we think is right. The sketch, of a Griffon door gunner poised and ready for action, was based on the continuing efforts of 408 THS in Afghanistan. 408 Sqn deployed to Afghanistan three times, most recently in March 2011.

e-veritas: You were recently awarded a Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

18903 LCol Jeff Smyth: Yes, it was quite an honour. I deployed to Afghanistan from October 2009 to August 2010 as Commanding Officer of the Canadian Helicopter Force (Afghanistan), where I flew more than 400hrs on 76 combat missions in the CH146 Griffon. Everyone in the unit worked extremely hard and it showed. We moved just under 30,000 troops and over 1,000 tons of supplies during our time there, reducing the Improvised Explosive Device threat to our troops by helping to keep them off the roads. We also provided essential eyes and firepower overhead for our ground troops and those of our allies. I have no doubt that we saved lives there almost every day. The highlight for me was being involved in Operation Moshtarak with the International Security Assistance Force. Over the span of about 2 hours, we conducted an air assault with the Brits and US Army to move 1,200 troops into one of the most difficult, dangerous parts of Helmand Province.

e-veritas: How do you like flying the Griffon?

18903 LCol Jeff Smyth: I have over 3500 flying hours, mainly in the CH135 Twin Huey and CH146 Griffon. The Griffon is actually a really capable aircraft. I’ve flown just under 3000 hours on the Griffon. I flew the Twin Huey before that as well, and the Griffon is in my view a much better aircraft. It’s faster, it’s smoother, and it’s easier to fly as a pilot. We can do a lot more things with it than we could with the Twin Huey. It’s essentially a utility aircraft, so that could be anything from flying VIPs to putting troops in the back, to putting door guns on and sensors on like we did in Afghanistan. We flew escort for our Chinooks or we flew over watch missions in direct support of the troops on the ground. We have armour in the cockpit for the aircrew and defensive electronic warfare systems like missile approach warning systems, laser detection, and radar warning receivers. In an aircraft, protection is mostly about speed and mobility; and the Griffon is a very manoeuvrable aircraft. In Afghanistan, we were probably best protected by our door gunners with their M134s, which fire 3000 rounds per minute. Once the Taliban knew that the Griffon had some serious teeth, they didn’t bother us nearly as much.

e-veritas: Where have you served? Any highlights?

18903 LCol Jeff Smyth: I’ve spent most of my career on Army bases, even though I’m in the Air Force. I served for a total of 11 years in Petawawa, 3 years in Kingston (after graduation), and 2.5 years in Edmonton. Having friends from RMC has meant that I usually have a few friends at any base that I go to. I was part of 427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron when it transitioned to CANSOFCOM, which was interesting to say the least. I spent a year at the Australian Command and Staff College in Canberra, which was fantastic, and the other Canadian on my course was a guy from my RMC graduating class. I’ve done tours in Haiti, Bosnia and Afghanistan, and deployed all over Canada. I spent a few weeks in Kingston during the Ice Storm in 1998. I spent a month flying around Newfoundland that summer for Exercise MARCOT. While on the way down to Yuma Arizona for Afghanistan workup training, I led a 2 ship of Griffons down the entire length of the Grand Canyon just before sunset. I’ve flown in the Rockies on multiple occasions. In fact, I’ve flown from the West coast of Vancouver Island to Gander Nfld (not all at once) in a helicopter at low level (1000′ altitude or below), and as far north as the tip of the Ungava peninsula in Nunavik (northern Quebec).

Needless to say, there have been a lot of highlights throughout my career. But my tour in Afghanistan was by far the most exciting, interesting and challenging time so far. Having a chance to lead your own unit in war is something that I think most officers can only dream of, and only a few really get the chance to do. You can’t top that.

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Extraordinary Ex-Cadets: 15992 Andre Labrie, Class of ’87

Posted by rmcclub on 4th March 2012

“I have enjoyed every role I’ve held in education…”

Article by 25366 NCdt (IV) Mike Shewfelt

15992 Andre Labrie graduated from the Reserve Entry Training Program at RMC with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1987. After graduation, he left military life behind and started his career with the Canadian Standards Association (Canadian Welding Bureau) in Toronto. A year later he moved back to Kingston to work for UTDC (Urban Transportation Development Corporation) Lavelin which later became Bombardier. The first year with UTDC he worked in R & D before moving into system integration on the HLVW project (10 ton Military Trucks) where he spent two years. He later went back to Queens for his Teaching degree, following which he worked as a high school physics, math and technology teacher for seven years. His career continued in the educational system as he worked as a High School Vice Principal for two and a half years and Principal for 8 years at Rideau District High School, Frontenac Secondary School, La Salle Secondary School and Bayridge Secondary School. He then became Superintendent of Secondary Program and Safe Schools for the Limestone District School Board and most recently, for the past five years he has been the Superintendent of Human Resources and IT for the Limestone District School Board.

Of his career in education, Mr. Labrie says, “I have enjoyed every role I have held in education. While I very much enjoy my current role it is possible that when I look back on my career after retirement that I might say that the job I most enjoyed was Principal, because as a Principal you are still very much part of the day-to-day action of the school working with students. ”

“What stands out for me from my College days,” he says, “would be the life long friendships, as well as the time spent with the hockey team both on and off the ice. Our trip to Europe and the tour of France and the tournament in Alabama certainly stand out. Our end of year and pre-phase training camping trips to Bon-echo Park will never be forgotten. Second language training and our trip to Quebec city is another memory that stands out. Swimming the Olympic size swimming pool with my buds on the Jump Course in Edmonton and getting compared to just a bunch of “Civy” still brings about a smile. I could go on and on about the great memories of events and people of my RMC years. It sure was a great 4 years.”

Mr. Labrie fondly remembers several members of the College staff, in particular Dr. Wayne Kirk, (photo left) who was a Cival Engineering prof, Dean and Hockey Coach. “He was an amazing man who made a huge difference in many cadets’ lives. He went above and beyond to support cadets both academically, in life and in sports, and he was truely an exceptional man.”

As far as negative memories go, Mr. Labrie says he doesn’t have any. “It is funny how time works. Even the things I recall that were not so pleasant at the time now bring a smile to my face. It really was a time that I would not trade in for anything. It was intense at times but only positive in hind sight.”

“I played four years with the Varsity Hockey team,” says Mr. Labrie. “The highlights of that include 2 Westpoint wins, 2 Airforce wins, beating Notre Dame to make it to the finals in Alabama during the Crimson Tide Tournament hosted by the University of Alabama, and, finally, touring and playing some pro-teams in France as well as the French Military Elite team (who we beat 11 to 1). Multiple road trips with a great bunch of guys were always memorable, as was winning the first ever Carr-Harris Cup against Queens.”

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Class of ’58 lecture, 8 March at 1640 hrs, Currie Hall. Plus – Where are they now…?

Posted by rmcclub on 4th March 2012

This year’s class of ’58 lecture will take place on 8 Mar 12 at 1640 hrs in Currie Hall. This year’s lecture will be given by Major General Terry Liston MBE, CD (ret.), former Commanding Officer of a battalion of the Royal 22e Régiment, commander of the French-speaking brigade in Valcartier, head of planning, operations and development of the Canadian Forces and after retirement,“Colonel of the Regiment” of the Van Doos”.

 “Major-géneral Terry Liston MBE, CD (Ret.), ancien commandant d’un bataillon du Royal 22e Régiment, commandant de la brigade de langue française à Valcartier, responsable des plans, des opérations et du développement des Forces canadiennes et, après sa retraite, « Colonel du Régiment » du 22e. »

In his lecture he will describe the birth of Canada’s first French-language unit to go to war overseas, the 22nd (French-Canadian) Battalion, almost 100 years ago. He will outline it’s growth into the Royal 22e Régiment, the expansion of the French-language sector of the Canadian Forces and its impact on Canada’s Public Service.

« Il dépeindra la naissance de la première unité canadienne de langue française à s’engager au combat outremer – il y a bientôt cent ans – le 22nd (French-Canadian) Battalion. Il décrira sa transformation en Royal 22e Régiment, l’agrandissement du secteur de langue française au sein des Forces canadiennes et son impact sur la fonction publique canadienne.

This lecture will be given in French.

Where are they now…?

4574 Al Bailey, retired 12 years ago from Tourism Calgary; he now makes his living on the golf course in the summer. He travels and plays tennis in the winter. Still enjoying good health with his wife of 53 years Joyce!

7000 David Haas is a member of the Board of Directors at the Loyal Edmonton Regiment Military Museum Foundation. The BoD set the policies and direction for the Museum while day-to-day operations are carried out by a small part-time staff and a group of volunteers who work in classifying, cataloguing, and storing the artefacts, or in other tasks related to displays and records.

9143 Bruce McAlpine, MBA, CPC, is President of Fulcrum Search Science Inc. “Fulcrum” moved just before Christmas into Sterling Tower, a Toronto Heritage Property, at the corner of Bay and Richmond. Bruce and his staff are really excited about their new offices and for good reason. They hosted a classy “wine & cheese” open house function last Wednesday (29 Feb) in the new digs. See more on Fulcrum Search Science Inc.

9962 Paul Hussey was appointed as Colonel Commandant of the Cadet Instructor Cadre in May 2009. He retired from the Canadian Forces in 2007 with the aim of reading every one of the books in the extensive library that he had accumulated over the years. That plan is somewhat on hold as he is currently engaged as a member of the Directing Staff on the National Strategic Studies program at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto and serves on the Board of Directors of the National Air Force Museum at Trenton.

10209 Christopher Chance – On January 24th, 2012, Chris accepted a position with Raytheon Canada Support Services, headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, where he will be a Business Development Manager for Canadian Army programs. This moves comes after Chris spent 19+ years with General Dynamics Canada. He will spend his time working from home in Petite Riviere, Nova Scotia, as well as travelling between Nova Scotia, Ottawa, Calgary, and parts in between.

11863 Morris W. Brause was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Commissionaires Windsor on 1st February 2010. He is a veteran of the Canadian Forces (CF), with a military career that exemplifies a commitment to regular, progressive training, numerous deployments and missions across Canada and overseas, and a 36-year record of loyal and dedicated service.

12639 Roy Armstrong was appointed Commanding Officer on 29 September 2011 of the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group. Article

15165 Michael O’Rourke was appointed to the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO) for the Defence and Aerospace (D&A) business unit of Bluedrop Performance Learning Inc. Michael holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the Royal Military College and was a Combat Systems Engineering Officer with the Canadian Department of Defence. Throughout his management career, he has been the General Manager of Operations with Software Kinetics Limited, and a regional manager with Xwave. He recently served as the Director of Operations for CAE Professional Services Group.

16605 Katherine Vigneau, MBA, MDS, CAFM is a Professional Development Strategist at KMVS Fleet+ Consulting in Kingston, Ontario, following 26+ years as an Army Logistics Officer.

16699 Phil Gothe joined the BC Safety Authority as Vice President, Stakeholder Engagement in January 2009 and was appointed as Vice President, Technical Programs in July 2011. Specializing in Business and Organizational Development, he has led development and execution of business strategy in forest products, helicopter and heavy equipment industries.

19621 Lisa M. Smid is the CO of the 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group HQ & Sig Sqn. She entered CMR in St. Jean, Quebec in 1991, and  graduated from RMC in Kingston in 1995 having completed a degree in civil engineering. She stayed on and completed a Masters in Business Administration in 2006. Major Smid is married to Ryan Smid of Swift Current, Saskatchewan, and they have two beautiful daughters, Tatyana and Natalya.

20600 Phillip J. Halton has worked around the globe as a security advisor, including long-term projects in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, the D.R. Congo, Colombia, the Gaza Strip and elsewhere. His civilian work has focused primarily on providing Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) services and coordination, as well as Human Intelligence (HUMINT), and other related services to private organizations and foreign governments. Currently, he is employed by Scotiabank Group.

23366 Ji-hwan Park, a Naval Logistics officer in the Royal Canadian Navy, studied Business Administration at the Royal Military College of Canada and earned his commission in 2006. As the Operations Officer at the Joint Logistics Operations Centre, he is responsible for planning and execution of all logistics support to the deployed ships in the Canadian Pacific Fleet. During his career, he finished four years of sea tour serving onboard HMCS PROTECTEUR, ALGONQUIN, OTTAWA and VANCOUVER and participated in numerous multinational exercises and deployments. Ji-hwan immigrated to Canada when he was 11 and grew up in Victoria, BC.

Major John R. Grodzinski is an assistant professor of history at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario. He completed his undergraduate degree at McMaster University in Hamilton and his MA and PhD at the Royal Military College of Canada. His interests include the era of smoothbore warfare, North American colonial conflicts and naval warfare in the age of sail.

G1294 Dr. Craig Stone is the Director of Academics at the Canadian Forces College. He holds a BA in Economics from the University of Manitoba and an MA and PhD in War Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada. Dr. Stone joined the academic staff at Canadian Forces College (CFC) as an Assistant Professor in the summer of 2005 after 29 years in the Canadian Forces, the last five at CFC in the Strategic Studies Directorate. Dr. Stone lectures in the areas of strategic resource management, the economics of defence and Canadian defence policy.

Walter Peters, a former Squadron Commander and Air Force Careers Officer at CMR approximately during the 1973-76 time-frame; many Ex cadets will remember him from the CMR football team too.

Today Walter is a retired public servant after a very successful RCAF aviation career. Prior to working with Transport Canada (TC), Walter flew military jets and transport aircraft, spent two years as Deputy Commanding Officer of the Canadian Forces Air Demonstration Team, the Snowbirds, two years in New York as the Air Advisor for the United Nations Secretary General, and one year at the Canadian Aviation Safety Board. He then held various managerial positions within TC, including Director General, System Safety. He has been instrumental in the development of many international safety initiatives regarding data collection and exchange as well as many of the System Safety risk management tools used today throughout the System Safety regional offices.

Lofty goals key to success, says black pilot

More on Walter Peters


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14435 Michael Gibson, Deputy JAG, Military Justice

Posted by rmcclub on 4th March 2012

E3161 Victoria Edwards (RMC 2003) interviewed 14435 Colonel Michael Gibson, CD (RMC 1984), who has been the Deputy Judge Advocate General (JAG) Military Justice, responsible for military justice policy, legislative reform and strategic initiatives concerning the Canadian military justice system, since July 2011.

e-veritas: Which Military College did you attend?

14435 Col Michael Gibson: After graduating from secondary school in Strathroy, Ontario, I joined the Canadian Forces in 1980. I attended the Royal Military College of Canada from 1980-1984. I graduated in 1984 with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History.

e-veritas: What were your main extracurricular activities while at the college? I understand that you were a member of the Debating Team and defeated West Point twice….

14435 Col Michael Gibson: I was part of the RMC Debating Team, which was a very prominent activity at RMC in those days. Debates were held in two-person teams. Together with my debating partner 14465 Bob Lawson, we defeated the West Point team during the annual exchange weekend in both 1983 and 1984. Bob and I also placed second in the Canadian University Debating Championship in 1983. The final round against U of T was held on the floor of the Legislative Assembly in Halifax. I can still acutely remember all the spectators looking down on us from the gallery, as we were standing there in our Scarlets, which was pretty intimidating. At least we looked good. Bob and I also competed twice in the World University Debating Championships, at Princeton and Edinburgh. It was great training in advocacy which proved very useful in my later career as a lawyer.

Another great experience was participating twice in the Queen’s Model Parliament, which is where I met my wife. So I can highly recommend it.

I was also a member of the Rifle Team one year.

e-veritas: What are your best memories from Military College?

14435 Col Michael Gibson: My best memory from Military College was marching off the square with my classmates at Grad Parade, feeling proud and on top of the world. The former College Director of Administration, S103 Col (Ret’d) Arthur H. “Harky” Smith, periodically provides my classmates with updates as to how the classes of 84, 85 and 86 are doing. The Class of 84 currently has 10 general officers and 11 colonels still serving, so it has been a pretty strong class.

e-veritas: What are your worst memories from Military College?

14435 Col Michael Gibson: My worst memory from military college was the first week of recruit term at RMC. We arrived directly from doing the Basic Officer Training Course (BOTC) in Chilliwack, and felt pretty cocky getting off the bus. That didn’t last long. The night we arrived was like a scene from a Wagnerian opera: there were lightning storms all around as we lined up on the parade square, and the cannon flashes from the last Retreat Ceremony up at Fort Henry reflected off the low cloud layer. We were marched up to our rooms, with lots of shouting from the Fourth Years, and I remember thinking when I saw how small the room was, “there must be some mistake.”

The next morning, for our first inspection, my roommate, a super keener who had been a Prep at CMR, proceeded to iron his bed for inspection. I observed that this was more than a little over the top. He assured me that this was necessary. I refused to iron my bed. Of course my pit looked like a mess in comparison to his. After a week of having my bed torn up each morning at inspection, I finally conceded that I would have to iron mine as well unless I wished to continue suffering this fate. Resistance was futile. It always struck me though that that ironing one’s bed was more than a little surreal….

Our Recruit Flight’s wake up song was the “Orange Blossom Special”, which definitely got the adrenaline pumping. Some mornings we were given only the duration of that song to get up, shave, make our beds, dress and stand for inspection.

e-veritas: Your operational category was as an Air Navigator.

14435 Col Michael Gibson: After obtaining my Air Navigator Wings at CFANS Winnipeg and my operational category as an Air Navigator on the CC-130 Hercules and CC-137 Boeing 707 aircraft at 426 Squadron Trenton, I flew on 437 Squadron doing passenger, cargo, VIP and air refuelling missions. I also served as a strategic airlift operations planner at Air Transport Group Headquarters and as a Platoon Officer training officer candidates on the Basic Officer Training Course.

e-veritas: What university studies have you undergone since you graduated from RMC?

14435 Col Michael Gibson: Since graduation, I have completed three other university degrees but have never forgotten the lessons I learned at RMC. I graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) twice (M.Sc. International Relations, and LLM Public International Law). I was awarded a scholarship to LSE directly after RMC, then returned twenty-two years later for a Masters of Law. After attending law school at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law (LLB) under the Military Legal Training Plan, I articled at the Department of Justice office in Toronto, and was called to the Bar in Ontario. I also completed the United States Marine Corps Law of Armed Conflict course, and the advanced course on International Humanitarian Law at the University of Liverpool.

e-veritas: Do you serve with other ex-cadets in JAG?

14435 Col Michael Gibson: Certainly. There are a number of ex-cadets currently serving in the Office of the JAG, including: 14865 Col Pat Gleeson, 15788 LCol Mark Gendron, 12339 LCol Randy Smith, 15519 LCdr Sandra MacLeod, 19413 Maj Curtis Smith and 19210 Maj Angela Koskie.

e-veritas: You are a member of the National Military Law Section of Canadian Bar Association.

14435 Col Michael Gibson: Yes, the National Military Law Section is a national Section of the Canadian Bar Association. This Section promotes military law, holds periodic conferences and publishes a newsletter called the Sword and Scale. I have given presentations at their last two annual meetings.

e-veritas: Your career at JAG is very varied compared to a traditional practice in criminal or civil law.

14435 Col Michael Gibson: Yes, it is. Canadian military lawyers within the Office of the Judge Advocate General practice within one or more of three broad “pillars”of law: military justice, operational law, and military administrative law. Since becoming a Legal Officer in the Office of the JAG, I have been prosecution, defence and appellate counsel. I have had significant involvement in recent legislation affecting the military justice system as policy architect, instructing counsel for the drafting of legislation, and as a witness before Parliamentary committees considering proposed Bills. I have served as Deputy Judge Advocate Trenton, defence counsel in the Directorate of Defence Counsel Services, Director of Military Justice Policy and Research, Director of Strategic Legal Analysis, Director of International and Operational Law, and as a member of the Canadian Forces Military Justice Strategic Response Team.

e-veritas: You have also done several operational deployments as a JAG officer.

14435 Col Michael Gibson: My operational deployments as a JAG officer have included being Legal Advisor to the Canadian contingent of the NATO Stabilization Force in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Legal Advisor for the Canadian Disaster Assistance Response Team on its deployment to provide humanitarian assistance to the victims of an earthquake in Turkey, Deputy Legal Advisor at the NATO Stabilization Force Headquarters in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Senior Military Law Advisor in the Rule of Law Unit of MONUC, the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Each of them was fascinating, and each quite different from the others.

e-veritas: Did you do any interesting trials as a defence counsel?

14435 Col Michael Gibson: Yes, I did many interesting trials as a defence counsel, including one in which I was required to cross-examine one witness I recall in particular, then-Colonel Walter Natynczyk. I am kind of hoping that he may have forgotten about that…. However, my client was acquitted at that court martial, so it was all worthwhile in the end.

e-veritas: What is the purpose of the Canadian military justice system?

14435 Col Michael Gibson: The Canadian military justice system has two fundamental purposes: to promote the operational effectiveness of the Canadian Forces by contributing to the maintenance of discipline, efficiency and morale; and, to contribute to respect for the law and the maintenance of a just, peaceful and safe society. It thus serves the ends of both discipline and justice.

e-veritas: What are your areas of research interest in the law?

14435 Col Michael Gibson: My main areas of research interest are Military Justice and Public International Law. I combined the two in an article entitled “International Human Rights Law and the Administration of Justice through Military Tribunals: Preserving Utility while Precluding Impunity”, which was published in 2008 in the Journal of International law and International Relations. I have also had the opportunity to lecture on these two topics recently at the Yale Law School and the University of Melbourne Law School. One of the great aspects of being a legal officer in the Office of the JAG is the opportunity / requirement to maintain strategic legal engagement in emerging areas of the law.

e-veritas: The International Society for Military Law and Law of War is holding its triennial Congress in Quebec City from 1 -5 May, 2012. Are you involved?

14435 Col Michael Gibson: Yes, this will be a very interesting meeting for both practitioners and academics in the fields of Military Justice, International Humanitarian Law and procurement law. This Congress will be held at the hotel Fairmont le Château Frontenac in Québec City from 1 to 5 May 2012. The central theme is: Legal Interoperability and Ensuring Observance of the Law Applicable in Multinational Deployments. I will be giving a presentation on National Authorities Enforcing National Military and Criminal Law in Multinational Operations – Problems, Challenges and Solutions. The Society’s website is at

e-veritas: Do you feel that your experiences at RMC have prepared you well for your subsequent endeavours?

14435 Col Michael Gibson: I recall that one of the Commandants at the time described the experience gained at RMC as preparing one to keep a large number of balls in the air at the same time, then catch a broad-axe thrown at you – without dropping any of the balls. Since that sounds like a pretty apt description of daily life at NDHQ, then I guess that they did.

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17602 LCol Michael Patrick, Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Posted by rmcclub on 4th March 2012

E3161 Victoria Edwards (RMC 2003) interviewed 17602 Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Brian Patrick, M.S.M., C.D. (CMR RRMC 1991), who was recently awarded a Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division).

e-veritas: Which Military Colleges did you attend?

17602 LCol Michael Patrick: I am an alumnus of both CMR and RRMC. I joined the military in 1986. Since I was accepted into military college ahead of graduating from high school, I was sent to College Militaire Royal in St Jean, Quebec, to undertake a preparatory year. I changed my course of study after my second year to Applied Military Psychology and was transferred to Royal Roads Military College in Victoria, British Columbia, where I graduated in 1991. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Applied Military Psychology and a master’s degree in Defence Studies.

e-veritas: What were your main extracurricular activities while at the college?

17602 LCol Michael Patrick: If I’m being honest, my chief extra-curricular activity throughout college was “social research”. I wanted to discover which pub had the hottest wings and the cheapest draft – I’d like to think that I was successful in this endeavour.

e-veritas: You served as Cadet Wing Training Officer (CWTO). Outline your role.

17602 LCol Michael Patrick: I served as the Cadet Wing Training Officer in my final year at RRMC. The Cadet Wing is part of the Training Wing which is commanded by the Director of Cadets (DCdts). The Training Wing Staff are responsible for the officer cadets’ military training including officership, physical fitness and drill.

e-veritas: What is your worst or best memory, if any, from Military College?

17602 LCol Michael Patrick: I do not really recall any bad memories from college, although I’m certain that there were some but they are undoubtedly smothered by the good memories. I made friends at CMR and RRMC who remain closer to me than any I have made since.

e-veritas: You are a graduate of the Baltic Defence College in Estonia, a member (along with RMC) of the International Society for Military Science (ISMC).

17602 LCol Michael Patrick: Yes, I have the honour of being the first Canadian Graduate of the Baltic Defence College (BDCOL) having completed the Joint Command and General Staff Course (JCGSC), a course for Senior Staff Officers, in 2002. The college is located in Tartu, Estonia, which is the country’s second largest city and is located in the South – Eastern part of the country. The International Society for Military Sciences (ISMS) was established in October 2008 by RMC and a number of other Defence Colleges to further research and academic education in military arts and sciences. The ISMS organises an annual conference held in November.

e-veritas: You were operationally deployed to the Balkans on a number of occasions. .

17602 LCol Michael Patrick: Yes. I was operationally deployed with the first Canadian-based rotation, based on the Third Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) into the former Yugoslavia in 1992. In 1996, I was deployed with 2 PPCLI as the Anti-Armour Platoon Commander to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

e-veritas: You were recently awarded a Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division) for “excellence in the art of operational planning [which] helped disrupt Taliban forces and strengthened the Afghan government’s authority within Kandahar province.”`

17602 LCol Michael Patrick: I served as the Chief of Operations for Joint Task Force Afghanistan/Task Force Kandahar for ten months between February and November 2009. I had an excellent commander; 15696 Major General Jon Vance (RMC) and a very talented crew of planners, operators and support specialists led, respectively, by Majors Kevin McLoughlan (CMR), 17563 Rob Dunn (CMR), and 21909 Joe Boland (RMC). I would like to think that our accomplishments were entirely a team effort.

e-veritas: What have you been doing since you graduated? Any highlights?

17602 LCol Michael Patrick: Upon graduation and the completion of basic infantry officer training in Gagetown, I joined 3 PPCLI in Esquimalt, British Columbia. Here I was privileged to command at the platoon and specialist platoon level. Following this, I was posted to a staff position within the 1st Canadian Division Headquarters in Kingston Ontario. Once I was promoted to the rank of major, in 2001, I served in a number of positions both with my Regiment and the Infantry School and I commanded at the company level. Following completion of the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College in 2007, I served as the G3 of the 1st Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group in Edmonton Alberta and, following this, as the G3 of Land Forces Western Area.

e-veritas: What are you up to these days?

17602 LCol Michael Patrick: I am currently the Commanding Officer, Land Force Atlantic Area Training Centre (AATC) in Gagetown, which supports individual training in Land Force Atlantic Area. I enjoy spending as much time as I can with my wife Karen and my children Caleigh and Liam.

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Extraordinary Ex-Cadets: Dick Mohns, Class of ’75

Posted by rmcclub on 26th February 2012

Dick Mohns Credits His Success to the Friendships Forged at RMC

Article by 25366 NCdt (IV) Mike Shewfelt

10601 Richard (Dick) Mohns graduated in 1975 after four years at RMC, Kingston. His original intent was to complete his four year commitment and leave the military for a civilian industry career; however, as he says, “I grew to love what I was doing and before I knew it a fabulous 30 year career as an Aerospace Engineer (AERE) had passed!”

His AERE career provided him with great challenge, adventure and an opportunity to live in all parts of Canada and to do two tours outside the country. In the end, he moved thirteen times, with tours in Greenwood NS, Comox BC, St Hubert QC and four tours in Ottawa. He also had the distinct pleasure to serve in Lahr, Germany from 1982-84 and he did a one year tour in Washington, DC attending the National Defence University’s Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1998-99.

In 2002, while serving as a Colonel at the Director of Recruiting, Education, and Training in Ottawa, Mohns left the CF for the civil sector. Since then he has maintained strong contacts with the military, having been involved with several major acquisition programs in the aerospace world. These included the Maritime Helicopter, Chinook Helicopter, and Fixed Wing Search and Rescue programs. In doing so, he has held senior positions with General Dynamics Canada, The Boeing Company, and L-3 Communications. Dick Mohns currently works for Provincial Aerospace Ltd, a “vibrant and dynamic St. John’s Newfoundland based company” as Senior Director, Business Development and Government Relations. He resides in Ottawa.

Mohns attributes his success in the industrial world to his time at RMC and the friendships he made there. “I have continued to work with dedicated professionals, many of whom are ex-Military, on large project teams,” he said. “I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to smoothly transition into industry and to retain my associations with the Canadian Forces. In many ways, it is again the friendships and associations established throughout my time at RMC and in the military that enables my work in Industry.”

“I enjoyed so many tremendous jobs in my career,” says Mohns, “but there are a few highlights that do stand out. My years in Lahr Germany with 444 Tactical Helicopter Squadron as the Maintenance and Engineering Officer were memorable both because of the operational nature of the work and because of the spectacular social life we enjoyed. Operationally, the annual six week exercise on the Hohenfels range close to the then East German border was demanding but rewarding. On one occasion we were conducting a night driving exercise on what we discovered were hazardously dry dirt roads. The dust became so thick that we were placed in a “black out” situation. My jeep left the road, hit an open culvert, flipped and dropped about 3 meters into a narrow ditch. What could have been disastrous resulted in nothing more than a slightly damaged jeep and my hurt pride! On the social side, we learned to ski in Austria, Switzerland, Germany and France. We were afforded the opportunity to soak up an amazing amount of European culture including copious quantities of world-class wine! The entire tour in Lahr remains a highlight for myself and my family to this day.”

Perhaps his greatest personal accomplishment is his time as Project Manager for the Canadian Search and Rescue Helicopter. Col Mohns’ team were successful in designing and leading a Major Crown program to replace the aging Labrador helicopter. The ultimate decision to acquire the EH-101 as Canada’s new SAR helicopter was politically unpopular with the government of the day and the politicians purportedly wanted to cancel the decision by finding fault with the acquisition process, says Mohns. However, intense scrutiny by a number of “auditing legal teams” could find no error in his team’s process and ultimately the decision stood.

Following his time with the Project he was sent to Washington DC to attend the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. As a more mature and experienced student, Mohns embraced the program and finished as one of the top students, receiving a Master of Science degree as a Distinguished Graduate. “We were the only two Canadians in a course of 300 and to attain this top position remains a highlight for me. There is little question that my education and training in the Military starting with RMC provided the foundation enabling a top result on this prestigious program.”

In his last tour in uniform Mohns was honoured to be the Branch Advisor for the Aerospace Engineering profession. “Working with the other Colonels and our Brigadier General, 9805 Dwayne Lucas (Class of ’73) was a satisfying opportunity to provide key guidance and direction to enable the continued successful evolution of the profession,” he says.

In concert with his rewarding work in uniform, Mohns has also continued to play hockey at a competitive level and has participated in numerous military regional and national championships over the years. “I was lucky enough to have been appointed Captain of most of the Base teams I have played on including the Greenwood Bombers, the Ottawa Falcons, the RCHA/444 Squadron Gunners (in Lahr) and the base teams at Comox and St. Hubert.”

For Mohns, this competition has reinforced and/or developed numerous friendships and provided a natural forum for on-going fitness. He continues to play hockey on a team that is all current or ex-military, two of whom played with him on the RMC Redmen, 10161 Marc Ouellet (Class of ’74) and 10622 Larry Russel (Class of ’75).

Those that might remember him from his RMC days will definitely relate to his exploits in sports, not to his academic performance! As Mohns says, “My acceptance into RMC was aided and abetted by the College’s burning desire to stop a painful six-year losing streak to West Point in hockey! I was a reasonable Junior A hockey player playing out of Petawawa/Pembroke and this without question enhanced by acceptance.”

Mohns played on the varsity hockey at RMC throughout his four years at the College, and has many memories from those games. “In my first RMC/West Point game in Kingston in 1972 we beat them convincingly 7-4 and I had two goals and three assists; this game has remained a magnificent highlight to this day! I went on to play four enjoyable years of varsity hockey and was the Captain of the team in my fourth year. Like all varsity teams at RMC we struggled with a dearth of talent but always represented ourselves with tenacity and garnered a genuine respect from all opponents. I developed many extraordinary friendships at RMC but none stronger than with my hockey team-mates, many of whom I retain strong friendships with to this day.”

Next to the sports, Mohns remembers with fondness the unique dynamic of the daily routine at RMC. “Everything was meant to challenge and as a result successes, even minor ones, ultimately resulted in significant personal satisfaction and growth,” he says. “I credit RMC for extracting every bit of possible potential out of me. I was never a strong academic but with the inherent support of staff and friends I was able to graduate without ever having to write a supplementary exam; this for me will always stand out as an extraordinary achievement!”

The other memories that stand out for Mohns are the incredible highs and lows of recruit camp. Most of the “highs,” he says, came from having a great squadron and a winning chemistry that led to their winning most competitions. However, that is not what stands out the most for Mohns. For him, what remains indelibly etched in his mind are the “character building hours of very long, challenging days, being regularly “chewed-out” for the first time in my life, and the countless hours reflecting on what the “bleep” I was doing there.”

“Recruit camp culminated with the infamous obstacle course which our Squadron won,” he says. “At that time, it was also an individual race in which I ended up coming second, another achievement that I reflect upon with pride. Anecdotally, there was an external movement to pressure RMC to cease the “barbaric practice” of this obstacle course and on the front page of the Kingston Whig Standard the next day was a picture of me writhing in pain having just collapsed over the finishing line! What they didn’t appreciate was the unmatched feeling of accomplishment I felt. My mother kept that picture in a scrap book and presented it to me years later. I was also particularly proud of graduating with “four bars” as the Cadet Wing Recreation Officer; recreation and socialization were definitely my forte! Again, I remain close friends with many of my fellow graduates that lived in Cadet HQ on the top floor of Fort Lasalle.”

For Mohns, other events that elicit a smile upon reflection were the annual snowball fight on the parade square following the first snowfall (it was the College versus the Stone Frigate), as well the orchestrated dances at the cadet mess to match up lonely cadets with the girls from Queens and Hotel Dieu. “Many a lasting relationship can trace its origin to one of these dances,” says Mohns.

Not surprisingly, the staff he most remembers includes his hockey coach, MWO Tom Walton and those profs that were strong supporters of the varsity team.

As for life today, Mohns says, “My wife and I have been fortunate to acquire a magnificent piece of land on the Ottawa River near Orleans and in 2007 we built our dream home. There has been and hopefully will continue to be a regular stream of ex-Cadets through the doors to enjoy the surroundings with us… life is good!”


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Victoria Edwards, In Conversation: E3096 LCol Dan Drew, “not your typical RMC graduate”

Posted by rmcclub on 26th February 2012

“I am not the typical RMC graduate – having said that I am grateful for the opportunity to complete my degree and for the advanced educational opportunities that are made available for members of the CF.” – LCol Dan Drew

E3161 Victoria Edwards (RMC 2003) interviewed E3096 LCol Daniel Drew OMM, CD (RMC 2004), who assumed Command of Canadian Forces Base Suffield in June of 2005 and is currently the Senior Military Officer at Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) Suffield.

e-veritas: How did you come to be a U.S. Army Ranger?

E3096 LCol Daniel Drew: I joined the Canadian Forces in June 1976 as an Officer Cadet in the Officer Candidate Training Program, which trains civilian candidates and selected serving members, for service as commissioned officers in the Regular Force. In 1977, I was commissioned in the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) as a Second Lieutenant. I was selected for Ranger training after applying for one of the 6-9 positions that were offered to Canada in 1980. I graduated in 1980 as the Officer Distinguished Honour Graduate and the winner of the Merrill’s Marauder Award for Leadership and Navigation Excellence. U.S. Ranger School at Fort Benning, G.A. is a tough training course developing expertise in leading Soldiers on difficult missions – in close combat and direct-fire battles. The three phases of Ranger School, ‘crawl’, ‘ ‘walk’ and ‘run’ require Soldiers to make quick decisions in adverse situations. Lasting 20 days, crawl is designed to assess and develop the necessary physical and mental skills to complete combat missions. During the 21 day walk phase, students receive instruction on planning, preparing and executing a variety of combat patrol missions in a mountainous environment. Run Phase training develops the students’ ability to lead small units on airborne, air assault, small boat, ship-to-shore, and dismounted combat patrol operations in a swamp environment against a well-trained, sophisticated enemy.

e-veritas: Before starting your undergraduate degree at RMC as a mature student, you had completed a graduate level program at Marine Corps Staff College.

E3096 LCol Daniel Drew: Yes. My first real taste of university-level academic life, however, was in 1997 when I attended a ten month intensive Marine Corps War College® at Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia. The program involved the study of national military strategy, theatre strategy and plans, and military support within the context of national security policies, decision-making, objectives, and resources. At the time, I was ineligible to participate in the masters’ degree in Strategic Studies program since the Marine Corps University’s graduate degree programs require that candidates hold a qualifying undergraduate degree. I returned to RMC hungry for more academic challenges.

e-veritas: How did you come to graduate from RMC as a mature student in 2003?

E3096 LCol Daniel Drew: As a member of the Air Cadets c. 1972-3, I toured Fort Henry and the Royal Military College of Canada. When I decided to join the Canadian Forces, I applied to RMC right out of high school. Unfortunately, I was so busy with hockey that my high school grades dropped and my application was not accepted. After taking my commission in the PPCLI, I served in all three battalions of my Regiment and 2 Airborne Commando, The Canadian Airborne Regiment. In addition to six Regimental tours, including five operational tours overseas, I was employed as an Operations Staff Officer at Area and Army level and as a Company Commander in the School of Infantry in Gagetown, NB. As a mature student, I completed the majority of courses towards my Bachelor of Mil Arts and Sciences degree from RMC via distance education, complemented by a year of full time study at U of Alberta in 2003.

e-veritas: You had the opportunity to give several invited addresses at RMC.

E3096 LCol Daniel Drew: Yes. The first invited address at RMC was on leadership in the context of peacekeeping operations based on my experiences commanding Delta Company of the Second Battalion during the Medak Pocket operation in Croatia in 1993, an action for which the Second Battalion was awarded the Commander-in-Chief’s Commendation. My second invited address at RMC was on domestic operations; based on my experiences as lead planner at LFWA HQ for the mega-security operation that was mounted in conjunction with the G8 held in Kananaskis in June 2002.

e-veritas: You recently presented “Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan: The Canadian Experience, 2008″ at a Graduate Strategic Studies Conference: Strategy, Security, Defence. You presented on the same topic at Fort Hood, Fort Benning and at Marine Corps University in the USA.

E3096 LCol Daniel Drew: Yes, my experience is based on my operational tours. In 2008, I was the Deputy Commander of the Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team (OMLT) for Task Force 1-08 where I worked very closely with the XO or Deputy Commander of an ANA Brigade. The “Omelet” teams work with the 1st Brigade 205 Corps, Afghan National Army (ANA) and Afghan National Police (ANP) to help smother Taliban hotspots. I was one of about 200 Canadians embedded in 1/205, a brigade of 3,000 in Kandahar province for about seven months in 2008. I mentored Ahmed Habbibi, an outstanding officer on the battlefield, who now commands 1/205 Brigade. Pictured below is an OMLT team in the Arghandhab District in late June 08 during a lull in the fighting. We were dispatched to that area to deal with a Taliban threat to the north of Kandahar City after the big Saraposa prison breakout. (L to R Cpl D.A. MacDonald, Sgt P. Sprenger, myself, Capt Bob Barker and Cpl C.T. Vickerman). All of those men were decorated for their courageous conduct during that foray into that district; at the time we were all members of 3PPCLI. In the intervening years, the ANA has grown from 1 brigade to 5. In 2011, I assumed the duties of Chief of Staff for a NATO Headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan that supervised the training and development of the Afghan National Army.

e-veritas: Any lessons learned?

E3096 LCol Daniel Drew: Since the Afghan troops are for the most part illiterate; I argue that there must be a greater emphasis on training and educating the soldiers. While the lack of basic literacy skills has some impact on conveying routine soldier skills such as cleaning weapons, it has more of an impact on administration and logistics. The US had supplied computers and software to the Afghan National Army’s KANDAK 5 combat services support to account for, manage the supply chain and inventory of spare parts of the combat vehicles and weapons. In retrospect, training the ANA in the use of writing paper records by hand could have been more productive, and less complicated than computerization.

To be effective, the military needs to develop its cultural understanding of Afghanistan. Deployable cultural specialists provide cultural awareness training. Most Service personnel got just a couple of days of cultural awareness briefing before deploying to Afghanistan, and the training need was poorly defined e.g. count 1-20, say hi and bye, we need to do a better job in the future. One way to do that is to use Afghan Canadians as Language and Cultural Advisers, a practice that is presently used but needs to be expanded. I would see an LCA selected by the deploying unit as being an embedded asset from beginning of pre deployment training – that way he would become a member of the team while concurrently conducting continuous language and cultural training for the troops. We can also take advantage of training aids such as Rosetta Stone language training CDs, every soldier should have one to learn with and their should be defined vocabulary goals i.e. 200 words of Pashtu or Dari and perhaps 10 phrases. I was lucky enough to have an LCA, his name was Salim, and he was an invaluable asset; not only was he able to speak to the locals, he was fully cognizant of the culture and because he was a Canadian he was not a security risk.

e-veritas: As Senior Military Officer at the DRDC Suffield, you believe that the Canada Blast Injury Program is the most important area of research for our veterans.

E3096 LCol Daniel Drew: IEDs are the Taliban’s weapon of choice. IEDs are used to blow up soldiers on foot patrol, as well as vehicles. The Taliban plant IEDs in roads, in fields, along paths, and in stone walls. With so many of the 30,000 troops in Canada’s combat mission to Afghanistan exposed to blast and the potential for long-range damage, research into the effect blast has on the brain is probably the most important program at DRDC now for our veterans since it will produce hard evidence for development of policies around measuring and recording soldiers’ exposure to blast and determining exposure limits. Between 35 and 40 specialists at Suffield are involved in the program, including microbiologists, toxicologists, pharmacologists, neuroscientists, physicists, and blast specialists. The Blast Injury Program is trying to answer key questions: How much exposure leads to brain damage? Does a severe blast cause immediate as well as delayed injuries? Is there an accumulated effect from being exposed several times to minor blasts? See

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Extraordinary Ex-Cadets: 6584 Keith Ambachtsheer Class of ’65

Posted by rmcclub on 19th February 2012

From RMC to Business Success

By 25881 OCdt (III) Anthony Matlock

In 2011, Keith Ambachtsheer was awarded the CFA Institute’s Award for Professional Excellence “for exemplary achievement, excellence of practice and true leadership.” This latest achievement is one of a series of accolades which complement his more than forty years of successful experience in the pensions and investments industries. At present Mr. Ambachtsheer multi-tasks between his roles as a Director at the Rotman International Centre for Pension Management, Founder of KPA Advisory Services and Co-Founder of CEM Benchmarking, of which the pension funds and long-horizon investment pools aggregate to $7 trillion.

The pension funds guru’s road to success in the field of economics began as an Officer Cadet in 1961 at Royal Roads Military College.

A young Keith had been drawn to the Canadian Forces’ “Regular Officer Training Plan” for three reasons: one, as a three-year old his family was liberated in Rotterdam by the Canadian Army in 1945; two, he had been a member of the CF Militia growing up in Sarnia, Ontario; and three, his father’s unfortunate passing made military college’s free education a sound option.

Officer Cadet Ambachtsheer quickly distinguished himself as a talented soccer team “striker” during his first two years at Royal Roads. Securing the league scoring title, Keith saw the team win the Vancouver Island championship in the 1961-2 and 1962-3 seasons.

Upon arrival at RMC for third and fourth year, the Four-Squadron Deputy Cadet Flight Leader transferred to varsity football; however, this sport was short-lived as “three cracked ribs ended my football career.” A recovering Keith, now in fourth-year, returned to soccer for 1964-5 – a season which saw RMC reach the league finals.

In terms of academics, the best-selling author realized that “the only ticket out was to take General Arts in second-year,” as his first-year experience in Royal Road’s mandatory pre-engineering curriculum was not as exciting as Economics – with Professors Cairns and Binhammer being true inspirations. According to the arts-man: “I was attracted to a discipline that attempts to explain how the world works from some basic premises about human behaviour, decision-making, and the operation of markets for goods, service , labour and capital.”

“At its best, Economics is both rigorous and intuitive at the same time. How cool is that!”

Nevertheless, the young-Friedman recalls that the nine arts-men in second-year Roads were “razzed continually by the hundred-or-so science and engineering types” – some things never change!

Upon graduation from RMC in 1965, the Immediate Past Board Chair of the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation joined the Ordnance Corps and managed to twist some arms in order to secure a posting to the London, Ontario supply depot. A year later, on a leave-of-absence, Keith completed his Masters in Economics at Western University.

Following the degree, the junior officer completed his military service on the faculty of the Canadian Forces School of Management (CFSM) in Montreal, and then made the transition to civilian life as a PhD Economics student at McGill University. The transition “was not that difficult at first; [however], what did become difficult for me was to accept the attitude by some academics that they could lead ivory tower lives, with excursions in the ‘real world’ completely optional.”

“So when the opportunity to join the Sun Life Investment Department [came along], I was ready to go.”

Keith’s early years in the “real world” were characterized by a consistent pattern of challenge-seeking, as the four-time winner of the Graham and Dodd Scrolls transitioned from Sunlife to increasingly smaller companies such as Canavest House and Pension Finance Associates.

“I was willing to sacrifice the positives of large organizations for the flexibility and independence of running a small shop with big ideas.”

According to the economist, this career path has led to “a large informal global network of people with similar professional interests. This ‘connectivity’ is much facilitated by the 24/7 wired world we now live in.”

Keith’s entrepreneurial leadership led to success when, in the 1970s, and with the guidance of his mentor – “the great management philosopher Peter Drucker”he transitioned his career interest to pension funds management. According to Drucker’s 1976 book, the pensions industry would be a sort of Unseen Revolution – “a fascinating field of both study and business opportunity in the decades ahead.”

“Well that revolution is unseen no longer!”

Keith has recently found himself in the spotlight over the Federal Government’s apparent intention to make changes to the public pension system which “is now a big topic of great interest to Canadians.” To listen to the investment-expert’s interview with CBC Radio’s Rex Murphy on Cross Country Check-up click here.

Furthermore, Keith publishes the well-read Ambachtsheer Letter through his consulting firm, KPA Advisory Services, to some one hundred clients worldwide representing several multi-billion dollar pension funds.

Aside from consulting, the strategic analyst is also the Co-Founder of CEM Benchmarking (began in 1991) which monitors “the organizational performance of some 300 pension organizations around the world, with aggregate assets of some $7 trillion,” and offices in Toronto, the US, and Europe.

“I would like to think CEM has had, and continues to have a significant influence on the quality of pension management around the world.”

In addition to his consulting and managing success, Keith has also simultaneously pursued the field of economics education as a Director and Adjunct Professor of Finance at the Rotman International Centre of Pension Management (ICPM).

ICPM’s mandate is to translate and deliver academic research to a “practitioner community.” Supported by thirty-three major pension funds from ten countries, ICPM “creates forums to discuss… how [pension management] should impact current practices, it publishes the International Journal of Pension Management, and it conducts week-long Board Effectiveness Programs for board members of pension organizations.”

“The Centre produces an amazing amount of value with a small, dedicated team of academics and professionals.”

In looking back upon his career, Keith Ambachtsheer’s realizes that the early RMC experience was a preparation for failure as much as success: “My path over the last 40 years has led me down more than one blind alley where things didn’t work out so well – the RMC lesson was to get your butt up off the ground and move on to Plan B.”

When asked if he has a message for current, business-minded Cadets, Ambachtsheer says to stay motivated by making a difference, and furthermore: “something our soccer coach at Royal Roads drilled into us. If you don’t have the ball, find an open space to go to and something good might happen!”

Keith Ambachtsheer is a member of the RMC Club Foundation’s Investment Advisory Committee, and is an active member of the Class of 1965 which has, individually and collectively, donated $1.6 million in endowments, and funds the yearly Class of ’65 Teaching Excellence and Professorship in Excellence Awards.


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23991 David Chee, Combining Law Studies & Hockey South of the Border

Posted by rmcclub on 19th February 2012

Combining Law Studies & Hockey in Washington, D.C.


23991 David Alexander Chee is a member of the American University Men’s Hockey Team which recently captured their first Mason Dixon Collegiate Hockey Association Championship on February 12, 2012. American University is located in Washington D.C. and competes against other colleges and universities in the Mid-Atlantic region in Division III of the American Collegiate Hockey Association.

The American University Eagles headed to Lancaster, Pennsylvania with a bye in the quarterfinal rounds after clinching first place in their division during the regular season. In the semifinal game, the Eagles defeated Penn State University-Harrisburg in an 8-3 decision, and avenged a disappointing loss at the beginning of the season. In the Championship game, the Eagles defeated their divisional arch-rivals Wesley College 4-1 in hard fought battle at the Regency Ice Rink in Lancaster.

This was David’s second season with the American University hockey team. David is a second year law student at American University Washington College of Law where he recently won an International Students’ Scholarship for academic achievement and for his contributions to the law school community.

David is completing a dual law degree program between the United States and Canada where he will earn two J.D. degrees upon completion of the program. He is also a Dean’s Fellow for the Washington College of Law Trial Advocacy Program. Last summer, David completed a judicial clerkship for the Honorable Frederick C. Arriaga at the Criminal Court of the State of New York in Brooklyn.

During his time at Royal Military College, David studied electrical engineering, and was the President of the RMC Engineering Society. He was also a section editor for RMC’s Precision Newspaper and a member of the RMC Debate Team in addition to being a Section Commander during his third and fourth years at the college.

David is looking forward to completing his studies and becoming a prosecutor upon graduation from law school.

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Victoria Edwards, In conversation: 17384 LCol Dave R. Rudnicki – Meritorious Service Medal

Posted by rmcclub on 19th February 2012

The next installment in our series of Ex cadets and other Canadian Military College graduates who have been recognized for going above and beyond the call of duty.

E3161 Victoria Edwards (RMC 2003) interviewed 17384 LCol Dave R. Rudnicki (RMC 1990), who was recently awarded a Meritorious Service Medal.

Editor’s note: LCol Rudnicki retired from the CF shortly after being interviewed for this article.

e-veritas : Which Military Colleges did you attend? What are your research interests?

17384 LCol Dave Rudnicki: I attended RMC all four years (1986-90). I graduated with a B.A. Commerce in 1990. I can’t say I had any substantial research interests. I enjoyed the whole college experience, probably too much social and sports and not enough academics.

e-veritas: What was your main extracurricular activity while at the college?

17384 LCol Dave Rudnicki: A full course load at the College, along with the required military routine, allowed little time for much else. I played on the Varsity Golf team in first year. Yes we had a golf team don’t laugh! I played on the Rugby team (2-4th yr). I was a drummer with the RMC band, Pipes and Drums (2-4th year). As a member of the 400 club on the PT test, a key interest was general fitness.

e-veritas: What is your worst memory from Military College?

17384 LCol Dave Rudnicki: My worst memory was the morning wake up song and the anticipation of it coming on. Back in my day we had record players and the recruit staff had rented large speakers to blast the music down the hallway. It was so loud that the crackling of the record player needle on the record just before the music started would wake you up. It was not the best way to start the day; the song was “Run to the Hills” by Iron Maiden. I think I can still sing it word for word.

e-veritas: What are your best memories from Military College?

17384 LCol Dave Rudnicki: In hindsight my best memories are the entire four years. I may not have felt that at the time but every year provided me with unique challenges that I now look back at with good memories and a smile. A highlight is finishing the obstacle course with my recruit flight and the positive encouragement from our 4th year recruit staff. I also have great memories of celebrating at the graduation ball with my family and good buds.

e-veritas: What have you been doing since you graduated?

17384 LCol Dave Rudnicki: I have been in the military since graduating in 1990. I trained as a Logistics Officer in Supply. After my initial posting to 8 Wing Trenton (Supply), I moved to Ottawa where I worked within the Directorate of Aerospace Equipment Program Management where I gained valuable experience in procurement and contract management. On a personal side I am actively involved in cycling and compete regularly in local road cycling and mountain bike events. I have also completed several 24 hour solo bike races where you ride as far as you can in the 24 hours and I commute to work by bike as much as possible year around. I was also actively involved with my wife Sharon Donnelly’s (RMC 90 17324) triathlon career. She was member of the national triathlon team for 10 years and competed at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. We trained a lot together and I was fortunate to be able to travel to many of her events and support her over the years. While I was posted to Colorado Springs (2006-09), Sharon was hired by USA Triathlon as a part time coach as their National team is situated in the city. This eventually led to more responsibilities and she was selected as the head coach for the US team at the Beijing Olympics.

e-veritas: You’ve been back to the College.

17384 LCol Dave Rudnicki: In ’99, I came back to RMC for three years as the 4 Sqn Commander and EA to the commandant, 8850 Rear-Admiral David Morse (RMC 1971). I returned to Kingston as the Operations Officer at the CF Joint Support Group (2004-2006). I was then posted to US Northern Command HQ, Colorado Springs within the Interagency Coordination Directorate (2006-2009). I attended the Joint Command and Staff Program at the Canadian Forces College, Toronto in 2010.

e-veritas: What are your career highlights?

17384 LCol Dave Rudnicki: I served three tours in Bosnia (2002, 2003-2004). I was posted to 2 Air Mov Sqn in 2002, then a deployment to Bosnia as Movements Officer for the Task Force. In 2003, I was posted to the CFJSG in Kingston then quickly posted to Bosnia-Herzegovina for 13 months as the Task Force Contracts Officer. My key role in Bosnia was negotiating all in-theatre contract support and the stand up and oversight of the first Canadian Forces Contractor Augmentation Program (CANCAP) with SNC-Lavalin PAE for Real Life support to the Canadian Task Force. Recently, my numerous short deployments to Afghanistan managing contracted and coalition support have been a great opportunity and an honour.

e-veritas: What are you up to these days?

17384 LCol Dave Rudnicki: I am currently working at the Canadian Operational Support Command HQ in Ottawa as the Director of Operational Support Contracts and Agreements, overseeing all contract support to deployed and domestic operations. In this position I am also the project director of the CANCAP program. I am retiring on 16 Feb 12 after 25yrs 8 months of service and have accepted a position with the Canadian Commercial Corporation as a Senior Project Manager Defence Programs. It is a Crown Corporation under DFAIT. Sharon and I live in Orleans with our two children Gemma (6) and Evan (4). Sharon will continue with her triathlon coaching and assist with the set up of a Triathlon regional training centre in Ottawa in conjunction with the University of Ottawa and Own the Podium.

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