Don McLeod is affectionately known as Mr. Red & White in Atlantic Canada by many who are aware of the outstanding job he has done as RMC Liaison Officer for the Red and White program for the past eight years.McLeod has been so successful in this role that his numbers of successful candidates going through the recruiting application process constantly outstrips the numbers from most major centers across Canada year after year.
“Donnie boys and girls” now number in the hundreds that are either currently at RMC or have already graduated, respect him for his selfless dedication to the job. He is always available to answer a tough question or just being available / interested on how they are coping – long after the formal application process is complete.
Don has positively influenced the lives of many young junior officers and officer cadets who are currently in the system and represent the future of the Canadian Forces.
Victoria Edwards from Ottawa recently hooked up via cell phone with Don who was in Newfoundland doing what he does best – speaking with bright high school students and prospective ROTP candidates.
M0135 Colonel (ret`d) Donald W. McLeod (RRMC RMC ’79) is a RMC Liaison Officer for Atlantic Canada and is based in Halifax. After retiring from the Forces in November 1998 he continued as RMC Liaison Officer as a civilian employee of National Defence from June 2000 to June 2008. He recently returned on a term basis for the o8/09 ROTP campaign.
e-Veritas: You studied at RRMC/RMC under the University Training Plan Men.
Don McLeod: When I joined the CF as a Non Commissioned Member, I hadn’t finished high school so I was upgrading my high school to Grade 13. In 1975,while stationed in Europe,the personnel selection officer (who I met through coaching minor sports) on base approached me and suggested that I apply to military college under the University Training Plan Men – nowUniversity Training Plan Non Commissioned Member. The University Training Plan Men had recently been introduced at the military colleges with a half dozen cadets in 1974 and a few more in 1975. In 1976, there were approximately 80-100 cadets under the UTPM program: 39 at RMC in Kingston, 20 or so at Royal Roads and approximately 30 cadets at Collège Militaire Royal. There were no female candidates in the UTPNCM program before 1980.
e-Veritas: You were RMC’s first liaison officer in 2000.
Don McLeod: Yes. The Report of the RMC Board of Governor’s by the H2951 General (Ret`d) Ramsey M Withers (RRMC RMC ’52) Study Group Review of the Undergraduate Program at RMC recommended the establishment “as was done in the past, a program of community and high school visits by select officers, RMC faculty members and cadets.” I participated in a trial in Nova Scotia in 2000 as RMC’s first liaison officer. Six months later, 8850 Rear Admiral (Ret’d) David Morse (RMC ’71), then Commandant of RMC found the trial was a success and I expanded my area of responsibility to all of Atlantic Canada.Two years later, a liaison officer
was hired for Quebec, the prairies and the pacific region.
e-Veritas: Do you see yourself as a role model for cadets at RMC/RMC St.Jean?
Don McLeod: Not so much as a role model but rather as a mentor. The Withers Report commented, as part of the recommendation to establish community and high school visits, “This exposure of appropriate role models to potential candidates from the outset provides up to date information, and demonstrates a proactive attitude by the CF in their quest for the highest quality members.”
e-Veritas: Comment on your role as RMC Liaison Officer?
Don McLeod: I am the primary contact for the provision of information, advising, and related assistance to students considering an RMC program and a liaison with CF recruiting and RMC staff, attending events such as RMC Information Presentations at high schools, and responding to any queries regarding the College. Although I spend the majority of my time marketing to high school students, I also field calls and have meetings with Non Commissioned Members who are considering applying under the
UTPNCM program and with those considering graduate or postgraduate studies at RMC.
e-Veritas: What marketing projects are you working on at the moment?
Don McLeod: From mid-September to mid-December, I visit virtually every high school in Atlantic Canada, sometimes 3-4 schools a day as a member of the Atlantic Association of Registrars and Admissions Officers (AARAO). The AARAO recruitment activities are designed to provide students, parents, teachers, guidance counselors, and others with accurate, concise information relating to post-secondary opportunities in Atlantic Canada. Although we understand that a level of competition is inherent in our jobs, we believe that through our cooperation we provide the best service to our clients. It should be noted that some ROTP applicants do, in fact, end up at these Atlantic Universities. I attend the recruitment events on the coordinated schedule of career days and parent nights held in school cafeterias or auditoriums according to geographic blocks. I meet with students in grade 10, 11 and 12 and their parents.
Ed Note: If you are interested in helping out as part of the Red & White Programme in Atlantic Canada contact Don McLeod: [email protected]
For other part of Canada call RMC 1-888 762-2762 [email protected]