First CWPMC: 8452 B.C. (Brian) Patterson shares a few memories

First CWPMC: 8452 B.C. (Brian) Patterson shares a few memories

I entered RMC in 1966 after 5 years in RCAC (Royal Canadian Army Cadets) #39 Woodstock Collegiate Cadet Corps, and 3 RCR Militia, as well as the Fort Henry Guard. So I was not at all unfamiliar with military life, but was evidently unfamiliar with academic ‘hard work’.

I played varsity football for the Redmen in recruit year, slept through many classes, and finished with a seriously failing mark in Math 101 ! Commander Terrence Hicks (aka ‘Captain Crunch’ – (“f=ma and you can’t push a rope”) failed me miserably, and even Coach Hargreaves couldn’t get a few extra yards added for me to reach the goal line. Hence I became one of the ‘Dirty Dozen’ of the Class of ’70 – 12 of us who failed academics but were offered a chance to repeat first year – YES…REPEAT first year! Were we crazy? Well we did, and to our credit, I believe all 12 graduated in the Class of ’71 !

 Click on photos for better viewing.


First year also had me join another infamous group known as the ‘Grubby Green Five’ – the 5 recruits who one night silently escaped the campus onboard the Cordite and armed with gallons of green paint ‘borrowed’ from the boathouse painted “RMC Class of ‘71” on the side of the abandoned Navy Frigate MHCS Inch Arran – a feat that was subsequently discovered during running shoe inspection next morning and resulted in 30 days CCD (Confined to College and Drill). Yes first year was a year of adventure!

The rest was a blur, and ended with an appointment to CWHQ in fourth year as the first ever CWPMC, as the Cadet Wing was given its first ever cadet mess across the highway in a former CFB Kingston building on the water. A great addition to cadet life!

After graduation in May of 1971, I proceeded to CFB Valcartier as part of the newly formed 5e Groupement de Combat, a troop leader in 12e Regiment Blinde (12 Rubber Boots). There I married my RMC sweetheart Joan (first met at the RMC Cadet Mess in fall 1970) who I remain married to 43 years later! After a tour in Cyprus in 1973 and two years in Base HQ I returned to RMC as a Squadron Commander in 1975.

I left the military in 1976, and became a branch manager with RBC, then Bursar / Development Officer with a private school (Albert College, Belleville), area accounting manager for United Co-Op Eastern Ontario, General Manager of Harrowsmith and Equinox magazines, VP of Dural Adhesives in Montreal, and then began my own insurance brokerage, which took up the next 20 years. During those years we also raised three wonderful children, founded a fun little daycare that is still operating 35 years later, and started 5 travel agencies in three towns. Busy times but always interesting and challenging.

We settled and raised our family in a rural setting on the waterfront of the Hayward Long Reach, Bay of Quinte south of Napanee Ontario, where we remain to this day and hopefully many more. Hobbies became and still are sailing, boating, snowboarding, cross country skiing, and long walks with a Labrador.


  • Patrick Hunt

    January 18, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    What a great story, Brian. Your bio doesn’t read like one years experience 50 times but 50 years of wonderful experiences.

  • Peter Jackson

    January 18, 2016 at 12:14 pm


    Good to hear about you. I still remember fondly that day you and Joan took me sailing.

    Sally and I are still in Aylmer (Gatineau) and just recently celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary.



  • J. Douglas Smith

    January 18, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    Hello Brian: Great to hear from you and about the challenging career(s) that you experienced. Best of luck with those remaining, your old teammate, Smitty

  • Terry Cockerill

    January 18, 2016 at 2:30 pm


    I too entered RMC in 1966 and failed first year, initially; and I had agreed to repeat first year. However, while you and I were doing Phase One Infantry training in Camp Borden in the summer of 1967 (remember doing the leopard crawl through the poison ivy), I was told I could re-write two supplemental exams. By the skin of my teeth, I did pass those exams in late August, and did go on to graduate in 1970.
    You and I both arrived in CFB Valcartier in May 1971. I ended up having three postings to Valcartier, with Quartier-general et Escadron des Transmissions. I have been married for 43 years to the “Quebecoise” whom I met in Quebec City. We have three sons, two grand-daughters, and hoping to relocate in 2016 from Calgary to Port Perry, ON for our retirement.


  • Marius Grinius

    January 18, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    Good memories. The Cadet Mess was such an excellent long-term addition to cadet life at RMC. And good training! I do not ever recall you without a huge grin and a readiness to party (after, of course, due attention to serious study).See you at our reunion this fall.

  • Don Peterson

    January 22, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    Yeah, Brian, some folks had a re-do of First Year, others waited till Second Year. But an amazing number of us got it right the second time and in subsequent years. You have crammed an amazing amount of living into only 50 years. What challenges remain for you? Warmest regards,